God sure did have a fun idea in mind when he had me set St.Jude & St. Rita as the patron saints of the 99-Day Novena Relay’s 8th leg! I had no idea when I was choosing them, that they would be coming to our assistance smack dab in the middle of this two-weeksof donation matching. Are you excited to see what the Lord does for the next 9 days? I am ;). Five weeks to my entrance date, less than three weeks until my half marathon and a little over $31k left to raise. Anything is possible for those who love God, and so I ask you to pray with me through these saints! They’re experts at impossible causes and desperate situations… so I’m not worried.
I was so blessed to spend this past weekend at the Priory – my final visit (God willing) before my entrance date. The Lord gave me to be present for Norbertine history – as the first Praemonstratensian monastery for canonesses in America was blessed by Father Abbot Eugene Hayes, O.Praem. – the superior of St. Michael’s Abbey. Mother asked me to process at the end of the line of sisters as we went through each different part of the building as Father Abbot blessed each room. Funny that this final visit should come just as World Youth Day was about to kick off in Rio. As I walked in line with my sisters for the first time, I found that I was the barrier between the religious and the laity who were blessed to attend. I joyfully recalled the moment when I felt the Lord asking me to discern becoming one of His brides – a moment at World Youth Day in Madrid where I stood in a circle as the barrier between my friends and the Sisters of Life, a beautiful religious community that I discerned joining directly thereafter.
It was a joy to be able to meet a few of the sisters I hadn’t previously met, and the reception that followed the blessing of the house. And a great privilege to get to speak once more with Father Abbot – who pointed out that I will be the 27th sister in the community, and that 3x3x3 is the perfect number. Wow. 27 is my dad’s favorite number too. And only yesterday as I was watching our Holy Father’s arrival in Rio with my mom, did I realize that I was called to religious life at the 27th WYD. I’ll be 27 years old when I receive the holy habit and my new name. God is incredible.
I ended the weekend by milking the cows and goats. I have been given a number of different tasks to do during community work hours during my previous visits. But I think milking was my favorite so far! It was gross and awesome. Probably not very prudent of me to be writing this. But I think everyone should seek out the opportunity to milk farm animals at least once in your life! How funny God is in allowing such immense joy to be felt from doing things that once upon a time might have made us cringe just a little.
After a few days off from training (during marathon training I discovered that it was not smart for this running amateur to try and train in the mountains…) I was back on the road yesterday with a 3mi warmup. A bit of a longer run tonight, and then increasing distances until this Sunday. I am continuing to pray for you all during each run, and your prayer requests are such an amazing motivation for me to keep running for the Lord, even as the hot summer of central California sometimes temps me to stop or slow down. Not that I’m very fast to begin with! But I love you, my friends. You have helped me so much and I am so humbled to give this small gift of my training to the Lord for your prayer intentions.
Please pray now, that the Lord will continue to do magnificent things in all of our lives. Pray especially for three of my best friends, who are also embarking upon new journeys in their vocation to holiness.
St. Jude & St. Rita, ora pro nobis!
"It is not that I have reached it yet, or have already finished my course; but I am racing to grasp the prize if possible, since I have been grasped by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not think of myself as having reached the finish line. I give no thought to what lies behind the push on to what is ahead. My entire attention is on the finish line as I run toward the prize to which God calls me - life on high with Christ Jesus. All of us who are spiritually mature must have this attitude If you see it another way, God will clarify the difficulty for you. It is important that we continue on our course, no matter what stage we have reached."