Tuesday, November 3, 2015

'Why Me, Lord?': A Vocation Story

by Sister Caroline Clark, D.C.

I am Sister Caroline Clark, originally from Grand Rapids, Mich., and recently moved to Evansville, Ind., from Detroit.

I have been a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul for almost 63 years. I knew nothing about the beautiful charism of the Service of the Poor before entering the Daughters of Charity.

My plan was to stay only for six months to free my mind as to why I was selected out of about 200 girls to crown Blessed Mother in my senior year at Catholic Central High School. Whenever I became serious about engagement and marriage, this enigma of "Why me, Lord?" would surface and refuse to leave.

Neither did God stop pursuing me after six months, a year, two years, until finally, like Jeremiah, I cried, "You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped; You were too strong for me and You triumphed." So I became a Daughter of Charity and learned to live in community in spirit of humility, simplicity and charity while teaching in schools for many years.

For the past nine years as the regional spiritual advisor of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, I have personally experienced the generosity of the lay members of the Society and their dedication to the destitute and underprivileged throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. They taught me by their example how to generously give my time and talents to those who are poor.

Now that I have moved to Evansville and am doing many more home visits each week, I see with my heart and eyes how the poor live.

Recently, I met a family whose wife just returned from the hospital. Due to her illness, her husband lost many days of work and got behind financially due to the added doctors' bills, etc.

The only way this young father could prevent a Vectren shut-off was to pay $45 in order to borrow $300, which then put him further behind. It is when I return from such home visits that St. Vincent de Paul's words ring out in my ears: "The poor have much to teach us."

I have discovered what it truly means to live a simple lifestyle and to place my life in the hands of Divine Providence. It is no wonder our Community is thriving in the poorest areas of the world.

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