I am so thankful for all those who have helped me in many different ways especially the sponsors who contributed to my marathon and half through my fundraising site and sending donations by mail; the Diocese of Fresno and everyone who showed me such kindness working in the Vocations Office (please pray for our wonderful seminarians!!); the Knights of Columbus throughout the country and especially those who were so supportive in my home town; my home parish - St. Mary's, as well as everyone who has supported me from the Cathedral of St. John, St. Anthony of Padua & the TLM Society, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, OLPH, St. Helen's and the many different parishes throughout our Diocese. I have seen the young adult community grow and flourish in and around Fresno this year, and it fills my heart with such joy! Thank you to all of the amazing, holy young people who have inspired me to a deeper prayer life and to desire to become a saint through as many sacrifices as the Lord will demand of me. Thank you to the National LIFE RUNNERS Team for all your support, and for allowing me to contribute to your efforts in my small way. I may not be able to run anymore once I enter, but I will be racing in spirit toward the finish line and fully expect to see all of you there with giant crowns and medals on. There are so many people who have blessed me this year, I am sorry that in these final hours at home I can't name everyone specifically! But you know who you are and how important you have all been to me.
These past few days have been so full of prayers and hugs and goodbyes and so much smiling that my face hurts a little. Oh well I'll offer it up!! There has been more laughing than tears, but the tears do come and I'm sure there are more in store for the next 24 hours. All in joy for the glory of the Lord, and while it is quite difficult to leave friends and family to go where He calls me, I have never felt more ready for anything or at peace about any decision in my life. The spiritual trials of religious are many, and they are sure to come. So I ask for your continued prayer, my brothers and sisters. I wish to be ready for whatever the Lord asks of me, but while the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak, and even nuns need the prayers of those faithful servants who labor in the world. Oh if we could only comprehend how much mercy He desires to give us through our prayers! The world might stop because we would never leave the chapel for all the fulfillment we would get from our glorifying Him through word and song.
Last night I was surrounded by so many of the greatest people who have ever come into my life. Most of whom I have known for less than a year. They will never understand how much they have touched my soul. We sat and adored Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and the love that flowed through the tiny chapel was almost overwhelming. I can't imagine a better way to have spent my last night at home. The Lord is truly bringing future saints out in the world, making them known to each other so that they might be united in fervor for sanctification. This is why I am leaving, my friends. Because I have seen a holiness in you that I can support no better way than through my prayers.
Litany Run was so much more than a fundraising effort. This has turned out to be the greatest lesson in humility and sacrifice I have ever known, and yet through this effort I have barely even scratched the surface of the humility and sacrifice to which we are all called. I pray that God will give me the strength to embrace the cross that awaits me within the cloister, and that you my friends will willingly embrace the cross He offers you - no matter what vocation He has called or will call you to in life. I have always prayed that you will become saints. Now my prayer is that you desire sainthood with such utter abandonment that you will follow wherever He leads you, do whatever He tells you, and find joy in being quiet and still, and knowing that He Is.
I go now to join my sisters in the mountains, where life will move just a little bit more slowly in pursuit of quieting the soul so that God may speak the sweetness of His commandments in my little heart. While we run this race toward salvation, let us remember that it isn't a sprint. Let us run slow and steady so as to win the prize that awaits us in heaven. And when we see another runner stumble along the way, let us pick him up and carry him to the finish line. For the Lord gives us the strength to do this. And we must give all we have. We take nothing with us.
Ad majorem dei gloriam.