Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Number Six's joyful announcement!

We have spoken on the phone a while back... when she returned to campus from the stay at the Norbertine Monastery over Holy Week and Easter. I wanted to wait until she herself announced it to the family and posted publicly about it.

There were many tears, from our beloved daughter and from her parents both. Undoubtedly from her siblings as well. But there is such peace and joy in the heart--we as parents have seen this coming probably since her First Holy Communion. We were privileged through the years to be raising a daughter who was so evidently being called by God for something much better than this world. As her confirmation godmother and I agreed one day--the world was never able to have a hold on this daughter of ours.

She tells her story in a moving blog post here. I copy it below.

I found a video that tells a bit about the history and the life of the sisters here.

From her blog: 

Anyone who knows me knows uncertainty scares me. I'm terrible at making decisions and I'm afraid of commitment for the most part. So how am I ever going to find a religious community to join, let alone actually join one? 
Well, God took care of that for me a long time ago, without my realizing it.
And now here I am, preparing to enter the Norbertine order as a Canoness of the Bethlehem Priory of St. Joseph. Not only joining a convent, but leaving college to do so. That's a pretty drastic decision. But really, it wasn't my decision. It was God's decision, and He made it a long time ago. He just showed it to me over Easter.

I feel as though my life has always been a puzzle, with pieces strewn here and there, and I didn't know they were connected or even that there was a puzzle. But God knew, and he put all the pieces in front of me. The solution was right there, but it took one intense Triduum and a few nuns to show me how to solve it. And now it all makes sense, and I am amazed I didn't see it before; but maybe I wasn't meant to see it before.
The Norbertine Order fits my personality perfectly. I would say that it's like God took my personality and interests and made a religious order out of them, but it's more the other way around: He took an order and made a person to belong to it. Now I know why I never felt at home in other orders: there was still one out there for me! I never imagined it would be this, well, easy to join a convent. They say that you can be pretty confident you're doing God's will when you start doing it and obstacles just kind of...melt away. I've definitely experienced that so far. For example, my student debt to pay off before entering was thousands of dollars less than I expected it to be. Thank you, TAC financial aid! Other such small things have occurred which indicate, it seems to me, that I'm on the right track.
Obviously, it's going to be difficult in a lot of ways. One of the few disadvantages of a large family is I'm leaving a lot behind when I leave the world! I will never be around to watch my nieces and nephews grow up and I'll never go to the weddings of the rest of my siblings. But at the same time, what a deep and profound spiritual bond I can have with my family members and friends, as I give up my whole life in prayer and penance for them and for the world! I will be like their full-time spiritual tech support. Frankly, I will be a lot more useful to them than in any other circumstance.  
This whole year leading up to the discovery of my vocation has been a lesson in love. Freshman year for me was all about learning to trust God, and in a similar way the theme of sophomore year was learning to love. Love God, love other people, love myself, love life and the joys and sufferings that come with it. Learning to love every minute He gives me and live it to the fullest. It is through love that we have life and "have it abundantly".
Learning to love will be a slow process for me. It's a good thing you don't have to already be holy to enter a convent! I have so much to learn from my Sisters, and they - God bless them - will have a lot to put up with from me. One of the sisters told me their community would be a challenge for me, but I wonder if I might end up as more of a challenge for them! Praise God for His mercy in giving us the grace to live out our vocation well; otherwise, I think it would be next to impossible. 
I am terrified yet excited to begin this new adventure. It takes a lot of faith going into something with so many unknowns, but God has gotten me this far and if I just follow, He'll lead me where I need to go. Prayers for me during my preparation and entrance would be greatly appreciated. Saying good-bye to the world is hard, and saying hello to religious life will probably be just as hard, but it will be worth it! After all, the Lord tells us to leave our families and everything behind to follow Him. It's easier said than done, but with the help of a multitude of prayers and plenty of grace from God, I know I can do it.

Posted by Maria B-H at 8:18 AM

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