“Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘Come and follow me’” Mk 10:21

by Sr Nadia Tawfik

How did I feel the presence of our Lord in my life?

Before I answer this question, I want to say that God never abandons me. I have experienced this in my life in many ways.

What I know is that when a human lives in sin and is far from God, they cannot be alone in reconciling themself with God. As we develop our relationship with God, God is the one who takes the first step towards us because God sent his only Son to Earth to save the whole world. This is a sign of God’s love, greatness, grace and mercy.

A deep sense that God wants me to live in his house every day of my life

I love the verse “O Taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him” (Ps. 34:8), because every time I taste the word of God and look at the Lord through personal prayer and reflect on his Word, it helps me to develop my relationship with God.

Strong relationship with God is like a very small seed – like a mustard seed. As it grows with time, patience and continuity, so do I also grow. Through relationship with God, I discover God’s voice and it quenches my thirst.

With the power and the help of God, my heart opens towards others.

God called me and, in this call, I am able to live in my father’s house, sharing the table of the communion of love with all, realising that everything comes from God, the master of love. When we realize that everything comes from God, we realise too that God gives freely, without charge. In the same way, God is asking me give freely, just as I have received freely. What I give is not the fruit of my work but the reward of God’s love for me.

I discover God’s voice and it quenches my thirst

At first, I had difficulty distinguishing the voice of God in my life. There are several reasons for this, the first of which is practical: I was involved with many worldly things. My prayers were always very fast. I wasn’t giving real time to God. When I prayed, I was asking God: What do you want me to do in my life? I wanted an answer straight away, without waiting; I did not even give God a chance to answer.

Also, I tended to blame God for the bad things in my life. In times of difficulty, I felt blind and deaf to hearing and distinguishing the voice of our Lord in my life. By the end of the difficulty, I was trying to understand why I was not able to see and hear God or feel the presence of God in my life during these moments of difficulty.

Reading the Bible and reflecting on God’s Word helped a lot. There were also people who helped me – living in community, praying in Church, times of Eucharistic celebrations, singing praises to our God, studying (theology, English, nursing) and working in the hospital. All these things helped me to recognize and discover God’s presence in my life.

“You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit that will last, so the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name” (John 15:16). This Bible verse was a confirmation for me of our Lord’s call, that God chose me, and in this lies the sense of being a special person for Jesus.

I feel God’s presence in my life and in everything I do and learn

Mark 10:21, “Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘Come and follow me’”, is an important verse for me. It changed my whole life and it gave me a deep sense that God wants me to live in his house every day of my life, to be with God, to serve others and to proclaim the message that God is the loving father of all human beings.

These words spoke to me despite all the circumstances that were against me! One difficulty was with my family. My parents did not want two girls to become religious sisters. They wanted me to get married and have children, but I didn’t feel that kind of call. My perseverance in my call brought me to Jerusalem where I am part of the novitiate initial formation program with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion.

I thank our Lord for choosing me to become a religious sister and serve him. I thank God for his intervention in my life and in the life of my family. I am happy to be in the Congregation of Notre Dame de Sion. I feel God’s presence in my life and in everything I do and learn.