It seems that the topic of religious life popped up not consistently, but rather about once a year in clusters. Sure, it was on my mind here and there since that first questioning, but there were definitely times it came out more. The second time (after that weekend mission trip and my friend planning on entering) that religious life came up in my life was on my pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2008 in Australia.
Before I can share with you my the topic of religious life, I must share something else amazing. At the Papal arrival, I got to be 5 or so yards away from Pope Benedict XVI! Three of us started to cry, it was kind of ridiculous. The thing is, there was someone who has grown in such great holiness and was chosen by God from down the line since the time of Jesus to lead the Church. It was so amazing. Almost everything about that trip was so awesome.
Most of my time in Sydney was spent with a young priest ordained June 2008, Fr. Tom. During the our time hanging out, we visited the Vocations Expo twice. The first time was just out of pure curiosity. The second, was because he wanted me to go back. Fr. Tom asked me at random about religious life (at random because the whatever the previous conversation was wasn’t related). Out of my mouth slipped the words I guess so. From there, Fr. Tom shared it with the other priest that was with our group (we were only 14). As well, we were talking with a sister while heading to wait in line for seeing the cathedral; Fr. Tom mentioned to her that I was thinking of religious life. Basically, I was forced to think of it more seriously.
Those two weeks abroad changed my view on religious life, as I became more open to it, even though pushing it to the back of my mind was still a road I traveled. Oh little did I know! (yes, the point is coming soon, this is a story, suspense folks!)