I did not really think that I was going to have a chance to post during my retreat and albeit that it is the very end and I should probably be in bed by now, I have decided to take advantage of the traces of WiFi I could snag with my powerful Wireless thingy on my laptop and post anyway.
Some things have changed since I last posted on here. One, I am now a candidate (think kinda like an aspirant) for the Felicians. Two, I am a bit more sleep-deprived (though some of that is my own doing). And, three, when I last posted, I had not yet finished the biography of my beloved patron, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. I finished it. Tonight. At a two-hour holy hour that I thought was three hours but oh well. It took me four years and many tries but I finished it! Amen!
That, and I can’t wait to be home. It’s going to become more bittersweet now that I know that this is what I will be doing by the end of the year. Like one of the postulants told me today in the library of the motherhouse/central convent, I should probably start saying good byes now. It’s true though. I’ll be gone by mid-September and while I’ll be home a couple times (far less than when I was in College), it will still be hard to leave. No matter how wonderful the vocation is. I have the bittersweet gift of having deep abiding roots where I am that have and still do call me to question things about my vocation. But now, the hands have been dealt and I am going to see what the Dealer has up His sleeve. Not that He would cheat. lol
I arrived Sunday afternoon bedecked in the oh-so-controversial pair of khaki slacks and a turtleneck sweater. Considering the fact that I could have been in hot pants and a tube top, I don’t think I looked so bad. However, as I endured lovingly for the remainder of the week, “[I] should have worn a skirt.” It is kinda hard to wear that which one does not own. And no, it’s not because I am so liberated woman who refuses to bow down to stereotypes. It’s just that I like wearing pants. I always have. You’ll never see me in immodest Grand Canyon pants. I do enjoy wearing dresses but I have found pants to be more suitable for my work at SJA.
Later that evening, still donning the naughty outfit of non-liberated liberation, I participated in Vespers or Compline (can’t remember) with the Sisters of Livonia and the provincial admins. I did stick out like a sore thumb surrounded by habits and skirts. Meh, God willing, I’ll be wearing the habit/skirts soon enough. At that service, I was admitted by the provincial superior as a candidate with the congregation. Of course, I was having a bit of a time paying attention at first because my “ADD” goes Catholicky crazy in that chapel. Lord, have mercy … it is a beauty! And it looks like a chapel! Heck, it looks like a basilica! Them old school nuns knew how to design chapels back in the day. Now we get bingo halls, folding card tables with a couple bum legs, chinet plates, and dixie cups. That and vestments that are not even in licit liturgical colors.
But I digress. Did I mention that my room at the University convent (the entire campus encompasses one mile square) has a wonderful view of the motherhouse (forgive my inability to use the proper terms but it’s easier for my lazy hands to type that … it’s a habit … no pun intended)? And, the weather has been so good of late that I actually had the window open today while I was taking my mid-afternoon power nap.
Though I am well-aware that if I make it through formation that I will be sent wherever there is a need, I hope and pray and beg and beseech God that it is somewhere in the Archdiocese of Detroit. I could be a theology prof or a pastoral associate, or I would do anything with the diocese. Anything. My heart and I believe vocation to service is in the Archdiocese. While I am trying to keep an open mind and heart, that is becoming more and more difficult the more apparent it seems to become. It’s not that I want to limit myself, it’s just that my heart is in Detroit. We, the Church, her clergy, and religious, should be helping her, not abandoning her to chance.
To be honest, even after Sunday night there were a few times this week when I was REALLY questioning this whole thing. Am I sincere? What are my real motives? Am I really willing to make these sacrifices? Is this really to what I am called? Because I could be doing pretty much the same thing as a laywoman or even as a consecrated virgin for the Archdiocese, a possibility I never really considered but in my reading of various blogs, the possibility has come up.
In case one is not aware, let me make this little aside from the best of my knowledge: A “consecrated virgin” is a laywoman who consecrates her virginity to Christ as her Spouse and is under the direction of the local ordinary/bishop. She does not wear a habit. She does not receive any support from the Church. She lives in the world, serves the Church, and provides a subtle witness to the power of Christ and purity in a world of darkness and sin. Here is the link for the US Association of Consecrated Virgins.
Now, before you all start getting panicky about me giving up on the Felicians, I just want to say that I am looking at this as a possibility for me. I would rather consider all possibilities now than when I am going through major formation. Besides, while, if this end up being God’s will, I won’t be living in community, wearing a habit, taking a new name, or any of that but at least I shall be wedded to Christ and serving the Church. And, I would be under the direction of the Archbishop of Detroit. I cannot say that that was not a perk to me. I would be consecrated to the Lord and would be “attached” to the faithful of Detroit.
I intend to keep discerning and praying. Though all of this may seem like it’s what God wants for me, I know of some seminarians and such who though in love with Christ and His Church discerned that this or another particular path was not for them, no matter how much they may have loved it or the people connected to it. Maybe my “church ladies” were right. God speaks through many channels. He also tends to speak in quiet or even silent tones. We shall see.
And I will be discussing this with my confidante. He’s not my spiritual director per say but I still value his advice no matter what. Besides, I love having spiritual talks with him. He is objectively wise beyond his years. No matter what nay-sayers might utter about him. They iz all just jealous. lol
Well, I am off to bed. Morning prayer at 6:45 and Mass at 7:00am, then breakfast with the Sisters and then get ready to head home. Can’t wait to be back at SJA. Though I have loved my time here with the Sisters, I do miss and love SJA and my family.
Also, please pray for me. You have no idea how much I would really just love to move on with formation as if nothing like this has popped into my mind and heart but this has come up and I don’t think it happens without reason. There is a reason for everything. But, as Scarlett O’Hara was apt to say when she was dealing with something major, “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” And that is just what I shall do. And pray too.
Good night, everyone!