Posting while Nervous

“Is this the last day before your vacation?” Asked the roommate as she stood in the partially open door, on her way out to supervision at the office, later into the field. I stood over the cutting board with my diced apple prepared for submersion into hot bran cereal.

“What?”

“Is this the last day before your vacation?” She repeated.

I shrugged in response, “Yeah, I guess.”

It’s not a vacation. It’s a trip to a very particular monastery during the next four days. It’s a dry run of living the nuns’ lives to see if that’s to be my life until after I’m dead. She doesn’t know this, and all of my colleagues, coworkers nor my supervisor are in the same boat as she. The agency I work for openly embraces the LGBTQ community, evidenced by the spectrum of people employed & the clientele served.
Life is somewhat awkward now. People want to know where I’m going, and I offer information such as “a retreat with my church”, thinking that I’m Catholic and the Church is very large, with lots of property, so nosey people can’t begin to guess. This spawns more questions such as “Oh I did one of those. What lectures are you going to?” To which I reply is a “quiet retreat”. “So, like, you won’t talk?” No, I have little interest in talking, despite what I do for work.

There’s a new male employed in the office in the past three weeks. Males are somewhat rare after the feminization of the therapeutic/counseling/psychiatric field. I’m the last woman on my team who is seemingly unattached. Everyone else is married, divorced, dating, or engaged. Due to the aforementioned issue of vocation-must-not-be-named, I’m the crowd favorite. It ticks me off, this truly pushes my buttons, especially this week. I don’t want gossip mill whirling and churning; plotting out whether I’ll hook up with this man or date him. (The Rolling Stone’s She’s So Cold should be my theme song).

Anyway, my monastery visit begins tomorrow with my supposed arrival at 10am and ends with my departure from there Sunday at 10am. I was looking at the Liturgy of the Hours booklet/guide and saw this weekend is chockfull with glorious saints like Edith Stein.
Happy FEAST of the Transfiguration.

Americans remember that novena of fasting from meat for the following 9 days begins today along with a consecration of your hunger with a Rosary & prayer to St Michael the Archangel, ending on the 14th for the intention of ending the Black Mass scheduled for Oklahoma next month on Sept 21st.

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Vocational Update 3? or 4? Who knows?

I’ve been quiet about this – at least in the details. I will continue to be quiet until more is understood. I first wrote a letter to a monastery in June, and have been slowly gaining in communication since then via email and phone calls. I will be visiting a monastery from Thursday August 7th through Sunday August 10th. In lieu of a stipend to stay at the guest house, I’ll be working with the sisters for a few hours each day. If I’m really diligent and finalize the vocation questionnaire, I may be able to speak with the Novitiate during recreation one evening.

I’ve told my spiritual director, and three additional friends, the specific details. My parents are not aware. My sister, once she reads this blog post will know precisely the information that is here and nothing more. How come? What happens when you spread your business everywhere – is anything respected? Is it honored? Is it accepted? I’ll bet you a student loan that the answer is ‘No’. Everyone runs roughshod all over your thoughts, your desires, God’s desires for you, and so forth; suddenly everything is up for debate.

In my previous experience in trying to enter the DSMMEs (Thank goodness I did not; I loathe teaching.) I was told a great number of things:
~ we should use this to get more drinks at the bar
~ you’re a lesbian
~ you’re a disgrace
~ you’re neglecting your responsibility
~ you’re throwing your life away
~ do you know how other women will touch you?
~ what about sex?
~ you should go do all the things that you can’t do once you enter
~ that’s a blessing
~ you’ll save your family
~ what grace

See how the vast majority of responses are negative and bitter? How focused they are on an erroneous thought that I’m losing something when I enter religious life. Rather, consider what I gain, in a non-materialist way: God. I have Him. All of Him. His full and complete attention. I get to respond to His love for me in a unique way, a way that I was created to do. I have the ability to work in cooperation with God.

This world will kill you; it will kill me. It will slay me to death with pride, lust, sloth/laziness, anger, greed, gluttony. I do not choose this world. I was born in the world at the time God wanted me to exist here, but He did not make me or you to be immersed in it to the extent that you can lose yourself in it. He bought you and me at the price of His Son’s Flesh, Blood, Soul and Divinity hanging tattered and exsanguinated on a Roman cross at the behest of the Jewish elders.

Keep me in your prayers, I’ll pray for you – you can leave requests in the comment box or you can (I think?) email or message me.

Purpose of This Blog

I realize this is missing on this site, and I’ve been putting it off until I siphon posts from Blogger (2 sites) & Xanga (purportedly shutting down) to explain who I am, and what exactly is habit forming.

In September of 2006 I began discernment. What does that mean, you ask. “Discern” means to discover or to seek out, and “ment” adds on the meaning of entering into an active seeking out of something. More correctly in the way that “discernment” is used is the seeking out of the vocation God gives to each of us at conception & fills us with graces to fulfill at baptism, and we grow in holiness as we age. In short, I have a vocational calling to be a “woman religious” the progressive sisters in polyester pant-suits would call it; God is calling me to enter religious life as either a nun or a sister.

That is why this site is called “Habit Forming”: I’m walking a narrow path that will eventually allow me to wear all the days of my life a religious habit and slowly be formed in the Potter’s hands.

Does it usually take 7 years to figure out what/where God is calling someone? No, but it takes a few years to pay off $50,000 of student debt from graduate school. I recently used my tax refund check to pay off an entire loan. In other words, I paid off $20,000 in 1.5 years. I would pay it off faster if I could, but I’m a social worker: I don’t make a lot of money. Which leads me to another point, I wanted to merge all my posts here from Blogger & Xanga to show the progression of my discernment, as I will eventually need a platform to seek donations. This blog, hopefully, will be that platform.

God Bless & Mary Keep

Lent 2009

For years I’ve had one image of Lent, that of going out into the desert. To me the desert signifies letting go of things, of sacrifice, and ardent prayer. This is imagery not only given in readings such as this Sunday’s (Mk 1:12-15) which briefly describes Christ being driven into the desert for fasting and resistance to temptation for 40 days. Or even Hosea, where the proverbial adulterous wife is hedged in, wooed in the desert and so forth.

However I was recently thinking that Lent should invite us to something closer to Christ: the scene between Him and St Simon helping Him take up the gloriously wretched Cross. Are we walking with Christ, close enough that we can be friends, or the bride as He is the Bridegroom? Can we claim to be His helpmate as Eve was to designed to be for Adam?

Lifestyle

“Those who are well do not need physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” Mark 2:17

If one is ill, what does it do to the person? Things go awry biologically and the body goes into overdrive trying to purge itself of the impurities, the disease, the bacteria. So, too the Soul. How does one person come to purge their soul of impurities and sinful ways? St John the Baptist tells us the first thing to be done is repentance because the Kingdom of God is at hand, now is the time (Mt 3:2). Repentance and true sorrow for sin before God is how the Soul heals itself.

“A good person brings forth good out of a store of goodness, but an evil person brings forth evil out of a store of evil.” Matthew 12:35

Just as the body heals itself biologically and neurologically from an illness, to create immunity, the Soul has to show internal changes. One of many ways for the status of a Soul to be judged is by its fruit. Christians have to be on guard to ensure that worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things do not intrude and choke the Word (Mk 4:18-19). The Soul invariably becomes focused on God, but St Paul cautions, that just as an infant cannot consume solid food, so too the new Believer cannot produce stupendous works immediately.

However there are some immediate changes that need to be made. Love needs to be extended towards each and every person, just as God indiscriminately died for and loves each one of us into Being (Jn 15:17). From sorrowful repentance to God, we are charged to change our evil ways. For St Paul reminds the Church in Corinth that fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, boy prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunk or slanderous will not enter the kingdom of God. The Saint goes on to say that “such were you, but now you are sanctified.” The statement of the members of Corinth’s church were once sinners, but they have since put that sinful lifestyle behind them, shows how God charges, almost commands us to change.

Only those who observe the Law of God are justified, not merely those who hear it. Therefore, there is a huge difference between those who call Christ their Lord and try to change their lifestyle for Him, and those who have these Truths go in one ear and out the other. The Law needs to be practiced, just as much as it is taught. (Romans 2:13).

What is God’s Law? Better yet, the Bible is much clearer on what it is not. It is not homosexuality, wickedness, evil, murder, treachery, slander, gossip, looseness, promiscuity, greed, malice, envy, rivalry, spite, sloth, vanity, pride, and worldliness.
So what are Christians to do? To repent, be baptized, and take on the light and sweet yoke of Christ. In other words, don’t look back.