Written by Barb Spies, OFS, Director of Mission Services and Pastoral Care

How did you choose your career path? Is it something you have always felt you should be doing? Did you make a switch at some point along the way to something different? Are you currently working on next steps, your next role, perhaps with increased training? We are pushed very early on to make decisions that are meant to set our career choices, even as early as age 17 or so. Are we ready? Sometimes it takes a big life change for us to redirect our path: A loss of a job, a move to another location, a change in family circumstances. Sometimes it is just that we are looking for fulfillment in another way. I recently observed the joy of a staff member who moved from one area of Felician Village to a completely new role. Each day he goes by with a spring in his step. He’s found a calling that brings him happiness.

Blessed Angela, the Foundress of the Felician Sisters, struggled with what her call in life would be. She thought she’d be a cloistered nun, but as she came closer to that possibility, she realized that she was really compelled to work in the world to serve others. Many Franciscan Sisters and Brothers have felt this same call to active service. Her biographer, Maria Winowska, notes, “it was not the cloistered seclusion but the active-contemplative life which was to become the distinguishing mark of the religious structure in this community.” The Felician Sisters have, from the beginning of their congregation in the mid-1800s in Poland, spent time each day in prayer and in serving the needs of those  around them.

John O’Donohue wrote a lovely blessing for work, found in To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings. I hope that this blessing offers you a moment of reflection on what you do and how you serve others.

“May the light of your soul bless your work with love and warmth of heart. May you see in what you do the beauty of your soul. May the sacredness of your work bring light and renewal to those who work with you and to those who see and receive your work. May your work never exhaust you. May it release wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration, and excitement. May you never become lost in bland absences. May the day never burden. May dawn find hope in your heart, approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities, and promises. May evening find you gracious and fulfilled. May you go into the night blessed, sheltered, and protected. May your soul calm, console, and renew you.”

Blessed Angela: “Let us not consider it a duty, but only have a desire to serve.”

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