Living on a Prayer

The telephone rang. My eyes opened wide. I lay in bed peering through the small crack in my bedroom door. I stared at the rotary phone mounted to the wall in the living room. By the third ring, I looked up to heaven, crossed my fingers, and prayed, "Please God don't call me. Please don't call me."

I lived next door to the convent and knew that agreeing to be a nun meant agreeing to an unmarried life.  But Sr. Moira, my second grade teacher, wore a wedding band on her right hand. Nancy, Aimee, and I would whisper about her ring, wondering if she was really a nun.  

One day, just before lunch, we approached her at her desk. "Sister. how come you have a wedding ring?"
She looked at each of us, touched the ring on her finger, smiled, and said,"Why, I'm married to God!"

Married to God? How could she be married to God? Instead of clearing things up, her answer made us even more curious. Did she have a ceremony? Did they walk down the aisle together?

"When we become nuns, we make a vow to only be with God. We are devoted to him. This ring symbolizes my commitment to him. Just like we're married."

Nancy, who wanted so badly to be a nun asked, "But Sister, how did you know you wanted to be a nun?"

"I got the call from God," she answered.

For weeks after that, I would stare at the telephone. When it rang, my heart skipped a beat hoping it wasn't God looking for me. I didn't want to be a nun. I didn't want God to want me. 

So that night, as the phone reached its 5th ring, I continued to pray. When my sister finally answered it, I closed my eyes and held my breath. I saw her place her hand over the mouth piece of the receiver and call into the kitchen, "Mom, its for you." I exhaled, looked back up to the ceiling and mouthed the words, "Thank you," before finally falling asleep.

Hadley, MA, USA. Gloria DiFulvio is a writer whose writing appears in the Huffington Post, Ravishly and other publications. She loves to write Flash non-fiction about growing up Catholic and everyday musings.

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