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.

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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.

Spiritual Matters

I jumped head long into spiritual battle after this weekend, and like usual I was counter attacked by the third day.  It’ll be a few more days before I’m back on my feet. Hopefully some down time tomorrow will help me out since I’m dragging my feet.

I saw “The Rite” this evening with friends.  It’s amazing to me how people were asking, “Isn’t that how it is with spiritual warfare?” in amazement and disbelief.  And I wanted to grab them by their shoulders and shake them up.  How can you profess to be such a strong Christian, and Catholic nonetheless, and not know what is spiritual warfare? What kind of spirituality are you following that you are not daily attacked by Satan?  How do you not know?  Yes, that movie depicts demonic possession, but it also depicts the progression of spiritual warfare, half-truths, and nature of Satan.  Portions of the film are Hollywood like the somber setting for Fr. Lucas’ quarters, but the plagues, the screams, the voices, the hallucinations, etc are all realistic.  I think it’s an as realistic depiction as will ever be coming out of Hollywood; it’s the most accurate thus far.

Finally got me a therapist after not having one for about 2 years.  I think I caught him off guard with how introspective I am; how I look into the foreseeable future and know what I need to work on in my life and why.  He was a bit taken back by how forward I am with my faith as well.  He brought it up saying, “Did I say anything about faith on the site where you found my listing?” As I explained to him, he listed himself as Christian, and he then mentioned that he is Catholic.  I don’t care if he’s Christian or Catholic, or not at all.  It’s an added bonus to be Christian, and even moreso to be Catholic.  But I’m Catholic, and I’m involved with the Church.  I’m going to talk about it.  I’m going to mention teaching Confirmation. I will be mentioning the issues at home and the hostility about the Faith I face at home.  So it’s better to talk about it in the first session. It’s not a special debut topic or anything.  It’s as much a part of me as the color of my eyes.  If he doesn’t like it, he can put it on his therapeutic back-burner.

Keep praying for me, as I’m praying for you.

Spiritual Warfare

For two weeks I’ve seen this coming, sort of.  Let me explain, and perhaps fictional literature is better to do the job at this than my direct experience?

At any rate this is the way I choose to express my Self and my Experience at the moment.

 — — — — — 
I think THIS would be a good introduction.
At the misty shoreline, Frank paused as Scott chose to break the silence by skipping a rock.  Looking up from the dead leaves he had been shuffling against yellow and red lake rocks, Frank’s eyes pierced through the older man, boring past him to an unseen point.

“They care, you know.”

Frank was silent, digging his hands deeper into his pockets and his feet just shuffled against the remaining reminders of fall.  Turning from Scott, he gazed over the lake, watching the wafts of mist rise before the sun turned the sky yellow.  Breathing in slowly, he exhaled, “Never said it was about them.”

“Then, tell me.  You’ve got to tell someone, don’t you?  Can’t say you’re not busting at the seams to tell someone.”

Swallowing, Frank continued looking to the opposite horizon of the lake while the camp lay in slumber behind them.  “Ever get an invitation from a distant friend?  You feel obliged for what you once had with them, but now you don’t have much connecting you anymore?  It’s not like that.  This is like your best friend asking you to consider a serious decision that benefits both of you.”  Frank looked expectantly at Scott, who was more pensive than passive, “Go on.”

“Well, like I’ve told Thom, it’s kind of like praying at church.  I’m talking to a Friend about things that would benefit both of us, once we’ve each heard the other and considered whether the gain is worth the battle.”

“What battle.”

Frank looked at Scott like he was a fool, “Souls.  God asked me to help fight for the Souls that have the least inkling of belonging to Him.  What were you thinking I was going to say?”

“Not a clue.  Good and Evil is hardly convincing these days.”

The teen shrugged his flannel-clad shoulders, “It’s been called worse.”

“How’d you get to this point?”

“What point? Quiet?  God’s not in the loud wind, right?”

With a nod of his head to the right, Scott conceded.  “What happens? Where do you go?”

“Where do you go in the boundary blurriness between sleep and waking?  God uses that space, for me, to enter into His realm.  At first I was scared and unable to do very much at all.  I was answering the phone, so to speak, or returning the R.S.V.P.  Now that boundary just stretches out before me.  I really can’t explain what really happens.  As for where I go, I’m still right here.”

Scott nodded, longer curls than his brother bobbed along.  Turning his gaze in the same direction of Frank’s he let silence slip over them for a while.  Breaking it, “So, God asks you to fight for souls.  How do you know which ones?”

“I don’t.  He tells me and I heed.”

“How does He tell you?”

“Mary’s the four-star General of His Army.  It’s marching all around every day even though you can’t see or feel the trembling of it’s force.  I’ve experienced their power, since I’m not the only one living that joins forces with the commanders and generals, which you must know are the saints.  Mary lets me know.”

“Mary.”

“Yes.”  With that Frank turned from Scott and wandered a bit further along the shoreline, signalling with his body language the exploration was over.  If Scott wanted more, he’d have to chisel through Frank’s armour, or enter God’s world.

Thought of the Day II

Hanging out on the INTJf with more than 3 drinks in me is nutters … since we’re discussing INTJ preferences on PB ‘n’ J. =)  Like who knew that an almond butter existed … yummers

I feel like I’m swimming in bed, more than I already usually do with migraines. I’ll be sleeping like a rock tonight.

I hate Christmas shopping. Wish we could really turn back to tenebrae (spelling?) and just waiting.  Perfume and crap.  I don’t really want to bother with a crummy list that isn’t going to be remembered a year, let alone ten years from now.  Gimme a real request.

Thinking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. How much does yours cost you?  If nothing, you ain’t using it right. Trust me.