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What Are You Called To Be In Your Life?

June 14, 2012

By Sister Pat P.

What am I called to do in my life? or What am I to do with my life?. There are the types of questions asked to those who are discerning their future.  We worry so much about being called to DO that we do not ask: What are we called to be?

For many people, the feeling is that these are the same questions, but in reality they are not. Maybe the reason we get be and do mixed up is because we tend to ask young people what they want to be when they grow up and really we are asking them what they want to do!

So what are the differences?

For me, to do is an action that can be accomplished by me and as I get older I can change my actions. It is a temporary part of my life. Should I become ill, I can no longer do those actions. For example, if I am a Teacher, Lawyer, Doctor or Mechanic these are things I do in my life. They are action. We do these things until we decide to retire or no longer have the ability to do them due to illness or desire. In fact, I believe many people who lose their jobs become depressed not just because of money issues, but because their life was so tied up in what they were doing they feel that they no longer have reason to get up.  When, in fact, what they do is not who they are!

To Be is a way of life forever!  Even when you retire from one thing you never retire from a To Be.  It is a specific lifestyle. For example, you can be a Mother, Father, Priest, Sister, Brother, Nun, Monk or be single. These are some of the major To BE’s in life. Let me explain a little further.

When a baby is born, the parents are the parents forever. They can give the baby up for adoption but can never deny they were parents. The adopted parents once taking that responsibility truly become the parents and raise them until they leave the nest, however, no matter what, they are always there for them and supporting them. Whether biological or adoptive, once a parent you are a parent forever, always loving and trying to help their babies whenever they need help. In time, they become grandparents and so on. We may not do anything for our children, but that does not mean you are not the father or mother – it means you chose not to do but you are that father or mother forever.

It is the same with Sisters/Nuns – being a Sister/Nun is a “TO BE” you can teach and be a Sister; you can help the sick and be a Sister.  This is because it is a way of life that goes on within you.

I am a Sister because something within my being has called me to live a way of life that is dedicated to serving God by committing to:

  • Praying daily and listening to the Word of God – Asking God how He wants me to serve others.
  • Serve the people of God especially the Poor
  • Being Loyal to my community by supporting my leadership and my sisters
  • Living a life that God has called me to as a Sister of Mercy

A Sister is a Sister 24/7. It is not something that ends when you retire, or get sick.  It is not nine to five.  There are few lifestyles one can BE.

So before you decide what you want to do with most of your life.  Take time and ask yourself these questions:

 What do I want to be?


 Who do I want to be? 


What type of person do I want to be?

Then after you answer that question, you can then ask:

What do I want to do that will enhance the person I want to be?

Please contact us if you have questions about becoming a Sister of Mercy or read more stories from our sisters to learn more.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 14, 2012 11:24 pm

    I really enjoyed your blog Sr Pat. One of the things that hit me the most is when you describe the example of how some are unemployed may experience feelings of depression. Altho I am employed (thank God) the part about “what they do is not who they are” applies to me in the present. I am working at a job that’s not my ‘dream job’ and it is something I do to pay bills, etc, however it is far from who I am as a person-my passions lie in helping others, social services, writing, WWII history, music and so on.

    You posed some very thought provoking questions that I will continue to ponder and I just want to say thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    • Sister Pat permalink
      June 17, 2012 8:57 pm

      I am glad this could be of help to you. Being a child of God and following His call to you makes you the person you are.

  2. June 18, 2012 1:44 pm

    Sister Pat,
    A great blog posting! Lots to think about and a great perspective on “being” and “doing” as it relates to our “call” in life.
    Thanks for sharing this important information for all of us, no matter where we find ourselves on our life’s path.

  3. January 11, 2013 6:09 pm

    A very timely reflection, Sister Pat. Last night I was in a group conversation regarding the difference between a career and “call.” Your article continues the thoughts we discussed.

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