By the way, I was hanging out with one of the coolest women in Washington yesterday: Deidre Byrne, Army colonel, surgeon, and religious sister. (At that breakfast that did not quite make the news.)
My father was a busy thoracic surgeon but still made it a priority to attend Mass every day before work. My mother got us ready for school and then went to 9 a.m. Mass – no small commitment since she was raising eight children. From the faithful, loving example of my parents, my brothers and sisters and I learned what it means to have Christ within you. Parents should never underestimate the influence they have on their children’s spiritual lives.
Growing up, I looked at the events of the world around me through a religious lens in an attempt to find their deeper meaning. The religious life – serving God and the poor – was a constant draw for me.
I have learned God doesn’t always call us to do big things; it’s the day to day little things we do that help us make God present to others. St. Therese of Lisieux, the patron saint of missionaries, said, “We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”
I wake up every day and I love my life. For me, it is not a holy vocation, but a holy vacation.