I must be doing something right

A.M.D.G.
J.M.J.
A.T.C.

Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in aeternum! Amen.

Saint Michael pwning the Devil

Saint Michael doing what he does best.

Memorial of Saint Lawrence of Brindisi

Because old “merde for brains” has been having a merry old time with me of late.  I don’t mean to make light of it because it ain’t fun and I don’t mean to be calling attention to myself (I actually hate being overly conspicuous … and yet I have a blog …. go figure.) because that isn’t my intention.  I just want to share what’s going on with me and it’s not always beautiful interior locutions and warm spiritual fuzzies (to put it in an overly superficial and highly saccharine way).

Frankly, the past few weeks have not been so great but the past couple have been the real “fun” ones.

It’s become harder for me to pray.  The morning prayer is “meh;” it’s in the evening that really gets me.  I have ruled out fatigue and such.  This is something deeper than lack of sleep.

This difficulty with prayer has led to other things.  When my prayer life begins to dry up, Old Goat Legs sends one of his many minions with his playbook.  He has one on every one of us.  The thing doesn’t sleep … it is always watching.

I need to go on retreat.  I need to go on retreat.  I need to go on retreat.

I just wish I could.  Con tutto mio cuore e l’anima.  Vero.  So much to do.

I think it is taking advantage of my busy-ness and stress.

No, not think … know.  It has made it abundantly clear on many occasions.

Further proof that it has a playbook on me charting all my weaknesses: it is chipping away at something I have been trying to get back since in the convent (I won’t go into what led me to lose it there … it’s a long and highly-involved story that I don’t wish to re-live more than necessary): my confidence and (I usually hate this phrase) self-esteem.

I have always had issues with it since I was a kid.  I never thought I was good enough or that if it was not perfect, I had failed.  It’s part of what has driven me to do as well as I have with school and such (you know, besides the advancing myself intellectually, giving myself broader horizons, etc., etc..).  And the kicker is that it’s always been pretty much solely a personal issue.  I have very seldom felt that those close to me have seen me as a failure or even anything remotely synonymous with that.  There have been times when people have hinted to it to me (some have flat out told me) and it has wounded me and it takes a while for me to heal from that.

Not that I should really care but it’s part of being human … wanting to feel accepted.

But, darn it, it is at it again.  And with a bitter vengeance that I have not felt in such a long time.

What it does is drops a few weed seeds into my heart and covers them in a figurative Miracle-Gro to make them spread like a parasitic ivy, choking other things and afflicting other parts of me: spiritually drying me up and exhausting me is one of those things.

I have experience with this in the past but I cannot really recall it being as tough then as it is now.

It is putting my heart under a very heavy and stressful weight as well.

It is testing something else too: “Let’s see how much she realltrusts God.  Let’s really put her under pressure and see how much she can take.”

I am becoming really stressed because something major has come up with the application to SHMS that can be mortally-wounding to my prospects of starting in the Fall or even Winter or even Spring.  And it kills me.  I have no control over it.  I really seriously don’t.  But I can’t say a word about it specifically.  *facefist*

And that kills me too.  That I really do not have anyone to share it with.  I need someone with whom I can share my inmost self.  Otherwise I have this tendency to feel isolated.  Another weakness of mine.  It ain’t fun.  Believe me.

Oh, and did I mention the fact that it has been having a field day with a couple other things that have been weighing on me quite heavily, besides all the aforementioned things?

I must be doing something right (as in something it doesn’t like) because if I were following its plan, it would not be messing with me as virulently as it is.  It is pulling out all the stops on me now and it hurts like a cold, isolated Hell (in a figurative sense since I hope and pray I never have to experience being totally and eternally cut off from God because of my own choices).

It is also playing on some other weaknesses of mine.  Some are too personal and sensitive for me to share here.  One or two of my close friends who read this know one of them (you know who you are) and I have shared it with them because I know I can trust them as much as one human being can trust another human being with something as sensitive and potentially … why don’t we just leave it at that, shall we?

One of those things that I can share because I am quite sure I have shared it before has been what it does to muck up my discernment.

It is tormenting me with questions that I cannot answer now.  It says things that break my heart or just befuddle me.

“You know … you’ll never have a family.  You will never have children.  You will never have someone to run to.”

“You know … every time you come home.  You will be alone.  No one there for you and you alone.”

It enjoys taking advantage of the almost stereotypical things that almost every woman dreams of at least once in her life: “You know (that’s how it always starts it … attack using my mind … nice.) … you’ll never have that one guy who steals your heart every time, who will flirt with you shamelessly, and in whose arms you will fall asleep every night.”

Why don’t ya just rip me heart out, eh?

I will admit it.  I do wonder sometimes.  In fact, I wonder quite a bit.  And I don’t know how to take it: Is this just me questioning? or is this something more?

Every person, no matter what vocation, is still human.  Priests, monks, and brothers are still men.  Nuns, sisters, and consecrated virgins are still women.  They are still human.  They still have human needs and emotions.  Not that they or we should be controlled by them or allow them to dictate what we do.  We need to deal with them according to our state in life.  But that doesn’t make it any easier.

What makes my situation special (but in no way unique) is the fact that I have not discerned what my vocation is.  I still feel an attraction to religious life, though consecrated virginity seems to fit better with what I have always felt to be integral parts of my vocation.

But then I wonder …

Part of me wants to just figure it out because then at least, I know and then I can stick to my guns and persevere from there by the grace and providence of God knowing that this is what I am to do.

Not knowing is the major pain.  It’s the multi-tine fork in the road.  Except with this fork, each of the possibilities have their own pros and their own cons.  Each is objectively beautiful and good.  Each possesses a unique dignity and charism.  It’s like picking between Ratzinger books: they are all amazing reads because they are from an amazingly wise and intelligent writer; I am bound to grow in one way or another from reading them; and each has its own way of treating the topic at hand.  Bah.  That analogy kinda worked but I hope you can read at what I was trying to get.

So yeah, it’s been grrrreeaatt of late.  Saint Michael and I have been real close.  I am thinking of starting a few novenas to help me in discernment and to ask for the grace to just trust God in all things.  Saint Therese’s Rose Novena has worked for me in the past (that’s a whole ‘nother post), one to the Infant of Prague (I remember finding an “efficacious” novena to the Infant in one of my antique prayerbooks), and one to Saint Joseph (more than one person has recommended him to me and have told me it is best to be specific).  And, of course, Saint Michael and Saint Aloysius.  And Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

I must persevere.  With the grace of God, I will.  I have to trust more.  That’s going to be my downfall.  That’s going to be what keeps me from truly discerning (among other things but that takes precedence over the other things) what the Lord wants me to do.

So if you could pray for me, it would be great.  There is a redemptive value to suffering, no matter how great or small it may seem.  That suffering, when united to the suffering of Christ, attains a redemptive quality that helps us grow closer and more in union with Him.

All right, I am off to bed.  I am exhausted in more ways than one.  I am sorry if this post is a bit of a downer but like I said, life isn’t all happy moments filled with spiritual highs.  There are mundane days and times.  There are dry and dark times.  Such is life.  Just have to trust.  Easier said than done sometimes for a fallen person like me.

Have a nice night!

-Allie

About Ms. Allie

I am a Catholic young woman who works as a Theology teacher at a Catholic high school in the Archdiocese of the Detroit. In Spring of 2015, I graduated with an MA in Theology with a concentration in Systematic Theology. My MA thesis was titled: "Mary as Woman of the Eucharist in the Theology of Pope Saint John Paul II." I also hold a BA in Theology (with a dabbling in Philosophy) and is a member of Theta Alpha Kappa (θΑΚ), the National Theology/Religious Studies Honor Society. Prayers are appreciated.
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