Unlike a lot of bloggers, I am not fasting my blogs for Lent; it's booze. That's difficult for any post-grad person who hangs out on campus, goes to bars, clubs, etc. Yes, for any jaw-droppers out there, I party like that. There's some fun under all this straightlacing!
Sister Joseph Andrew asked me this week for an update on my discernment and about where I am with taking care of my student debt. I do not have a definitive answer for me, for you, or for her; and we all should have a response to the inquiry! I would love to know what God wants to happen.
That being said, I've got a lot of peace around the idea that I am not likely to enter the Dominican Sisters of Mary. I was heartbroken last year when I was accepted and unable to enter, but not this year. This is not resignation, this is an accepting, "Okay, God, if not the DSMME, where? Who?"
No order, as I stand right now, will seriously consider me with debt. So thus far I know that I cannot seriously apply and enter a convent for about 2 years, perhaps 3, considering I ardently desire for my sanity to move out of my parents' house.
So I've got the "when" addressed. As for the where, there are several realizations coming to me, prayerfully of course.
First, I love the DSMME, but I think I was initially drawn to their vitality, youth, and faithfulness to Rome. These are all very lovely things to desire, but a vocational calling they do not make. I liked the idea of teaching, but having used this year to teach Confirmation, I can say I like teaching, but I do not love it. I cannot do it all the time. However teaching Confirmation and being involved with 2 parishes in the area have allowed me to experience retreats. I love helping out with retreats - teaching, coordinating, being in the background, and interceding for the retreatants.
What else do I like and look for in an expression of my faith? Spiritual warfare and intercession finds me; I don't go looking for it. Now, provided some of that is directly related to the fact I live at home and family members invite idolatry and occultic practices in; yet I'm around it even outside of the family house.
Third, I'm not attached to any of the Dominican saints; they are great people and saints, but they are not the ones I call upon. I call upon St Michael, St Joan of Arc, and St Benedict. And this got me to praying and thinking about what I mentioned above in terms of spirituality and warfare, and intercession. It's always been there, it's not going away.
Lastly, at the beginning, and this continues still, my prayer has been to be with Jesus Christ alone. To just be with Him all the days of my life, and nothing else. It's the "nothing else" and "alone" that jumps out at me now. In the previous 3 years of discernment I think I was afraid of monastic and contemplative vocations. I had no idea about them, and I wasn't about to consider them out of fear. Fear? Fear is of the Devil, and it always grips us right when we are about to do something that is perfectly legitimate in the eyes of God (i.e., Confession, speaking out about the Truth). So, maybe it's time to face this old fear head on and look at monastic life, and such.
That's where I'm at.