Thursday, May 5, 2011

What Religious Life Means to Me

"Today, the Lord gave me knowledge of His anger toward mankind which deserves to have its days shortened because of its sins. But I learned that the world's existence is maintained by chosen souls; that is, the religious orders. Woe to the world when there will be a lack of religious orders!" -- The Diary of St. Faustina, paragraph 1434

There's not a day that goes by that becoming a religious sister is not on my mind. I've been deeply discerning religious life since my freshman year of high school after visiting some Discalced Carmelites and the Missionaries of Charity on a "Nun Run". I just couldn't get enough of the sisters and the great love they had for Christ - I realized that I too wanted to give my life fully to Him in this way. Within the next few years, I visited a wide range of orders searching and seeking the place that I was called. During this time I visited the Discalced Carmelites again, the Benedictines, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia twice, and am looking forward to visiting the Children of Mary this summer.

There's something very special about a religious vocation. A deep desire to fulfill Christ's will in a way that can't be described. A longing to give of yourself fully even to the point of death. The hidden beauty behind the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience that makes one come alive and be the person that Christ has called them to be. But most of all, the great yearning to become a saint and to not stop at anything less.

I understand that I will never be happy unless I am doing the most Holy Will of Christ. Jesus has shown me in a very specific way (more than just once) that I am to be His bride and He is to be my spouse. He's the only one that I long to be with and give myself to. I often wonder how long Christ will make me wait before He shows me where I'm called, but until then, I will patiently wait saying "yes" to Him each step of the way just as Our Blessed Mother. I'm on a mission to die to myself and live only for Christ. So what can be more beautiful than living a life full of prayer, sacrifice, and having Jesus as your spouse?Absolutely nothing!

So what exactly am I looking for in an order, you may be asking yourself? Well, I'm looking for a traditional - habit wearing order, one that has a great love for Our Blessed Mother, a strong community life, and times for prayer and silence.

After graduation, while all my friends will go off to college, I will be staying home. I'm taking this next year off to truly just listen to Christ's voice and discern more deeply which convent I am called to. Please pray for me as I go through this process, that all I do may be pleasing to Christ!

All In Jesus Through Mary!