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.

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.

A Phone Conversation

I received a letter last Monday, the 16th, from Mother superior informing me that I should really call the Novice Mistress, or if that’s inconvenient, to email her. The irony is that I sent a letter because there was no response from the email I sent her two weeks ago. I called and let Sister know when she could call me.

She called on Thursday (traditional Corpus Christi). In the middle of an initial session with a client and her parents. This kid needs a lot of prayer, her parents, more. Anyway, the call went to voicemail.

So I called later after Mass and Eucharistic procession, around 10pm. We did eventually speak on Friday the 20th. She told me about how they still maintain duties for hospitality because they follow the Order of St. Augustine; they are a “daughter” of a religious order over here. Sister spoke frequently of “if you’re a serious discerner” and “you could come visit”. Sister seemed to be understanding of my work schedule, but suggested visiting on the weekends. I may be able to find a time to visit for 4-5 days (especially if I take advantage of weekends), perhaps as early as the middle of July. I’ve also received a copy of the “simple” vocation questionnaire. I can answer most of these easily, I’m only concerned about how to phrase the response about my family.

I need prayers for this.

I spent time today driving to Hermosa Beach to speak with my spiritual director about this, but he had a previous task which ran late; it was cancelled after I got to the residence. Since I don’t know when I’ll be speaking with him, I didn’t feel confident in thinking about it (I like to do my thinking while hiking). Instead, I cleaned my room. I have a ton of junk: chargers with nothing to charge, an ereader without a charger, books, 3 trashbags of clothes, jewelry, etc. It took all day and a set of plastic containers from Target to sort, organize & clear up. I also found my old vocation story and acceptance letter. Heh! That was strange; I felt like I was reading about someone else, and back then, still living at home and hampered, I was someone else. I’m not going to use any of the previous materials in this questionnaire, since I’m more fully myself today than I was in 2008.

Please keep me in your prayers; the spiritual attacks are, well, you know how they get difficult.

A Response

I sent an email to mother superior of a particular monastery. I didn’t hear anything, so I wrote a letter on the 6th; I had wanted to attend daily Mass at my more-local parish, but they were closed for the day. Anyway, I sent a letter, it is to the letter that mother superior responded. She told me in her response back that she has an email address. Oh, I know! However she requested that I call the Novice Mistress and provide information on good times to have a conversation.

This could go so many ways!

I’ve been praying about how to respond in the written form. Speaking …. sheesh. I don’t like speaking on the phone. Perhaps more immediately is the difficulty of the summer schedule – my hours are all messy. I have parents who haven’t scheduled sessions yet for this week.

Prayers would be appreciated. This is the only community at this moment with whom I’m beginning communication & discernment.

Letters

I sent a letter last week to a monastery in Colorado. These nuns have internet & email, but I don’t; hence, a letter.

I received a letter last week to a monastery in NorCal. I hope I don’t lose it in the move. Both are good, but I want more history on the one in Colorado.

Two is a good number to pick from, anymore and you’re just throwing yourself around. This is God, not a roll of dice.