In my early teens, I opened the Bible at home and came across the chapter of the Sermon on the Mountain. In reading, I realized that I was quite moved by something warm in my heart. That was the wonderful experience of being attracted by Jesus’ word, and I have never forgotten about it. Off I was on a journey in search of the real meaning.
After studying the catechism for few years at the church, I got baptized. At that time I have been working, and started to wonder about marriage or religious life. I asked God which was the way He prepared for me . I talked to a priest, and he told me to come to daily Mass. Every morning I went to Mass at 6 a.m. by bicycle, and then go to work.
Soon after, I found a book "Woman of Faith" at the library corner of Daughters of St. Paul, inside the department store Kyoto Daimaru. Encouraged by the Sister, I went to a retreat in the convent of Sonoda. I listened the cassette tape about "The influence given to people by mass media, and the salvation of the soul." I could realize that God is constantly working and He needs more people to work with Him.
God may be inviting me….. I was beginning to wish the religious life. On September 8th, on the feast day of Our Lady, I was going to enter the convent. But the opposition of my family was so strong. We all had difficult days with each other, but I patiently continued to wait in prayers. At last, my family gave me the permission saying “ If that can make Akiko really happy”. I could feel their deep love.
Entering the convent, I got to know Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life of all, and the prayers of Pauline family. I have found what I had always been looking for, and got the actual feeling of care from God.
"The Lord is near. Never worry about anything; but tell God all your desires of every kind..." (Philippians 4.5-6) Thinking of this word of St. Paul, I am hoping to continue in my vocation, in renewing my thanks giving and trust to God, and to all who guided me.