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Stepping into our Calling – Ordination of Maria Thornton McClain

“The changes in our life must come from the impossibility to live otherwise than according to the demands of our conscience.” -Leo Tolstoy 

I’ve been thinking about the ordination of the former nun, Maria Thornton McClain.

When we feel called in our hearts to serve Spirit, it does not matter whether we are black, gay, female, male, or transgendered; it does not matter if we are Asian, Latino, Arab, European, or Indian; and it does not matter if we are pagan, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Native American, Hindu, or Jewish. What matters is that we feel called. And more importantly, that we feel called to serve others.

For me, when I have felt that intense tug on my heart, I’ve heard an Eagle’s whistle. It gets my attention and says, “Turn this way, follow this path, and offer what you can for this person.” There is no mistaking the call. To turn away would be to walk away from my soul—it is simply not an option.

At other times, I have felt the call of Spirit while in communion with the river, trees, creatures, and soaring birds. Nature is my church. Deep listening is my practice. And writing is one means for my prayers. I would not want any person or organization telling me that I cannot serve or pray in the way I am called.

It may feel scary or risky at times to follow a path that does not neatly fit into what you have previously known for your life or to follow a path that others may not yet understand. But it is more risky not to take those steps—especially when you know in your heart the path that harkens to your deepest longings.

I imagine it is similar for a painter, poet, craftsman, parent, teacher, doctor, social worker, or any other calling where you accept what you are here to do and you feel it in the depth of your being. You know you are on the path meant for you, and you are doing your best to be of service—despite occasional difficulties, doubts, and obstacles.

As we step into those spaces where we feel called and support each other on the journey, we lift the world up in miraculous ways. We feel happier, more joyful, more in alignment with Spirit, and more caring of the people and places we love.

May it be so for you, today.

In Joy and Gratitude,


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