Courtney Gerrity, who had been discerning with our Little Sisters in Mobile, but who is from Waldorf, Maryland, officially entered the Little Sisters of the Poor as a postulant at our home on January 24th. Please enjoy Courtney’s reflections…
Sometimes words are not enough to explain how you feel about something. Sometimes there are experiences in life that are so deep that words alone do not even scratch the surface. This is what happened to me when I fell in love with Jesus. It was the end of my freshman year in college when I started to have the feeling that I was called to religious life. There was a small voice that was deep inside me that was calling me. This voice was Jesus. It was a call. I remember during the summer before sophomore year I did some research about religious life–wanting to learn more, but still questioning myself. I still had this feeling that this was not for me. It was hard to understand what any of this meant. I felt kind of strange that Jesus wanted me. What did I have to offer to Him? I knew that Jesus loved me, but I did not know how much He loved me. However, I also did not realize how much I loved Him and how much I wanted Him in my life.
Then the summer was over and I went back to college. In September I saw the Little Sisters of the Poor on television and looked them up online. I found their life interesting. I learned about their Spring into Service program and it looked very interesting. This summer I did the Spring into Service program at the Home in Mobile, Alabama, and I absolutely loved it so much. It was so much more powerful and meaningful then I ever thought it would be. I knew that I would enjoy it, but I had no idea how much! I loved the residents and the Sisters. I loved praying the Divine Office every day and being able to go to Mass every day… serving the residents and just being there for them. Some of them have no family, or their family is estranged from them. It was so beautiful to show to them that they are loved and that their lives have meaning–even when the world has forgotten them. I remember the Sisters telling me that when you serve the residents, you are serving Jesus. I had never thought about that. I did not realize that Jesus was not just at church, but also in the people that you see in the world. In July I realized that I wanted to be a Little Sister of the Poor. I wanted to live this way for the rest of my life. I loved the residents so much and I loved Jesus so much. I loved how I felt. I think I found the thing that was missing from my life.
The voice inside of me that has been calling me since my freshman year was becoming even clearer. This is what Jesus wants me to do. There was only one problem, though: college. I wanted to finish college. So at the end of the summer I went back home from my service experience and then I went back to college. Halfway through my fall semester, I realized that I could not fight the feeling that I had anymore. Since July I had wanted to be a Little Sister of the Poor, but I really did want to finish college first. It became so hard to concentrate and it was starting to affect my work. Then I realized: Sometimes in life it is not what you want that is important, not what your parents want, but what Jesus wants, since He is what really matters in life–even when you think in the moment that His will is not what you want. Jesus since July had been down on His knee saying to me, “Courtney, marry me.” I just could not say “yes” yet because I wanted to finish college first, but I realized that that is not what Jesus wants. Jesus wanted me now. Then with all the courage I have I said “yes”.
This was one of the best days of my life. A feeling of peace came over me. I knew in my heart that this is what I want, but even more important it is what Jesus wants. Now on January 24th I am going to be entering the Little Sisters of the Poor. I am so excited, but I know Jesus is even more excited! I love Jesus and I cannot wait to give my life to Him and take care of the elderly poor. The love that I have for Jesus is so indescribable that words are not enough to explain it. I just know that in my heart this is what I am called to do. Never stop listening to the little voice in your head; I am so glad that I listened to it. He always knows what you want even when you do not know it yet.