So Many Things…

Unlike a lot of bloggers, I am not fasting my blogs for Lent; it’s booze. That’s difficult for any post-grad person who hangs out on campus, goes to bars, clubs, etc. Yes, for any jaw-droppers out there, I party like that. There’s some fun under all this straightlacing!

Sister Joseph Andrew asked me this week for an update on my discernment and about where I am with taking care of my student debt. I do not have a definitive answer for me, for you, or for her; and we all should have a response to the inquiry! I would love to know what God wants to happen.

That being said, I’ve got a lot of peace around the idea that I am not likely to enter the Dominican Sisters of Mary. I was heartbroken last year when I was accepted and unable to enter, but not this year. This is not resignation, this is an accepting, “Okay, God, if not the DSMME, where? Who?”

No order, as I stand right now, will seriously consider me with debt. So thus far I know that I cannot seriously apply and enter a convent for about 2 years, perhaps 3, considering I ardently desire for my sanity to move out of my parents’ house.

So I’ve got the “when” addressed. As for the where, there are several realizations coming to me, prayerfully of course.

First, I love the DSMME, but I think I was initially drawn to their vitality, youth, and faithfulness to Rome. These are all very lovely things to desire, but a vocational calling they do not make. I liked the idea of teaching, but having used this year to teach Confirmation, I can say I like teaching, but I do not love it. I cannot do it all the time. However teaching Confirmation and being involved with 2 parishes in the area have allowed me to experience retreats. I love helping out with retreats – teaching, coordinating, being in the background, and interceding for the retreatants.

What else do I like and look for in an expression of my faith? Spiritual warfare and intercession finds me; I don’t go looking for it. Now, provided some of that is directly related to the fact I live at home and family members invite idolatry and occultic practices in; yet I’m around it even outside of the family house.

Third, I’m not attached to any of the Dominican saints; they are great people and saints, but they are not the ones I call upon. I call upon St Michael, St Joan of Arc, and St Benedict. And this got me to praying and thinking about what I mentioned above in terms of spirituality and warfare, and intercession. It’s always been there, it’s not going away.

Lastly, at the beginning, and this continues still, my prayer has been to be with Jesus Christ alone. To just be with Him all the days of my life, and nothing else. It’s the “nothing else” and “alone” that jumps out at me now. In the previous 3 years of discernment I think I was afraid of monastic and contemplative vocations. I had no idea about them, and I wasn’t about to consider them out of fear. Fear? Fear is of the Devil, and it always grips us right when we are about to do something that is perfectly legitimate in the eyes of God (i.e., Confession, speaking out about the Truth). So, maybe it’s time to face this old fear head on and look at monastic life, and such.

That’s where I’m at.


Last Friday I went with the South Bay Young Adults group to St. Catherine de Laboure Church to hear a member of the MI (Militia of the Immaculata) speak about the group. The topic of the night was to be “Why do we love our Lady” but instead seemed to turn into a promotion of th MI. Perhaps that was unintentional; I don’t know.

The women who came a spoke were very nice and kind, I do think they were sincere. However, the ways in which they spoke of Mary was toeing the line: suggesting that she was higher or some how more worthy than Christ.

St. Maximilian Kolbe is quoted on the front cover of their pamphlet: To lead every individual with Mary to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I find it very unique that the Saint proposes that we are not lead to Mary, but with Mary to Christ Jesus. This suggests that we all implore and praise God alone.

To directly quote the MI as to their purpose:

[…] is a worldwide evangelizations movement founded by St. Maximillian Kolbe in 1917. It encourages a total consecration to Mary Immaculate as a means of spiritual renewal for individuals and society.
Marian consecration in the MI is a formal act of self-giving that does not stop at Mary, but is Christ-directed. It is really a consecration to Jesus. […]

The MI employs prayer as the main weapon in the spiritual battle with evil. MIs also immerse themselves in apostolic initiatives throughout society, either individually or in groups, to deepen the knowledge of the Gospel and our Catholic Faith in themselves and others.
By joining the MI, members become willing instruments of Our Lady, the handmaid of the Lord and the immaculate instrument of God. You become a member of an international movement sharing in the maternal mission of Mary, the conversion and sanctification of all souls. The goals of the MI are personal sanctification, the conversion of the world, and ultimately the universal reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The MI is one of the few Vatican-approved public associations whose mission, like that of the Cathlic Church, is universal. Although the MI is open to Catholics only, it encourages all people of good will to develop a trusting relationship with our Lady.

I have an issue with “members become willing instruments of Our Lady.” It is St. Francis of Assissi who tells us to be instrument of our Lord, not Mary. Just as we are like clay in the hands of the Lord, so too are we to be used by the Lord for the fulfillment of His will (Jer. 18:6).

I want to make clear that not in any way am I saying that the whole of the MI is wrong, but that some members may enjoin themselves so close to Mary that they don’t look beyound her. I know that we need to honor Mary and love her as our Lord’s Mother. However I want to caution the thought that without Mary’s “yes” there would be no salvation in Christ on the Cross. I think that honor and praise of Mary could literally turn into worship of Mary if one begins to think that Mary is the source of Christ (per His conception and birth) and hence salvation would come from her.