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A religious sister’s perfect response to whether she doubts her faith

Nun on bench Instagram interview

Davnesto | Instagram

Cerith Gardiner - published on 09/16/23

A Swiss photographer stopped to chat to Sister My-Lan, and her open and sincere responses to his questions make for essential listening.

A Swiss photographer, Davide Nestola, uses his talent to share human interest stories. So it was wonderful to see him stop and chat to a religious sister who was sitting on a bench.

In a post titled “Portrait of a Sister,” the photographer asked Sr. My-Lan Michaela Nguyen if she wouldn’t mind answering some questions. The religious happily agreed. Her responses were both interesting and surprising.

Nestola firstly asked her how her calling “manifested ” itself — stopping to ask if that was indeed the correct expression to use. After she reassured him that, yes, it was the right word, and that her calling came as a surprise, at a moment in her life when she wasn’t on a “spiritual quest.” She went on to reference St. Augustine, who shared how he’d searched for God everywhere, but eventually found Him inside himself.

Sr. My-Lan also explained that her calling to become a religious sister happened the day she was baptized, that it was “very, very strong,” but she didn’t say “yes” straight away.

A question of doubt

The photographer then asked a question that many people might ask themselves: “Do you ever question your faith?”

The sister, who left Vietnam at the age of 20, explained:

The fact that God leaves this doubt that is in me, living in me, is a sign that God wants me to be free. If you lock up the person you love so she doesn’t leave, it’s no longer love.”

After discussing the role of the Church in her life, Sr. My-Lan sat for a few more shots and the video was then posted on social media, where it has garnered a lot of interest and comments.

A portrait to inspire

Where some people spoke of the wonderful way the photographer listened and interacted with his subject, which is indeed paramount to getting to the heart of an individual, others spoke of the warmth and kindness Sr. My-Lan conveyed.

One commentor quite rightly pointed out: “She radiates the love of Christ❤️.” Another person shared: “Wow. I’m not religious (these days) but I’ve never heard a more compelling, nor beautiful, commentary on faith.”

And it comments like these that reminds us of the important role curiosity plays in the search for meaning. It’s worth talking to those who’ve answered their calling; to discover and learn more about the power of faith.

The episode also makes us grateful for people like Davide Nestola who take the time to learn more about those whose lives might be far removed from their own, lives that are worth discovering and sharing to inspire all of us.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Davide – Swiss Photographer (@davnesto)

FaithSpiritual LifeVocation
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