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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vocation to Religious Life

Mary Ann Hardey felt the call to be a Religious of the Sacred Heart soon after her arrival at Grand Coteau. At first, she was attracted to Mother Aude and saw her love for the Society of the Sacred Heart; when June came, Mary Ann found the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus resonated in her during the daily devotions. She began to contemplate the love of the Heart of Jesus for her and for each and inside her she felt the call to respond to that love and lead others to know the love of His Heart.
Mother Anna Xavier Murphy had come to Grand Coteau just a few months before Mary Ann began to board there. Mother Murphy was an Irish woman who had entered the Society in 1820; Mother Barat recognized that she would be an excellent missionary to sail with Lucille Mathevon in 1822. Mary Ann found herself attracted to this young Irish nun. Mother Williams tells us that Mary Ann heard Mother Murphy say one day, "When I was a little girl.." and she cried out abruptly to the nun, "were you ever a little girl?" Then Mother Murphy explained that ordinary people are sometimes called by God to give themselves to a special kind of life all for Him. From that moment, Mother Hardey said later, "I date my conversion. Since nuns were once like me, why cannot I be like them. And for that end I began to correct my faults." Mary Ann Hardey found that she admired Mother Murphy because she radiated the presence of God. She said that she seemed to hear an interior voice telling her, "What others have done you can do." She knew without doubt that she would be a Religious of the Sacred Heart.

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