By: Sister Immaculata, OCD

When I was in college, both attending classes and completing clinical requirements in various hospitals, I remember being a little confused by what I observed in certain people. I had an atheist professor, but couldn’t help notice how enthusiastic, caring and patient he was with his students. I also remember two nurses in particular. One was living a questionable moral life, but she was an exceptional team-player, personable and genuinely humble. On the other hand, there was a Catholic nurse who spoke openly and well about her faith, but she was impatient, critical, begrudging and was often complaining. My question was: What’s wrong with this picture? Why didn’t the sincere Catholic nurse who had the benefit of receiving the truths of faith and the graces of the Sacraments have the selfless virtues and warmth of Christ?
I’ve never forgotten the inconsistencies that I witnessed and I’ve continued to ponder these questions through the years. Of course, it’s not enough to know Christ. Every human person is called to do the hard interior work of holiness, particular when it comes to loving our neighbor. It’s a little scary to think that I could be ‘religious’ and yet in God’s eyes and in the eyes of others to have forgotten or never understood this radical call to truly learn how to love.