The sheer number of religious communities, their variety: it stuns the mind.
Wandering around the Church, particularly in the last year, God granted me the grace to meet with religious Sisters of every description. Old congregations, new ones, the active, the cloistered --- you name it, I've seen them all.
Well, not really all - that is an exaggeration - but enough to begin to understand the immense gift God gave his Church.
Most were local plants - the local church needed something and God raised up religious to meet the need. Some taught, some prayed, some cared for the sick, or ransomed captives - and even among the cloistered nuns, he granted a tremendous diversity of flavor and call.
Because he love us, and cares for our needs. Every small corner of the Church has its religious, meeting whatever the particular need may be.
Often, women who come here ask the question: "Where do I begin?" There is so much information out there, it bewilders the young woman trying to find God's will. And so we pray - and they search their hearts for the particular passion that will drive their quest for holiness.
Matching that passion with the charism of a particular congregation is the challenge, the puzzle - and the adventure.