In the past few months, once the last possible application date came and went in January, I’ve become more lonely. Not in the “I want a boyfriend” department, but in the “there’s no one I can turn towards”. Except Christ.
Through the years of discernment I had always heard of people discerning “singlehood”. Prior to moving out of my parents home, I thought I understood that. Living on my own, not accepted by any religious order and not having discerned marriage, I can say that’s not really appropriate. Friendships and weekend activities cannot begin to replace the graces and assistance available through community.
Singlehood is not a vocation, it is a state in life. Like being a parent, it can be part of the vocation of marriage, but it’s not the stopping point.
Very little consoles me in this time of knowing I’m without a community. Personally, community is important because I do not have family support. There is a lot of pressure to enter into marriage by my family, especially now that my sister is engaged. Most of my friends are married and of those, many with children. Others are in religious life.
I don’t fit in.
I try not to cry about it.
The Eucharist is the only time when I’m not upset or unsettled. Only He helps.
At this evening’s bible study session, the organizer, Jonathan, was able to get a local Franciscan priest to come and talk with us. We’ve always enjoyed the nights that Fr. Kevin comes over because he’s funny, but also it’s essentially “open mike night.” It’s our questions, rather than the theological verse-by-verse breakdown of Acts 8; although this is equally fruitful.
There was a good discussion going on homilies, what to expect, how to kindly and politely address issues with priests, pastors, etc. But there was one thing that stuck out to me this evening: “being present to the Present (Presence) in the present.” It’s being contemplative in action. It’s being aware that when you and I speak face to face, Christ is right there with us. Can we shut down Facebook, Blogger, Xanga, LiveJournal, MySpace, LinkedIn, BrightFuse, CareerBuilder, Indeed, Monster, &c for just once to notice that these things are rewarding us for being distracted and distant from the Only One who should matter to us? No wonder our chapels are empty, the Blessed Sacrament is abandoned. No one knows how to just sit with Jesus anymore!
Went on the SMME (Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist) retreat this weekend. I flew in Friday evening and had a convent dinner because 5 of us (including the Dominican priest) did not get in until after 6pm. There were only about 30 of us there for the first night – we had all flown in. One from Alaska, Oregon, Me (Los Angeles), Boston, Vermont, Texas, and NY, etc. It was in the 40s and 30s the whole weekend.
In the morning they took us to Domino’s Farms. Tom Monoham, the creator of Ave Maria Univ. set up a Catholic chapel in his Domino’s office building and its down the road from the convent. I met with Sr. Joseph Andrew, vocation director, on Saturday morning and asked for my papers. She asked if I wanted to wait until Sunday morning, after all night Eucharistic Adoration. No. She squealed with delight when she found out that Fr Thomas Nelson was my spiritual director, too! She said that my student loans were very manageable.
Before I left the convent on Sunday afternoon, I stopped by the Spiritus Sanctus Acdemey chapel. I looked about to make certain no one else was around. Back when I was interested in Opus Dei, I started to tell Jesus ‘Goodbye’ when I left the establishment. This time I said, aloud, “I’ll be back.”
So, I have my application. I should probably give Fr. Thomas a heads up before I start, though.