Beautiful piece by Una Agnew (from the ACP website

It is easy to distrust the outsider’s view of religious life since it is what it is, a way of life, which the outsider however well intentioned can only assess from the outside. All left brained assessments of religious life will demonstrate enormous certitude based on details drawn as honestly as possible from the external worlds of various ministries and badly attempted ‘good works’. 

No one will remember that we were once ordinary young girls growing up in Ireland who simply chose another way of life. We were idealistic and probably naive but we gave our young lives cheerfully, energetically, and single-mindedly to God and others, doing our best to mature as women, as educators, through the struggles and transitions of midlife and the wisdom and vulnerabilities of later life. Religious life, no better or no worse than other ways of life offers possibilities for growth and the possibility of making a difference in society. 

There is no perfect way to live one’s life. Like the good athlete we try to leave everything on the field of play and there may be no one to come after us to remember. We have no progeny, that’s what we singed up for. The harvest is invisible, it belongs in another currency.