Retreat and Where I'm At Now

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Two weekends ago I had my discernment retreat with the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.

Going on retreat I had a plan, I knew exactly what was going to happen. I was going to go into my spiritual direction with Sister Joseph and I knew exactly what she was going to say and I knew what I was going to say and I was going to come home from retreat with my application papers. But that's not what happened at all. Sister and I talked for a while she asked me about my family, what are they all doing, where did they go to school, where do you go to school and what brought you here. After I told her she looked me right in the eye and said "this life is really difficult and you aren't ready for it. You really need to go to college for a year and get away from your family because you aren't ready." At that moment my heart knew that she was right but my emotions so didn't accept it at all. At the beginning of retreat we had each gotten a litany title and we were told to pray about it during our Holy hour and find out why we got the one we did. My litany title was Mary Morning Star pray for us. Also in the morning Sister Joseph had said to us "You have to be stubborn in Adoration. Go in there and say 'I'm not leaving until I get the answers to my questions' then tell Him your questions then stop talking!" so when I went into Adoration, balling my eyes out angry and frustrated at God, I said "Okay, you heard Sister, I'm not leaving until you tell me 1) what good could possibly come from me waiting, 2) why is this happening to me again (referring to the fact that one of my really good friends got her application papers and, being the youngest of seven, I've spent a lot of my life watching others do stuff that I really want to but can't) and 3) why does it feel so right and why do I feel so ready if I'm clearly not?" After a while in response to the first one He said to me "Betsy, you will convert, bring to a deeper relationship with me and led to their true vocation more people in the world then you EVER could as a postulant. Being a postulant is about personal growing which is very important but I have so many people who need you to help them grow before you can grow yourself." How can I argue with that one? In response to the second question He said "the reason it's happened so much in your life is so you can deal with this one." Which really does answer the question but I still wanted to argue so I said "But that doesn't tell me why this one is happening!!" I didn't hear anything else after that. He just totally stopped talking to me. After a little while of nothing I said "okay I'm really ticked at you so I'm going to talk to Mary" I went and sat in front of the icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe and was praying the the Akathist hymn to Mary and after I had chanted the whole thing I was going back and reading them through again to see if she spoke to me and after I read the 5th chant I heard her clear as day say to me "My daughter let me be your star of Bethlehem. You must let me guide you to my son and I promise you that you will get here at some point but He has so much more planned for you first." At that moment I was flooded with an incredible peace and I felt Marys arms totally surrounding me! Then I went to bed because it was five in the morning.

On Sunday during morning prayer I started crying again because it just felt so right and it was so beautiful and the sisters sing divinely! I cried out to God with everything in me "Lord I am ready to do what you will but please give me joy back, I don't want to be miserable for the next two years because I'm doing your will. Just PLEASE give me joy back" I calmed down after a bit and when we were praying the Rosary I pulled mine out and it was broken. I was like "Oh that's kind of weird but whatever" and started trying to fix it and He said "No, you can't. You have to let me put things back together." Instantly two things came to my mind. A few years ago at a youth group meeting they had given us glow sticks to remind us that we need to be broken before we can be a light. I had the chance to spend the month of April in Austria and while I was there I found out that a very good friend of a lot of my good friends had been killed in a car crash. I was very hurt and angry at God for letting me be gone when my friends needed me and I was in the Adoration chapel and pulled out a different Rosary and it was broken in almost the same place. We went to Mass at the motherhouse and again I started crying because they let us sit in the choir stalls and I was sitting right behind Sister Mary Dominic and it just felt right. Father James started his homily with "Before I entered the Dominicans I had a plan of how it was going to go." Right away I was like "Oh boy, I better listen!" He went on to say "I was finishing up college and knew that this is what He wanted me to do. It was going to be a huge triumphant entry. It was going to be amazing! But my parents were really pushing for grad school so I decided to go for one maybe two years but I would have the blinders on all the time because I knew this was what He wanted of me and I was sure that I was never going to get distracted from it. But...then along came the girl and out went the triumphant entry!" He then went on to talk about how amazing this women was and how she had all these Dominican traits about her. Then he said "So when I finally did enter a few years later it wasn't some huge triumphant entry it was 'okay I have no idea why I'm here or if this is even what you want of me but okay I'm going to take a leap of faith and start walking on the water."

This really helped me because then I knew why I'm waiting, I have to be broken and I have to learn that it's all about Him. I walked out of Mass with the BIGGEST smile on my face and it still hasn't gone away. It's been really hard for me coming home. I've been really homesick for my sisters because I know that's where I belong and it really is home. I've also been noticing Satan a lot more openly active in my life. But I don't have to worry because Jesus won the victory a long time ago when I died on the cross for me. NO WORRIES! I am in the process of filling out my NET application and am taking the SAT in December so I'll be applying to colleges as well. We'll see where He leads me.


Totus tuus Maria!


Mark of the Vineyard Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 3:35:00 AM PST  

It's never as straight a road as we think, is it?

Rachel Gray Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 12:49:00 PM PST  

Thanks for sharing this! Great post. I love how you share how you dealt with disappointment and what God was saying in your prayer time.

Meg Friday, November 20, 2009 at 3:43:00 PM PST  

Goodness Betsy! Thank you so much for sharing this. It's very insightful.

Can you tell me, how do you know it's GOD's voice? I'm not asking because I think that it's not HIS voice, but rather because I think he talked to me the other day, but I honestly don't know.

Blessings and all things good!

Betsy (OP at heart!) Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 2:43:00 PM PST  

Meg I'm so sorry it's taken me this long to respond to your comment. I wasn't ignoring you! I was A) praying about how to respond and B) really busy lately.

First of all, it's different for everyone. For me it's kind of like a thought that pops into my head but then after I think and pray about it for a while I just kind of know that it was God or Mary.
If you think you heard Him speak to you I would do two things. One, spend time in Adoration praying about it and two talk to someone you trust about it. In my life God has used others quite a lot to reaffirm something that I thought was from Him.
You are in my prayers.


Totus tuus Maria!

Betsy (OP at heart!) Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 2:43:00 PM PST  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Betsy (OP at heart!) Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 2:43:00 PM PST  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark of the Vineyard Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 3:29:00 AM PST  

Your experience pretty much matches up with mine. I have only had it twice though. Once was when the vocational question first presented itself; the second time was when to reconsider just exactly I was aiming for, if in fact I was not trying to tailor the voaction to my tastes instead of listening to where my heart was calling.
In both instances the voice I heard was my own "interior" voice, yet it came quite spontaneously and it felt as though it was not really me "talking", but something exterior (for lack of a better word) within.

Betsy (OP at heart!) Thursday, November 26, 2009 at 12:35:00 PM PST  

Wow, that's a really good way to say it. I've had people ask me that a lot and I never know how to answer it.


Totus tuus Maria!

Nick Friday, November 27, 2009 at 6:48:00 AM PST  
This comment has been removed by the author. Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 9:30:00 PM PST  

Thank you for sharing your experince with us. The Lord used you in my life tonight. I am discernment for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church and was experinced news of a "delay" today. I did not turn to the Lord right away but almost allowed the disappointment to drag me down.
Lying prostrate and prying, I asked Him what He wanted me to do.
I believe I heard Him say to attend Eucharist today (Weds)and I will. I also asked Him to help me learn what I am supposed to learn during the extra dsicernment time.
Thanks for you post again. If you choose not to respond becauase I am Anglican and you are Roman Catholic, I understand. Just know that the Lord used you in so many people's lives by this post.
pax Domine,

Matthew Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 4:18:00 PM PST  


Thank you for sharing. I have gone into the post and fixed the formatting. If it ever causes that kind of formatting error again, please let me know and I'll fix it for you.

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