Monday, August 7, 2017

Not Your Typical Proposal

"All suffering contributes in one way or another to our happiness" (Power of Silence, p. 88).

Imagine me on an 8-day silent retreat to conclude a not so typical 'cloistered' novitiate year.  As I stared into the sky marveling at the beauty of the setting sun, I caught a glimpse of a hot air balloon and began to think:  If I do commit my life to Jesus, I will never be able to ride in one.  I mourned this loss, saddened at a missed experience but my heart was at peace.

We are NEVER too far from His Mercy!
My dear brothers and sisters, God has miraculously converted my heart to a deep realization of His love for me.  I didn't believe He could love my weaknesses, yet He was safeguarding what I thought I had lost until He knew He could return it to me.  This pilgrimage has not been without painful confrontation with my own poverty of spirit but He has led me to an oasis of beauty which is His pierced feet.  Oh the beauty of these feet (I know not all will agree with me) but allow me to bare my sole..get it?!?!

God has tangibly made Himself present, in the midst of suffering and experiences of joy, always confirming that I was following the Father's will even in what I was living seemed to look to be a desert of nothingness.  To live in the freedom in which you don't know the result but you know you are being led is humbling and truly without words.

Brothers and sisters, the feet I kiss every morning and night walked a road that He now is asking me to follow whole-heartedly.  I too will fall on the dusty path, be kicked, mocked, and misunderstood for choosing to live in His image.  I freely choose such a life.  I recoil from the thought of joining my Beloved on the cross, but it is His invitation to help redeem souls that I cannot resist.  If my hidden prayers and hopefully silent offerings of pains can help a wandering sheep return to the Father's pasture, as I have, then I will daily say 'YES' until He calls me Home.

This path to conversion is my journey to holiness.  I beg you to pray for all souls the Lord is beckoning to kiss His pierced feet and join Him in a relationship as a victim of love through priesthood, religious life or the consecrated single life.  (Married couples, I need your witness of love to better live my consecration, so please know you are not forgotten, you too are victims of love!)  Ask God what grace He wishes to bless you with and then respond to the Father's unique call.  For me, courage, patient endurance, and child-like simplicity will be daily virtues I will fail at but always strive to live more fully!

Believe in His love!  He delights in you not because you are successful at what you do but because He has chosen you as His beloved one; His daughter, His son!  Relish in this truth and live in the promise that He remains with us always!  May the knowledge of my humble prayers offer you the strength you need to tune your ears to the voice of the Good Shepherd calling you by name.

Will you follow me to His feet?

Hide me in Your wounds Lord Jesus, bathe me in Your blood, and heal me, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen!

Hidden in the wounds of Christ, I remain your sister,
See you in the Eucharist,

~Sr. Marianne  :O)

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