The middle of summer always makes me want to be at the beach, something I don’t often experience living in the center of the USA. I cherish memories of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen, and Barbados stands at the top of the list. The aquamarine waters of the Caribbean Sea surround this tiny coral island fringed with white sand. I think it’s a preview of heaven. And its beauty is reflected in the spirits and hearts of the local people.
The Ursulines have served on the island for over 100 years. Sr. Barbara McLean, a member of our community there, is a genuine “Bajan“. Her reflections on life as a Religious illustrate the lively spirit and love that flow from God in this very beautiful place on earth:
“Having been an Ursuline for over 50 years has given me a lifetime to say “YES” to God over and over again. Somewhere in my childhood, I mysteriously experienced God in Jesus touching my heart with a love from which I have never been able to escape. I was not a goody-goody type of child or teenager and am often surprised that God has called and chosen me to such a life. Miracles still happen! This personal experience of Jesus and his action in my life makes all the difference in the world and I cannot turn back.
Following God’s calling offers comfort AND affliction, consolation AND challenge. Love requires the total gift of self again and again. Over the years, in good times and in troubled times, God has helped me keep this real sense of being loved completely by Jesus deep down in my most inner being, “my guts”—a joy that the most troubling challenges have not been able to remove. Don’t ask me how—ask my God! I wonder at times why I ever chose a way of life that goes so contrary to the way of the world around me. But I cannot deny that Jesus has come into my life and made all the difference in the world. His gift of the Holy Spirit makes my life of discipleship in Religious life possible day after day.