Sunday, June 16, 2013

Calling on St. Cecilia

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the amazing men out there who have ever made a sacrifice for their children. Which is all dads of course. My own father has worked his patootie off my entire life to be able to give me and my brother everything that we need. I am so blessed to come from such an amazing family. Thank you St. Joseph for protecting us! Please keep my brother safe on his deployment so that he can come home and begin a family of his own. My parents need grandbabies! :).

My friends, my heart is so happy to share with you that a few days ago I relaunched It's got a new look and new information about my entrance status... and plans to run the Water to Wine Half Marathon in northern California on August 11th! Another opportunity to invoke the angels and saints for your prayer requests, to run for my vocation, and to give God glory through physical sacrifice for the salvation of souls. As of today my debt is down to $35,947. My 8-week training begins tomorrow! Deo gratias!

Tomorrow we also beging Leg 4 of the 99-Day Novena RELAY - praying for vocations and our own personal intentions. We're heading for 99 days toward the Feast of St. Augustine and my currently assigned entrance date! 73 days go to! Along with Our Lady of Fatima, St. Benedict, Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati and St. Evermode, we will also ask the special intercession of St. Cecilia for the next 9 days.

I was blessed to spend five days with the Nashville Dominicans last summer. What a beautiful active community. The Order of Preachers will always hold a special place in my heart, as I felt called to join them for much of my discernment. My heart was set for a very long time on becoming a teaching sister and evangelizing the culture through making young people aware of the beauty of religious life through my being a living breathing example of one in love with and totally committed to God, in the world. But it was actually during my trip to Nashville that my heart was awakened to the possibility that I might not be called to active religious life.

As music played, Cecilia sang to God, 
"make my heart immaculate that I might not be put to shame." 
(Cantantibus Organis)

You see, for all the beauty of life as a Dominican, (and believe me... IT. IS. BEAUTIFUL...) for me there was still something missing. For five days I was surrounded with literally hundreds of the most passionately faithful women I have ever come across. Their love of God and desire to serve Him, each other, and the lay faithful - was inspiring to say the least. I admire the work they do and their fidelity to our Beloved. I actually went there with every intention to apply for entrance if I felt it was what the Lord was calling me to do. But after a weekend of prayer and fantastical times with many of the sisters, the vocations director felt it wasn't the best time for me to apply just yet. And while at the time I was a bit caught off guard by her advisement, in retrospect I view that week as one filled with beauty ... and yet one that was, for whatever reason, still a little unsettling and something not-quite-right. I remember feeling throughout the week that I always wished there was a little bit more time for prayer, or that I could stay in the church just a little bit longer, or that there was maybe just a little more time for silence. Don't get me wrong! They are VERY prayerful and spend A LOT of time with the Lord. I just found myself wanting even more of it, for some reason. To my own surprise, the grandeur of the gorgeous church and splendor of the grounds (which are, of course, meant to aid in the sisters' pursuit of quiet contemplation), were perhaps just a little overwhelming for me. I found myself meditating on my desire for poverty and simplicity during that weekend. Of course now we know it was because the Lord is calling me to the cloister. But maybe it took a visit to one of the most beautiful and wonderful active orders in America for me to realize that I am called to a quieter life.  

But St. Cecilia (the patroness of the Nashville Dominicans) remains close to my heart as she is the patron saint of musicians and, if you have been following my story, you might know that I went to school to be in musical theatre and have enjoyed being in church choirs all my life :). I love singing and can't wait to enter a life where I am singing the praises of the Lord for much of every day. 
Please pray through this blessed saint that all aspirants to the priesthood and religious life who are hoping to enter their communities this year will be provided with whatever they need to do so! That we may begin to sing a new song to the Lord with our while lives and entire beings. And pray for our peace of heart - that, should the Lord want us to wait a little longer, they will trust that He has great work for us to continue in the world for a while longer. 

God bless you!

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