Through the way of carmel


“The voice of my beloved! Here he comes and says to me:

Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come “ (Ct 2,8)

The call of God in my life

The first memory of my vocation, goes back to the days of my childhood, when I was 4 or 5 years old. I was very dear to my Parish priest and the nuns of my Parish, because I was almost the only girl of my age that attended the daily Mass.

It was a great pleasure to them to pose this question to me: “What do you want to be when you are older? I always responded to them: “religious, but never a Carmelite”. I often heard talks about Saint Therese of Lisieux, and even though I was still small I understood that she had lived behind grates and this absolutely I did not like, and I said to myself: “I never want to be locked up like her”. This was the decision of my childhood. During the last year of school, in the catechesis of my parish there was an occasion to write a personal letter to Jesus. I remember well that the other children had written to request certain graces, and I, I made a promise to the Lord: To be religious.  I remember that I even had the boldness to read it in front of everyone.

When I was 15 years old, I lived a very great inner trial, prayed and cried much before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, but this trial gave me the opportunity to think what is the meaning of the life of man on the Earth. This is the first time that I thought seriously about the profound sense of life, above all I understood that this life is fleeting.

I felt the great desire to do of my life something beautiful and great and nonbanal. One day during prayer, I felt the call of the Lord and an inner voice that indicated Carmel to me. After this call, I thought about Carmel day and night. I took to Carmel with much nostalgy. And as I did not know it very well, I began to search….

I began to assiduously read the works of Saint Therese of Lisieux, Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Jesus. Nevertheless, I loved in a particular way Therese, the spiritual childhood indicated a short and direct way to Jesus, its doctrine seemed to me very deep and at the same time full of simplicity. I like these two aspects: depth and simplicity, that well are harmonized in her, then through this I perceived the work of the Holy Spirit in this great Saint, our sister. As I considered myself of the number of the small souls, I wanted to learn from her how to love Jesus, as she had loved him.

With the reading of the works of our Carmelite Saints my horizons were expanding, but I also felt the need to find someone who lives Carmelite spirituality and that could help me in this way.

It is so I began to go every 15 days to the convent of our Carmelite fathers to confess and to receive spiritual nourishment, that comes from Carmel. At 18  I visited two monasteries of Carmelites in Korea, but the doors to Carmel were always closed to me. The sisters asked me to come later, after having a university diploma and the age of 24 or 25.

At this answer, I was discouraged, but I continued to pray to the Lord saying to him: “Nothing is impossible to you, I will enter, when you want and as you want”. I waited for whenever the Lord opened the door to me to Carmel and he gave me the answer in the way that I less expected it.
When I was19 years old, I worked in the Hospital and one day the priest who accompanied me in the Spiritual Direction told me that I should learn French, without giving me a reason. I wanted to know why I had to study it, but seeing his determination, I preferred to accept his proposal. Later, I seriously put myself to learn French. Continuing with my work, I began to attend twice per week the French Alliance, for 10 months.

I continued to go to the Carmelite fathers, when one day my director says to me, if I wanted to enter Carmel in the Holy Land and I said to him “Yes”. With his aid and his recommendation I wrote a letter to the Carmel of Nazareth, and after some time I received the answer from Carmel. Without a doubt, the hand of the Lord settled on me with tenderness.

I did not know anything the country for which I left my people. As Abraham I left it all… I was not brave, but the grace of the Lord helped me. I never thought to enter a foreign Carmel, but the ways of the Lord go beyond ours.

He has given everything me that I have yearned for. The vocation of being a missionary fascinated me from my youth, without knowing how this desire would be realized. And I have here, that the Lord found the means to realize it, sending me to the Holy Land, Land of the Incarnation, so that I can live my missionary vocation.

Jesus, sent by the Father, has assumed all of his mission becoming man, equal in everything. If all the mystery of our Redemption begins with the Incarnation, I am in the heart of the mystery, by living Nazareth.

When I think of my vocation, I find a single reason that has brought me up here: “the one to consecrate myself totally to Jesus and to his service”.

After I left my family and my country, my father has converted ; before he did not practice religion, now he prays every day for me. God has given me a new family, all of Carmel, that is in the Heart of the Church and opens me to a universal dimension.

It is 13 years since I am in Carmel and I am very happy.

These words of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity help me to deepen the sense of my vocation as a Carmelite:
“To be the spouse of Christ, it is to have all the rights to his Heart…
It is a dialog of love for all life…
It is to live with… always with…
It is to rest with and allowing him to rest in our soul.
The Carmelite is an a adoring soul
Docile to all divine inspiration
In constant communion with her God
She has discovered the only necessary thing
The divine being who is Light and Love.
She surrounds the whole world in her prayer
She is a true apostle of the Lord

Sr. Maria Kolbe of the Holy Face (Korean)
Carmelite of Nazareth