On Saturday, Sister Annette Embrich celebrated 50 years as a vowed member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. The occasion prompted her to reflect on how it all began, with a nudge from the Holy Spirit, she writes. Since Christians on Sunday celebrated Pentecost, the 50th day after Easter, when the Holy Spirit is said to have descended upon and inspired Jesus’ followers, her writings come at a good time.
Sister Annette spent much of her ministry in education, including with Spanish-speaking adults and children.
Years ago, as a young woman, I noticed a desire to live outside my comfort zone as a Catholic sister. But, I wasn’t sure what to make of it.
At first, I thought I was content living the ordinary routines of my life. However, these intrusions kept pounding at the door of my soul.
I tried to ignore them because I sensed that such a life would demand a whirlwind of changes I wasn’t prepared for. The Spirit kept stirring within me. So, I began praying fervently, and listening more attentively to what I suspected must be God speaking to me.
This is what I thought I heard: “My loved one, I am choosing you for something special. Leave your home, your family and go to Ruma, Ill., where the Adorers of the Blood of Christ live.
There, you will learn, discern, be of service, and dedicate yourself as one of them in love to me and my people. I have seen for myself that you are a woman of faith with many special and diverse gifts.
You have everything you need. You have nothing to fear. I will be with you at every moment. You are mine.”
I pondered these words over and over in my heart. I knew it was useless to try to run away from God, so I shared these ponderings with my mother. With support and prayer, my heart opened up to this possibility more and more. My desire started becoming more like that of the Spirit’s and in time, I wholeheartedly gave myself to God.
For 50 marvelous years, now, I am living, with God’s help and grace, the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience with the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, and sharing my life of love and service, joyfully, with all God’s people.
My whole being shouts out without reserve my immense gratitude for God’s faithful love and presence to me these 50 years. I feel blessed for having Jesus as the radiant center of my life! May God’s Spirit never stop stirring us to action.