Reflection for the Passing of St. Benedict
March 21, 2023
Sister Nicole Kunze
In the Rule of Saint Benedict, on the chapter regarding new members, he said that the main concern should be whether the newcomer truly seeks God. I believe that question is pertinent to any one, not just to the members of my monastic community. Do you truly seek God? It isn’t a question to ask ourselves just once. We probably should ask it on a daily basis. I believe my “yes” today is in a more honest and convincing manner now than I could have 27 years ago when I made my first profession.
On this feastday, I can’t help but reflect on the vocation of our last founding sister, Sister Elizabeth Novy. At the time of the dedication of the University of Mary’s Founders Hall in 2017, the university made a short video interview of Sister Elizabeth talking about her vocation and the founding of our community. She passed away in 2020. I watch that video often since I show it to nearly every class or group I speak to on campus. Sister Elizabeth stated her vocation in a clear and succinct way: “Why did I become a sister? I fell in love with Jesus. I fell in love with the sisters, too.”
Sister Elizabeth lived the Benedictine life for 80 years. Throughout her life, she sought God each and every day. In her later years, one of our sisters said to Sister Elizabeth, “Sister, thank you for being such a great example of how to the Benedictine life.” Sister Elizabeth thought for a bit and responded, “When I think about it, that is about all I have to do today.”
On this feast of St. Benedict, I give thanks for each and every sister of Annunciation Monastery, past and present, and the way they responded to their vocation. I am grateful for the example they provide me and the world of what joy and love can come from seeking God and serving God’s people.