*QM emerges from hiding*

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hello, all! I know I promised you a post about three weeks ago...oops. My Master's thesis has been eating all my time, but thanks be to God, I just completed the first draft this afternoon! Huzzah! Ergo, let's see what I can do about writing a proper post.

Before I get into the discernment update, allow me to extol the praises of my spiritual director just a bit. I struggle a lot with time-wasting. It's really bad. I can spend literally hours doing nothing at all, either daydreaming, or reading irrelevant news on the internet, or proofing one email ten zillion times before sending it...you get the idea. Last month, Father finally made me understand that if I am to be a bride of Christ, I must be faithful to him NOW, not in some fantasy future world. He also told me that I'm not allowed to come back for direction until I've put in at least three weeks of solid, eight hour days of research. Let me tell you, he has worked a small miracle. I love my SD.

Anyway.

Last you heard from me, I was headed out to visit the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, MI. (Well, actually, I was visiting their convent in Minnesota. They had to go and make their name confusing.) The visit has given me much to ponder, in between translating Greek and writing about early Church apologetics, and I must say that this order has completely taken me off my guard. I never would have looked twice at the RSMs. Most of my preferences have tended toward monastic orders or even contemplative orders -- you know, the rhythm of prayer and work, mostly in silence, the simplicity and discipline of humble tasks around the monastery, the hidden oblation of a life completely for God, etc. -- and these sisters are about as active and noisy as you get. Not in a bad way, mind you, just in a very non-monastic way.

By the end of my short stay with them, I found myself beginning to love their life, as different as it is from what I had imagined religious life to be. They have two hours of prayer per day, less than I tend to prefer, and MUCH less silent prayer (probably my biggest concern), but they are purposeful about that prayer, and their apostolate is all done in a spirit of deep prayer and service of the Lord. They are incredibly faithful brides of Christ, giving Him their whole heart, soul, mind, and strength every day, in all things. Theirs is not a hidden oblation, no, but it is no less of an oblation. Christ's love and mercy shines through their witness in the world.

This is getting rambling. Long story short, they have moved from my "no" list to my short list! I am still discerning with the Passionist Nuns in Kentucky, and I will be visiting their monastery for a two week live-in after I graduate in May. What I discern there will determine the rest of my summer...and probably the rest of my life, as crazy as that sounds. After I return from it, I'll be calling the vocations directress of the Alma Mercy Sisters to let her know whether or not I want to come visit the motherhouse in Alma.

It's a bit strange, not having a post-graduation plan, and scary when I stop to think too much about it, but the Lord is [finally] granting me the great grace of being able to trust Him. If by the end of the summer it doesn't look like I'll be entering an order soon, I suppose I will look around for jobs, but I will cross that bridge when it comes. Right now, my vocation and joy is to fulfill my daily duties as a graduate student (finish that thesis, do that homework, attend those classes) and as a discerning woman (daily Mass, daily holy hour, Liturgy of the Hours, Rosary), to love the Lord with all that I have and am, and to "wait in joyful hope" for what my Bridegroom has in store for me.

God bless you all! My prayers especially for those of you who are students in the throes of term-end.

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