January 31, 2007

How good it is when sisters are gathered in unity!

Feastday of St. John Bosco (Happy feast to all Salesian Sisters, Brothers and Priests!)

The title of the entry is my paraphrasing from psalm 133. So why this verse? Because yesterday I visited a mission convent of the ASCJ's for Vespers and dinner. It was a really great time and reminded me why I'm entering this great community of sisters.

It was great to pray with the community again; there is just something special about that unity in prayer. I also got to check out the Apostles new prayerbook. It's been worked on in Rome for two years by the Mother General and her council, along with theologians to keep everything in good standing. I admit I was sad they took out some of the prayers I was attached to, but overall it was really good. I really appreciate that the Apostles have a book of prayers specific to their charism of reparation to the Sacred Heart. It's something I haven't really seen in other orders.

So, Vespers was great and afterwords it was on to dinner. The Apostle's legacy with food is notorious! One sister told me she gained 25 lbs. in six months when she entered because of all the rich Italian food! LOL Dinner was hearty and oh so yummy. The Apostle family spirit really comes out around the dinner table, let me tell ya! The sisters telling funny stories and teasing each other, it was just great.

Before I left, I prayed Compline with them and it just left me walking on a cloud. For the closing song, the sisters chose the Salve Regina which has a special place in my heart. The sisters can end Compline with any Marian song, but I love when they do the Salve.

Now that I'm hoping to enter this year, the sisters have encouraged me to visit the local convent more. I always have a good time and leave more in love with the Sacred Heart.

January 24, 2007

Makin it official......

Feast of St. Francis de Sales

So as most of you know, I have discerned my vocation is with the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On my last retreat at the Motherhouse, I asked if the provincial superior if I could apply to enter, and she said yes. So my next step is to write a letter to the provincial superior telling her why I want to enter and asking for an application. I still have some school debt to take care of before I enter, but God's will be done!

Just a side note, when I talk about entering the community, I mean the pre-postulancy which is a 3 month period before the official postulant entrance. The pre-postulancy is a period of discernment before taking "the plunge" and entering the community for real. In another post I'll talk about the stages of formation for the Apostles. Anyway, please pray for me and my letterwriting, that God will inspire me to say the right things!

January 21, 2007

Random thoughts

Feastday of St. Agnes

I finally went to spiritual direction last week, after putting it off for a while. I think I put it off because it meant me opening up and talking about my vocation in depth. Well, it turned out to be a very good meeting between my and my spiritual director. I told him about my intention to enter the ASCJs and he was very happy for me. We talked about getting my school loan taken care off and he's going to talk to some of the Knights of Columbus on my behalf. I'm also trying to get a job (prayers much appreciated!).

Thinking about my meeting, there were two main points that came to me. The First was separating romantic notions from reality in religious life. Early in my discernment, I had a lot of romantic notions; the swish of habit skirts, kneeling in chapel in the morning, the clank of rosary beads. As I grew in my discernment, I learned that external signs like the habit and rosary must be backed up with internal maturity and faith. When I first visited the ASCJs, I was honestly disappointed that they didn't have a "full" habit. However when I saw their prayer life and love for each other, I fell in love myself.

The second thing I took from spiritual direction is that it's not all about me! What I mean by that is that I've been looking at religious life as "what can this do for me". When in spiritual direction, my SD kept talking about how my gifts and talents can be used for the community. I guess I never thought about my "gifts" and what I could bring to religious life. All in all it was a really good meeting and it gave me a lot to think about.

December 27, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Feastday of St. John the Apostle

A very Merry, albeit belated Christmas to everyone! Christmas midnight Mass was awesome! First, before Mass, my mom mentioned something about this possibly being my last Christmas at home. I was surprised b/c I thought she wanted me to wait a year. She said "I know how hard it is to wait once you've made a decision." It was just what I needed to hear! A few minutes later, I saw two of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart coming into the church. I was so happy! It was Sr. Mary Ellen and Sr. Colleen Patricia who I knew from my discernment. The Mass itself was wonderful. They had a brass section on loan from the Met opera and our amazing choir. It just made you feel closer to Heaven.

I was at my aunt's house for Christmas and it was a great time. It was nice to see the family again and have some good food. I also think we made a new family record for latest time leaving my aunt's place. Well see we started playing games and before we knew it, it was 3 AM! Well I'm hoping that everyone had a blessed Advent and a wonderful Christmas. God Bless!

December 20, 2006

Saying it outloud

Feast of St. Dominic of Silos

Today has been good;mostly shopping for family and errands galore. During the day, one of the Sisters of Life called and asked if I was coming over tomorrow for caroling and pre- Christmas fun. I volunteer at one of their convents so I'm pretty familiar with them. Anyway, the sister asked me how my discernment was going and I didn't know what to say. I wanted to tell the sisters I was entering the Apostles in person, but now the question was just hanging there. So I told her that I'm going to enter the Apostles and she was very happy for me. She also said she wouldn't tell the other sisters so I could tell them myself.

Now it may not seem like a big deal, but it felt that way to me. I've really gotten to know the sisters and I feel very comfortable around them. I was actually dreading telling the sisters about my decision because of how they would take it. Well, I've only told one sister, but I'm sure the rest will be just as happy for me. See, that's the essence of a vocation, the inner peace that God gives you. I'm very happy hanging out with the Sisters of Life, but I feel differently when I'm with the Apostles.

With every person I tell of my decision, it becomes more real. To be honest, that feeling is as comforting as it is frightening. Of course I'm scared about the unknown, but hey, that's what trust in God is all about!

December 19, 2006

The return of the blogger

Feast of Bl. Pope Urban V

Well, I'm back folks and hopefully for good this time! So what in the world happened to me??? After last Christmas I did my aspirancy with the Dominican Nuns and had a wonderful time. I discerned that my vocation was not to the cloister, but I was still attracted to religious life. I came back to college after break and had a really stressful semester. I got bogged down by the demands of senior year (aka my thesis) and had a pretty rough time of it. Happily, I made it through and graduated in May, woohoo!

Since graduation, I worked at a museum but am now on the job hunt again. Discernment-wise, I did a live-in with the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and a retreat with the Sisters of Life. Both of these really helped me to see where God was calling me. After leaving the Apostles, I felt at peace, but the Sisters of Life were still nagging me. So I went on the SoL retreat in November. It was a blessed, fun-filled retreat and at the end I knew they were not for me. I knew the Apostles were having a retreat Dec. 1-3, so I went just to have some time away. God however had other plans.....During the weekend I felt a profound, lasting peace and I knew the Apostles were the order for me!

During that retreat I got to witness, two young women enter as postulants which was really awesome. At the end of the retreat, I told Sr. Maureen, the provincial superior that I wanted to enter.

What's next you might ask....well I'm looking for a job to get my student loans taken care of and working on my spiritual life. I know this is kind of a big update all at once, but I want to restart the blog with a bang!

December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

Feast of Christmas

Yes, my blog silence is over and I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas !

I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas filled with good food and good company.

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