I love sports, in particular running. As a sister, would I have to give that up? –Rachel W.
I adore sports as well and am dying to find a local roller derby club that will take on a nun with questionable skating skills! Many of we religious enjoy sports whether as players or spectators. In my IHM congregation, for example, we have a sister who is in a basketball league, another who runs weekly, and many who are cyclists at all levels. In addition we have annual Michigan vs. Ohio State tailgating parties where being a spectator can become a full contact sport!
In many if not all religious communities, there is a place for sports and exercise. The degree to which that is possible varies across communities depending on their mission and customs. Engaging in most kinds of sport is not only good for one’s health but for one’s spirit as well. We recognize that God speaks to us in a variety of ways, including the “languages” that are most native to us—for you it sounds as if running may be that kind of language (check out a blog post I wrote on cycling and meditation).
So there is a very real way that a sport like running can be incorporated into your life of prayer as a sister. There’s also the possibility that it can be a form of ministry, too. Some of the sisters belonging to the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Healing Love have turned running into a way to help children deal with behavioral issues and improve their school work.
I encourage you to keep running and explore how this gift can help you in your own spiritual journey, as well as help others.
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