| By Sister Tonette Sperando, O.S.B.

God’s navigational buoys

“What will this day be like? I wonder. What will my future be? I wonder.” As a child, I was drawn to those lines from The Sound of Music because they spoke to my heart, encouraging me to view everything around me with curiosity, excitement, and wonder. Those words, then and now, remind me to walk through life with confidence and joy knowing that God is the source of all that is good and that each day provides opportunities for rejoicing in that goodness, giving God glory, and serving the needs of the people I encounter.

I often reflect on the goodness of God I encounter through various people and experiences on my life’s path. Those people and experiences are like navigational buoys, directing me along the route toward the fulfillment of my religious vocation. My parents instilled in my siblings and me that faith in God is the foundation upon which everything rests. They made selfless sacrifices in order to provide us with a Catholic education that not only provided exceptional educational opportunities, but that also taught the importance of building community while sharing God’s love with others.

While in college, God placed another navigational buoy in my life. A former high school teacher who knew of my discernment reminded me that God simply wanted me to be happy. She encouraged me not to be afraid, but to live my life to its fullest. She told me that if God was calling me to a religious way of life, I could not run from it. Although I tried to do just that, God continued to speak to my heart until I desired to draw closer to God through the Benedictine way of life.

My vocational journey did not end upon entrance into the community. The love, wisdom, and encouragement that I received from my religious sisters led me to pursue more advanced educational studies and to expand my experiences with various ministries within the monastery and in the larger Church community.

I pray that I will always remain curious, excited, and full of wonder about all that God places before me on life’s journey. I pray for discernment as I encounter God’s never-ending guidance as I face each day’s new opportunities to love and serve in God’s name. I am grateful to God for my religious vocation and to the people and experiences God places in my life along the journey. I am truly blessed.

Sister Tonette Sperando, O.S.B., is president of St. John Paul II Catholic High School, Huntsville.