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Sr. Maria Kim

Sr. Maria Kim-Ngan Bui

“God listens to the prayers of children in a special way.” My mother often said these words
 before praying with my brothers and me. As a result, I was sure that God was
always listening.

But junior high was a trying time. As I struggled to navigate through the youth culture
I couldn’t help but encounter, I became less sure of my relationship with God and my family.
Near the end of eighth grade, however, God gave me exactly what I needed—the opportunity
to go on a Life Teen retreat. At youth group, I heard well-reasoned explanations of the
faith, participated in a fun community of young people, and gained life-long friends
who share the story of discipleship with me.

Through that experience, I came to understand that God was offering me a story very different from the
one I saw and heard everywhere around me. God’s story was one of surprising mercy and continual
new life. It was an invitation to discover and experience the meaning of human life—a meaning
so much more glorious and real than I had ever imagined.

The certainty that I felt in prayer as a small child has been profoundly transformed.
(Actually it’s still being transformed now!) But I will be forever grateful for the in-breaking light
of God’s story of grace and his call for me to become part of it. As a Daughter of St. Paul,
I hope to share Jesus with the children we serve at our JClub Catholic Book Fairs and with
all of you who will read the Pauline Kids Storyline blog. May each of us come to know
how attentively God listens to our prayers, and embrace his hopes for our fullness of life.