Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Sharon Paul reflects on what the Franciscan value of conversion means to her.
To me, CONVERSION takes a lifetime. It is challenging, on-going and exhausting. It began with Baptism, when I was gifted with Christ’s life in the soul and continued as I received the other sacraments.
These sacraments are the FUEL, especially the Eucharist, Penance and Confirmation, that keep my body and soul in rhythm, by being open to the Lord, withstanding worldly ways and in living the Gospel daily. The KEY to conversion is my relationship to the Lord and in using my God-given talents in furthering His Kingdom, by having a listening ear to His designs and in co-operating with others.
I live out conversion as a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity, by following the Rule of St. Francis as a member of St. Benedict’s Convent, Cambridge, Ohio, with my Sisters in community. Prayer, silence and conversion, in listening to the Lord’s direction, is essential. Matthew 18:3 says: “Unless you become like a little child you cannot enter Heaven.” Some helps in furthering the Lord’s relationship in my life are:
- Daily Meditation, Mass and Eucharist
- Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer in Community and once a week with parishioners
- Adoration & Benediction on Wednesdays at 4:00 P.M.
- Prayer Group each Monday with St. Vincent de Paul Group
- Spiritual Reading, Magazines, Books, Speakers and Catholic Papers
- Once a month Spiritual Discussion on the Sunday Liturgy & other Community Articles
- Write original “Principles, and “Reflections”
- Listen to outside speakers, programs, live or on the internet
- Member of “Christ’s Life Group”
In the Apostolate, I strive to live out my God-given talents as a Pastoral Minister and Counselor at Christ Our Light Parish by serving at 8 Assisted Nursing & Rehab Facilities, two hospitals and three surrounding towns of homebound individuals. Some of the duties performed:
- Attend all funerals & minister to the grieving, injured, sick, handicap, those on drugs, alcohol, single & divorced
- Refer the poor, hungry or needy for help in town
- Procure food, clothing and furniture for the needy
- Recommend clients to mental help agencies, to Senior Center for meals and transportation
- Work with our Pastor and Pastor Emeritus in anointing and returning ones back to the faith
- Work with many different cultures
Respect God’s Creation by:
- Being thankful for what we have
- Conserve water
- Recycle paper, glass and cans
- Support Right to Life by attending fundraisers
Attend Community, Church & School Events:
- Auction and fund raisers
- Plays, sports, programs and musicals
- Sing in Thanksgiving Ecumenical Choir, Lenten Speakers and Luncheons
- Respect and be attentive to other cultures
- Work on a Sacred Concert to raise monies for a Parish & School in Haiti
I learn from others far more than I give. Sometimes, it takes time to examine my own beliefs and biases, and to work with one another for a shared vision. YES, CONVERSION is never ending. It’s constantly turning from worldly matters and ways and I have to keep my gaze on JESUS. “They stand fast in the Lord.” (1 Thes. 3:8) Each day, I continue to strive for conversion and LIVE the spirit of the Beatitudes by Living the Gospel, in hope, for the Lord says in Matthew 28:20: “…I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS UNTIL THE END OF THE AGE!”