When I look at consecrated life, the first image that comes to me is that of a GIFT that the Trinity gives the world.
This gift is updated at every period of history, according to the context, culture, events ... What changes is the "wrapping," but on the "inside" it is always God's unconditional and merciful plan of love for us all.
"In calling you, God says, 'You are important to me, I love you, I count on you.' This is what Jesus says to each one of us! That's where joy is born!--the joy of that moment when Jesus looked at me. To understand and feel this, is the secret of our joy. To feel loved by God, to feel that for God we are not numbers but individuals; and to feel that it is God who calls us." (Pope Francis)
Jesus' words come spontaneously to mind: "It is not you who chose me, but I have chosen you that you should go forth and bear fruit, fruit that will last." (John 15.16)
Personally, I had never thought about becoming a religious sister. In 1994, I went to Mali as a tourist but seeing the injustices, lack of schools, teachers and the need for missionaries, I felt the voice of Jesus calling me by my name to collaborate with him.
Today I am Missionary Sister of Our Lady of Africa. For us, a strong and ardent attachment to Jesus Christ and our love of the African people is what transforms and unifies our lives.
Pope Francis states that "the beauty of consecration is the joy of bringing God's consolation to everyone. The root of this joy is nourished by a believing and persevering listening to the Word of God. At the school of the Master we hear: "Let my joy be in you that your joy may be full." (John 15:11).
Sister Maite Oiartzun Baraibar her blog