by: Sr. Kim Young Sun Anastasia
When I look back on my own history, it becomes clearer that the desire to seek God is inherent in every person, Christian or non-Christian, from the moment of creation.
Born into a Confucian family in a small village in the countryside, I had never seen a place called a Catholic Church from afar until I went to high school. From a young age, I enjoyed reading books or playing imaginative games alone at home rather than going out to play. When I was in middle school, I started to search for the reason why humans have to live a short life after being born and then die like the dew of dawn and they dry up and disappear in the rising sun. These unanswered questions disappeared into the background as they were pushed to study and work life, and to survive in a fiercely competitive society, I just lived day by day, doing more and trying to learn more than others.
In these busy days, one day, a question I had forgotten about all of my existence again enveloped me. Why do humans have to be born and die? Without an answer to this question, life is meaningless.
As I was wandering in search of the answer to this question, I happened to pass a church near my house while walking immersed in thought on my way home from work. Passing through the statue of a woman standing in the middle of the yard of the church, and entering the church with the door open, a man named Jesus was found hanging helplessly on the cross under a dim light. With the vague expectation that this weak-looking man named Jesus would give me answers to my questions, I went to the church a few weeks later and expressed my desire to become a believer and after receiving the catechesis for a year, I got baptized. Before I was baptized, I bought all kinds of spiritual books through a Catholic bookstore and started reading them. The nuns invited me to a vocational meeting and started attending such meetings even before I was baptized.
However, after I was baptized, the Holy Spirit led me to a new desert called China. I quitted my job and volunteered in a Chinese leprosy village for 5 years. As I shared the joys and pains with them, making the wounds of their bodies and minds mine, I started to ask again what God really wants of me.
“God, do you want me to spend the rest of my life here with these sick people as a lay? Or do you want to follow the path of Religious Life?”
I waited for five years for an answer to this question, and when I let go of my will, God showed me the way He had prepared. It’s the religious life, a simple and humble way of living, like that of the life of Nazareth.
That humble way of life burned like a fireball in my heart, and I found through the internet, the Capuchin Sisters living the spirituality of St. Francis, a minor saint, and God brought me into contact with the Community in Bucheon, Korea.
On my first visit, on that very day, I was convinced that this was the order I would live in, and after three visits, I decided to join. I was given the homework to convince my non-religious family, but I did the preparations I had to do, trusting that God called and He would take care of it.
“I believe when God calls, He will take care of me.”
Contrary to my worries, my family respected the path I wanted to take, and now I am living as the first Korean religious in the Bucheon community where I had my first vocational meeting. There is no point in resisting if you have felt the call of God. What I can say with more certainty after making my final vow is that He provides the best for us. What we humans can see is but one point in His plan, which is bigger than the universe. So, once you have heard His voice, it is the wisdom of life to surrender to Him and do the best you can. Then, with the five loaves I own, God will provide enough for 5,000 people to eat.
There is no death in life. The death of the body only changes the form of life. So, there is no need to ask any more questions.
With the question of “the meaning of life and death,” God led me to seek Him even before I was baptized and called me to where I am today. I live that calling. That is important, and that is happiness.