About Me

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Florida, United States
I am a Hopeful Bride of Christ and I long for the day I can dedicate all of my life to Him. I have been actively discerning religious life for about 4 years now and I have been accepted to enter the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church. I hope to begin formation soon and beg your prayers that my student loans do not keep me from entering. With your help and prayers I hope that my entrance to the SMMC will soon be reality. Rest assured that you are all in my thoughts and prayers - most especially those young men and women discerning their vocations, whether to the religious life, priesthood or married life. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I continue this journey toward Him.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rosaries

I started making rosaries in an effort to help me bring down my student loans and I wanted to share with some of you.  The Lord has been showering me with graces and miraculously the local Catholic store owner will allow me to place the rosaries for sale at her store.

If you would like to purchase one, feel free to send me an email or post a comment (it will not be published)  I am also working on a knitted quilt (hope that turns out good) that I hope to raffle off in a few weeks.   Pictures will be up as soon as they become available.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Making Him the focus

The Eucharist - Read and Understand the Gospel...Image by Michael 1952 via Flickr
You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name.  John 15:16

I love seconds, whether it comes to food, engrossing myself in a book or watching a favorite movie.  The same is very true for the mass; I love the mass and always love seconds.  On Sundays I will sometimes return for the 7pm mass (the last mass of the day) or catch it the second time around on EWTN.  It is always interesting to hear different priests' homilies.  During the week, I attend mass on my way to work and would sometimes listen to the first mass of the day on EWTN hoping that a second homily will help me to better hear all the Lord has to tell me.

This morning, I rushed in church at the tail end of Monsignor Tugwell's short homily and was mentally regretting not being able to attend mass this afternoon (I am traveling to a weekend retreat)  On top of it all, I forgot my work laptop at home and had to go clear across town.  It was all I could do to stay focused on our Lord in the Eucharist.  As I was saying the Anima Christi after communion I started expressing to the Lord my gratitude for all of the graces He's bestowed on me.  All the while however, there was this weird lingering doubt in my mind over the fact that I couldn't do it and I was really starting to question whether my vocation to the religious life was genuinely from the Lord.

Well of course I couldn't do it, it's not I who does it it's the Lord.  I am merely an instrument which He uses for His Glory just like he used Our Lady.  At the time however, that was the last thing on my mind as I was so focused on myself and what I could or couldn't do.  Halfway through the drive back home to pick up my laptop I turned the radio back on (EWTN of course) and the Magnificat prayer was being said at the end of the Sonrise Morning Show.  I said it along with the prayer leader and started to realize that I was doing it again, making my call to religious about myself rather than about the Lord.  It is so easy to sometimes lose focus of the Lord in our day to day lives and I find it even worse when I lose focus of Him in the midst of my own discernment to religious life.

I turned off the radio after the prayer and started to think of the formation of a religious sister - this process can take years!  I kept pondering this as I carefully sped (oxymoron, I know) back to work.  The waves of doubt came back again: "what if I can't do it?" "I may not persevere" "What if the Lord is not calling me to live my years in this particular community"  All these questions in my head reminded me that I was not making the Lord my focus and that I needed to rely on Him now more than ever and would need to continue to do so especially during my formation years and the rest of my years as a sister.

I turned the radio back on and caught the reading of the Gospel (the Genealogy of Jesus) In his homily, Father Miguel pointed out that though Joseph was a just man and Mary born immaculate the genealogy of Jesus is not contained of all perfect people.  He pointed out Rahab, Ruth, Isaac, Jacob and other not so perfect members.  He drove home the point that in His divine logic, the Lord does not always choose the obvious ones.  "Peter denied Jesus three times and Paul persecuted the Church yet these two are pillars of the church" he reminded us.  With this he recalled John 15:16 "You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name."  

This bit came at the perfect time since I was so focused on being perfect that I became more focused on myself more than Christ.  The Lord called me and He has reason for doing so, though I do not yet know why he chose a sinner like myself to use for His Glory, I must strive to remember that the choice was His.  Living according to the Lord does not mean striving to be perfect but rather striving to be pleasing to Him in all that we do.  We are called not to be perfect but to live holy lives; something I need to remind myself of every day.  Yes strive to love perfectly and to grow in the virtues but in trying to be the perfect human I find that I become more and more imperfect because I forget the most important thing: to focus on my beloved and to rely on Him and follow His Holy Will.  In doing this will I be a better me, a me more and more like him who was the perfect one.

As we approach the end of the Advent season I invite you to join me and making Christ our focus everyday.

Pax!
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Virtue of Patience

It's been over a week since my last post and with things being so busy at work the time has flown by.  However, it has not gone by fast enough for me to lose sight of the fact that I am still waiting to hear from Mother about my entrance.  With joyful anxiety, I check the mail every day and eagerly answer my phone hoping to hear news from her.

As I reflect on the season of Advent, I think of the joy that is to come as we await the arrival of our Lord.  I am reminded every day of the need to be patient.  As I grow in my faith, I focus on growing in the virtues; especially the virtues of temperance and patience.  We all need to grow in the virtues; however I am sure in doing a deep self-examen we will find that there are particular virtues that we are most in need of.

Awaiting an official answer from mother is a gentle and sometimes painful reminder of the need for patience.  It all boils to trusting in the Lord which has been the theme for my discernment and my life.  The more I worry about where the Lord wants me to serve Him, the more I realize that I need to continue to trust in the plans that He has for me.

So as I pray and eagerly wait the arrival of our Lord, I also pray and await a response from the sisters and I look forward to the joys that I will experience when I learn where I am to live my yes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Novena to the Immaculate Conception - Day Nine

Happy Feast day of the Immaculate Conception! The novena ended today and though I wasn't always faithful, I can honestly say that the Lord and our lady were faithful to me.  These past couple of weeks I have been struggling with arranging details for a fund raising dinner.  However, the Lord has been using many angels to show me that He has His hand in it all.

Thank you all for your prayers, thoughts and encouragements as I journey toward my vocation.  I will continue to keep you in my prayers.


PRAYER TO THE
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

O God,  who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us, purified through Her intercession,  to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ,  Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.

Amen.

Day Nine
 
O Mother of the King of the Universe, most perfect member of the human race, "our tainted nature’s solitary boast," we turn to you as mother, advocate, and mediatrix. O Holy Mary, assist us in our present necessity. By your Immaculate Conception, O Mary conceived without sin, we humbly beseech you from the bottom of our heart to intercede for us with your Divine Son and ask that we be granted the favor for which we now plead... 

(State your intention here...)
 
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will. 

Amen.

Recite the Litany of the Blessed Virgin (Linked Here)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Novena to the Immaculate Conception - Day Eight

PRAYER TO THE
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

O God,  who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us, purified through Her intercession,  to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ,  Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.

Amen.

Day Eight
 
O Most gracious Virgin Mary, beloved Mother of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, intercede with him for us that we be granted the favor which we petition for so earnestly in this novena...O Mother of the Word Incarnate, we feel animated with confidence that your prayers in our behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. O Glorious Mother of God, in memory of your joyous Immaculate Conception, hear our prayers and obtain for us our petitions.

(State your intention here...)  
 
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.

Amen

Recite the Litany of the Blessed Virgin (Linked Here)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Novena to the Immaculate Conception - Day Seven

PRAYER TO THE
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

O God,  who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us, purified through Her intercession,  to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ,  Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.

Amen.

Day Seven
 
O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God, and my mother, from the sublime heights of your dignity turn your merciful eyes upon me while I, full of confidence in your bounty and keeping in mind your Immaculate conception and fully conscious of your power, beg of you to come to our aid and ask your Divine Son to grant the favor we earnestly seek in this novena... if it be beneficial for our immortal souls and the souls for whom we pray.

(State your intention here...)  

O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.

Amen.

Recite the Litany of the Blessed Virgin (Linked Here)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Novena to the Immaculate Conception - Day Six

Happy 2nd Sunday of Advent!  Thank you all for the continued prayers.  Some new developments in my fundraising efforts (to be shared in a later post) that is convincing me that the Lord's hand is in it all.

Let us continue to hope and pray together as we await the Lord.

PRAYER TO THE
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

O God,  who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us, purified through Her intercession,  to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ,  Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.

Amen.

Day Six
 
Glorious and immortal Queen of Heaven, we profess our firm belief in your Immaculate Conception preordained for you in the merits of your Divine Son. We rejoice with you in your Immaculate Conception. To the one ever-reigning God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three in Person, one in nature, we offer thanks for your blessed Immaculate Conception. O Mother of the Word made Flesh, listen to our petition as we ask this special grace during this novena...

(State your intention here...) 
 
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will. 

Amen.

Recite the Litany of the Blessed Virgin (Linked Here)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Novena to the Immaculate Conception - Day Five

Day five of the Novena and I am somewhat tempted to just give it up; I have been struggling with saying it faithfully (I almost missed saying it last night!!)

I am thinking part of the reason for this struggle is because I had three novenas going (I need lots of help)  I had the St. Francis Xavier novena going along with the miraculous Christmas novena; I ended the novena to St. Francis yesterday and I eagerly wait to know the Lord's will, though I believe I am starting to see fruits.

Please continue to keep me in your prayers as I journey towards my yes to the Lord.

PRAYER TO THE
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

O God,  who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us, purified through Her intercession,  to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ,  Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.

Amen.

Day Five
 
O Lord, who, by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, did prepare a fitting dwelling for your Son, we beseech you that as by the foreseen death of your Son, you did preserve her from all stain of sin, grant that through her intercession, we may be favored with the granting of the grace that we seek for at this time... 

(State your intention here...)
 
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will. 

Amen.

Recite the Litany of the Blessed Virgin (Linked Here)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Novena to the Immaculate Conception - Day Four

In the fourth day of this novena I can honestly say that I am seeing the graces that the Lord is bestowing on me, I am being reminded of the power of novenas and I couldn't be more fortunate to have recourse to our Lady.


PRAYER TO THE
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

O God,  who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us, purified through Her intercession,  to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ,  Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.

Amen.

Day Four
 
O Mary, Mother of God, endowed in your glorious Immaculate Conception with the fullness of grace; unique among women in that you are both mother and virgin; Mother of Christ and Virgin of Christ, we ask you to look down with a tender heart from your throne and listen to our prayers as we earnestly ask that you obtain for us the favor for which we now plead... 

(State your intention here...)
 
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.

Amen.

Recite the Litany of the Blessed Virgin (Linked Here)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Novena to the Immaculate Conception - Day Three

Day three of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception.

PRAYER TO THE
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

O God,  who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us, purified through Her intercession,  to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ,  Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.

Amen.

Day three
 
O Blessed Virgin Mary, glory of the Christian people, joy of the universal Church and Mother of Our Lord, speak for us to the Heart of Jesus, who is your Son and our brother. O Mary, who by your holy Immaculate Conception did enter the world free from stain, in your mercy obtain for us from Jesus the special favor which we now so earnestly seek... 

(State your intention here...) 
 
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.

Amen.

Recite the Litany of the Blessed Virgin (Linked Here)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Novena to the Immaculate Conception - Day Two

Yesterday I started the Novena to the Immaculate conception and I must say I am excited and looking forward to see how the Lord's will unfolds.  I am trusting that whatever I need I will get though it may not necessarily be what I explicitly ask for.

Join me in continuing this novena.

First, recite the Prayer to the Immaculate Conception. Then, recite the appropriate prayer of each of the nine days.

PRAYER TO THE
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

O God,  who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us, purified through Her intercession,  to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ,  Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.

Amen.

Day two
 
O Mary, ever blessed Virgin, Mother of God, Queen of angels and of saints, we salute you with the most profound veneration and filial devotion as we contemplate your holy Immaculate Conception, We thank you for your maternal protection and for the many blessings that we have received through your wondrous mercy and most powerful intercession. In all our necessities we have recourse to you with unbounded confidence. O Mother of Mercy, we beseech you now to hear our prayer and to obtain for us of your Divine Son the favor that we so earnestly request in this novena...

(State your intention here...) 

 
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will. 


Amen.


Recite the Litany of the Blessed Virgin (Linked Here

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pray With me

As some of you may be aware I have been Storming Heaven heavily for the past couple of months because I strongly desire to start formation next summer and with the hefty amount of my loans, I will need more help than just paying a bit extra every month.  I am currently doing a Novena to St. Francis Xavier and this morning started a Novena to the Immaculate Conception (how could I resist when the Blessed Mother is so dear to my heart?) I also thought it was perfect since the 8th of December is the day of my consecration (I am consecrating myself to her as well, in the example set by St. Louis de Montfort)

I invite you to join me in prayer - perhaps you have something that you really need Mary's assistance with or maybe you have a friend or family member you wish to pray for.  I also invite you to send me any of your intentions and I will be more than happy to add them to mine.

First, recite the Prayer to the Immaculate Conception. Then, recite the appropriate prayer of each of the nine days.

PRAYER TO THE
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

O God,  who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us, purified through Her intercession,  to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ,  Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.

Amen.

Day One
 
O most Holy Virgin, who was pleasing to the Lord and became His mother, immaculate in body and spirit, in faith and in love, look kindly on me as I implore your powerful intercession. O most Holy Mother, who by your blessed Immaculate Conception, from the first moment of your conception did crush the head of the enemy, receive our prayers as we implore you to present at the throne of God the favor we now request...

(State your intention here...) 
 
O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will. 

Amen.
 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Going Steady

Today I met with my Spiritual Director and we had a brief chat about how things are going with me.  I shared with him some of my recent doubts lately and the temptations that I have been fighting with (should I date, perhaps I should look into a different community)

These feelings are coming in while I have been waiting for a formal response from the community I have applied to and as I wait, I start to find myself falter in my trust in the Lord.  Though deep in my heart I know I want nothing more than to belong to Christ, I have been fighting these doubts that I know are nothing less than the evil one's attempts to thwart me.  I expressed to my SD that I don't want to love anyone like I love Christ and I want to fall in love with Him like I have never fallen in love with anyone before.  If only I could learn to trust in Him and in my relationship with Him.  I feel as though I am a young woman in a relationship where my lack of confidence in my boyfriend's feelings are leading me to question what I know deep within me is a good and solid relationship.

Father's response was ever so supporting and understanding and he said that like in a new relationship, there will be ups and downs; there will be arguments; good times and bad times.  But I must not turn back, I must continue to go forward and take that next step and that is to go steady.  Like one worried about limiting my opportunities I hesitate to go steady but yet I desire that more than anything; I want to know that I am exclusively His but I hesitate because of the fear that He may not want me exclusively to Himself.

Some time earlier in my discernment, I shared with a Vocation Directress how anxious I was to know that the Lord wanted me to be His and how my heart ached to know and to be His bride.  Her reply was to ask Him; I am now realizing that though I have asked the Lord to show me His will, I have not asked Him to call me to Himself.  I want very much to be called to Him but there is an underlying fear that holds me back.  Pray with me dear readers that I may surrender to Him and trust in His love for me.

In His Love,
Hopeful

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On Responding to God's call

God, you have chosen me to follow you despite my not being worthy.  Help me to get the courage to say yes to your call so that I may receive your promises.

Give the Grace I pray to trust you and to turn my gaze to you so that I may overcome the fears that hold me back.  Help me to know your will for me and to follow it.

Holy Spirit, I ask for your guidance and your help as I strive to do the Lord's will.  Help me to give my all to Christ so that I may live a life that is worthy of the call from Him.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Waiting... and Trusting

About a month ago I submitted my paperwork requesting entrance to the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church.  I have been working very hard at not paying attention to the time and trusting that the Lord will do it all in His time.  However, this task has proven to be just very difficult; I am trying quite hard to fight the urge to call and to inquire about the receipt of my documents and when I can expect a response.  Obedience is something I am learning to practice more and more daily.  As the prophet Samuel said to Saul "To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed better than the fat of rams" 1 Samuel 15:22. 

I have also applied for the MEFV and currently working with the LabourĂ© Society for assistance in eliminating my student debt; I find that I'm overcome by a fear so great that it is sometimes painful to think of the future.  I fear that I may not be able to give my life to the Lord due to my financial obstacles.  I know these fears are due to a lack of utter trust in the Lord.  However, try as I might I cannot totally trust the Lord to take care of these obstacles.  This doubt in the Lord pains me even more so than my fear of not being able to truly be His and give my life for Him. 

When I started my discernment process, it seemed that I had all of the trust and none of the patience.  I remember begging the Lord to show me to tell me ASAP whether or not He was calling me and to show me in lightening speed what it is that He had planned for me.  What never worried me was my student debt; I always felt and trusted that if the Lord was calling me to Him my financial obstacles meant nothing.

Daily I find myself asking the Lord to take away my doubt and to help me to remain faithful to Him and to continue to trust.  I pray the Blessed Mother along with St. Michael can help me fight the devil's attempts to divert me from the Lord.  Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I strive each day to be Obedient to the Lord's timing and to trust in Him more and more.

Monday, October 18, 2010

On Trusting the Lord

We are called to give of ourselves in order to receive, to empty ourselves in order to be filled.  How then do I come to know that I am doing so?  The call to religious life is about sacrifice for the love of Christ.  I must learn to trust in the Lord's guidance and Providence so that I may let go.

I find that it is a lack of trust which leads me to have reluctance and anxiety about taking action.  Help me Holy Spirit to get the strength/trust to act.  Amen

Sunday, October 17, 2010

On being bought back by Christ

Christ has called me to Him despite the fact that I could never in a million years be worthy of that call.  This is again confirmation the the call to religious life is not at all about me (a sinner) but rather about Him.  It He who drives me to seek.  It is He whom I aim to be for others, who I want to encounter in others.  Holy Spirit, grant me the grace to never forget that the call and the life is about Christ. Amen

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The power of Novenas

I probably should have two separate posts (one for the MEFV) and another for the Novenas but I am being lazy. So the application to the MEFV Grant was due yesterday (had to be postmarked by then) and though I had intended to do my hours novena to the infant of Prague in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I ended up doing half of it at work and the other half in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

For those of you who may not know, the infant of Prague was perfect for this situation (patron of vocations, finances, students among others) I think I may want to do a days novena in another few weeks. The thing is, this was my first time saying a full novena. I have always ended up missing a day or something would deter me from completing a novena. For a reason that I cannot explain, I felt such a peace and confidence as I started to near the end of my novena. I must confess that when it came to novenas although I would join with others in saying them, I never fully trusted (might be because I never had the chance to complete one) or it could be because I was never inspired by the Holy Spirit to do one.

I have been feeling this urging to do a 54-day Rosary novena (the rosary is very dear to my heart) and I started it yesterday with the goal of finishing on the day of my Consecration to the Blessed Mother. Back to the point here, what I mean by pointing out the power of novenas is that it reinforces our Trust in the Lord and our confidence in Him to provide for us, whether the Lord provides on our time or not. In my case for example, I was very anxious about the MEFV application and almost didn't turn it in. However, I decided that I would turn it in as well as say a novena that would end on the due date. After completing the 7th hour I knew and trusted that the Lord will provide and if it is His design for me to enter next year, He will remove any obstacle. However, if His will is for me to wait I must trust in that and I do, (this was the source of my anxiety before)

I have learned that Novenas are not for everyone and we must trust the Holy Spirit's guidance when it comes to saying a novena. However, if you allow yourself to be guided in carefully choosing a novena, the fruits can be astounding. Perhaps something is weighing down your spirit and you feel that you need help, I invite you to bring your troubles to Him through the intercession of one or a couple of your favorite saints.

Pax

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On being vulnerable to Christ

I realize Lord that in times of weakness, I shy away from you; waiting for the moment when I "look" better and "do" better. In your moment of vulnerability you invited me in. Help me dear Jesus to be more open with you. Rid me of my pride so that I share with you not just my sufferings and joys but also and most importantly my falls.

Jesus, Come into my heart.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I had an Epiphany

Yesterday during a short visit to the Blessed Sacrament, I started going through my notebook and realized how close I am to experiencing my own "dark night" Of course I know the reason for this, I am not rooted enough in prayer. A few months ago, I was finding myself in the adoration chapel about two times a day and was saying about 4 of the 7 offices. Now, I have found that I am flooded with projects and a never-ending to do list that I have allowed to slowly take priority over my relationship with my intended. This of course, is my own doing; I need to learn to put the following letters together N-O. Until I do that, I must suffer the consequences (being distant from my love)

I didn't mean for it to happen but somehow, I found myself barely saying morning and evening prayer and fighting to say the rosary daily. I know I can't possibly live like a religious while I am out in the world. However, I am determined to do as much as possible to prepare and condition myself for life as a religious. Not so much so that I can get used to "life on the inside" but rather so that I never lose sight of my love. I know one thing for sure, I love Christ dearly and want to continue loving Him, the only change I would like is to see that love continue to grow. I know the one way to make sure that happens is to continue to keep in contact with Him. I am not satisfied with just going to daily mass, I want to do more to nurture my spiritual life and to strengthen our relationship.

The point of this post, is to say this; the notes that I re-read yesterday reminded me of where my focus should be and what my goal is - to be one with Him - In an effort to keep myself rooted and focused on Him, I will try to post some of these past reflections on a daily basis. Some of them are quite short while others are rather long and have no aim (at least that is what I think of them) some are short personal prayers while others are some questions that have come up during my spiritual readings.

As you read them, give me some feedback and let me know if I you would like to see more of them.

In Christ my Love
HB

Sunday, October 10, 2010

On remaining close to the Lord

In the past couple of months, I have found that the "fire" that burned deep inside of me for Christ has dimmed.  This brings me great sadness as I want nothing more than to feel His constant presence.  I do know however that much of this is due to the fact that I have not been keeping close to Him.  I didn't realize until now how much of a presence He was in my life.  However, due to my stumbles I have allowed myself to get further away from Him.  This is nothing but the sinfulness of pride getting in the way.  

In my moments of weakness, I should run to you Lord rather than turn away.  Lord, be with me in my times of failure.  I pray that I continue to focus on you rather than my falls.  I know Lord that what leads me to this spiritual desert is my continued distancing from you.  Please Lord keep me close to you; in all that I do, please help me to remain forever faithful to you and forever yours.  Amen

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Marriage

On Saturday September 18th, I went home for a visit (well a celebration really)  My uncle was getting married.  He and his wife have been married civilly but decided to have their union blessed (Praise God)  During the Homily, I was soooo moved. the priest talked about the dedication and commitment it takes to make a marriage work and most importantly how it needs to be God-centered.  Somehow, I felt as if he were talking about me and my desired groom, Christ.  I felt a longing then that I had never felt and it was then that I truly realized that being a bride of Christ is real.


My sister always jokes with me in the worst Spanish accent ever that "you will never be a bride" and of course I reply yes I will, God willing and I will have the privilege of always wearing my bridal gown.  More and more I am realizing my heart wants nothing more than to belong to Christ, body mind and spirit.  I used to worry about the differences between a physical marriage and a spiritual marriage, between the physical motherhood and the spiritual one and I found myself asking "can I really do this?" I realize something, I can't, at least not by my own volition.  I do know though that with Him who strengthens me I can and if this is indeed the life that he is calling me to, I can do it.  I only pray that He continues to call me to Himself because the more I discover about the beauty of marriage, the more I want that marriage to be between myself and Christ.


Pax

Friday, October 1, 2010

Application Status

Ok so I just went in for the follow up to my Psychological Evaluation and the report that I expected to be completed next week was actually typed up and is faxed, Praise God!  So now, I just need to wait until mother reviews my application.  I am so thankful to all of you who have kept me in your prayers.  Know that you too shall continue to be in mine.

I am now preparing to complete the application for the Mater Ecclesiae fund for vocations, I am trying to trust in the Lord's providence.  I know His timing may not necessarily be the same as mine, I just hope I can accept it.

Pax,
HB

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Am I being judgemental?

I know you are probably thinking no :) but hear this out.  I have noticed over the years that somehow I can't help myself when I see things I deem to be offenses against the Church or the Lord.  Like for example someone going to mass wearing shorts they wouldn't even wear to hang out with friends or watch someone eat something right before mass and then taking communion or folks picking up their purses, go to communion and run right out of the door afterwards.  You say these are little things and perhaps they are, after all we are not dressing to impress are we? and God doesn't care what you wear does he?  But I beg to differ!

Let's talk about the attire, nothing offends me more than watching someone (mostly young women) dress in a way that shows disregard for our Lord, I mean you would dress nice to meet the Queen of England or some other dignitary so why is the Lord not worth the same attention and care?  And why should I care? because it seems everywhere else I look (the Baptists, Anglicans, Lutherans) they seem to dress with reverence and care while it appears as if us Catholics do not care, but we do!

And then there's the leaving right after communion.  Now I know some of us are busy and must sometimes rush back somewhere (Home to a sick child/parent or to work) but my answer to that is go to a different mass.  Ether one where you can find someone to sit with your sick loved one or one where you have enough time not to have to rush to work.  I don't know about you but if I were to throw a dinner party and my guests ate and just left before everything could even be put away I would be upset.  Again I'm sure there are folks thinking that God doesn't care but I really think He does.

Y'all excuse my ramblings but this kind of stuff hurts and upsets me to the core.  Most especially when I see some of it done by religious, now that is the last group I expected to see this kind of stuff from.

Your thoughts on this, have you ever encountered these things?  Do you also see them as offenses or do you think they are minor?  Am I overreacting by thinking this is offensive to our Lord?  feel free to comment.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My relationship status

So this past weekend, I had the privilege of serving as a chaperone for some of the youth in my parish who went to Rock the Universe.  I must say that the experience was just awesome (I will have to give it its on entry)  However, what struck me is the fact that I was asked if I was dating someone and the way I reacted to it took me by surprise.  I of course said yes because the way I see my relationship with Christ is just that, a dating relationship where I am getting to truly know Him and I am opening my heart to Him.  I want to one day be His spouse and I want to belong to Him - Mind, body and spirit.

What I felt when the question was asked of me was a bit of a hesitation, there was a reluctance on my part to admit that I was dating because then I would truly be committed.  I then realized that there was a tiny part of me that wanted to be available - for what though, I didn't know.  I felt like one of those girls who was ashamed of someone she was dating because of uncertainty or even possible reactions.  And then it dawned on me that I was not willing to commit to Him like I desired to be.  Here I am yearning everyday for the day I get that letter that puts me one step closer to being His, yet on the other hand I want to keep the fact that I yearn to be His bride a secret.  I also realized something at that point, we had a secret relationship (at least on my part) and the fact that this relationship was secret meant that I could not always be faithful to Him (something I desperately want to be) For that reason, I decided that I needed to recommit myself to Him, spending time with Him, following His life and leaning on Him more and more.

In any relationship, it can be hard to remain faithful and to give all of yourself to your another, that task is made even harder when one party will not fully admit to the relationship let along commit to it.  I had deluded myself into thinking that this relationship would not require much work on my part or not need much commitment from me.  However, I am seeing what can happen when I don't commit to Him fully and I do not want a secret relationship.  Instead, I want a relationship that announces itself so that everyone knows that yes I am dating and yes I am taken.  My heart belongs to Jesus Christ who loves me more than even I could begin to put into words and while I can't love Him a fraction of the way He loves me, I can try with all my heart.  I want to belong to Him and only Him for the rest of my life. 

Please pray for me as I fight to remain faithful to Him in my day to day living.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Knowing His will

A couple of weekends ago, I found myself questioning my desire and my love for the Lord, let me preclude by saying that I have been trying to finish this entry for some time now (since August 30th) and I find it hard to even articulate the detail my struggle - hard because there is so much that I would like to explain and also because I feel that admitting my struggles will somehow make it harder to deal with them.  It seems that on the one hand I desire nothing but to be totally and completely belonging to Jesus.  On the other hand, I am somewhat curious about the possibility of married life.  Although I must admit, the curiosity is not necessarily because I truly want to consider that vocation but primarily because I am being tempted in the worst possible way.  I am still questioning my vocation, not because I don't believe God is calling me but because I fear that I will forget to lean on him and will most surely fail in my journey.

I strongly believe that what I have been experiencing is nothing short of the evil one trying to lure me away, what scares me is that I am in danger of falling in his trap.  I pray to God to have the strength and the widsdom to call on him in my moments of weakness, I know what I must do yet lately I have felt powerless to do it.  I pray that I can remain rooted in prayer so that I may remain always and forever Christ's.

Please keep me in your prayers as I struggle during this time of Spiritual Warfare.

Saint Michael - Protect me!
Mary, Mother of the Church - Pray for me

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Novices

On Sunday, August 22nd 4 postulants became novices with the Sisters of Mary Mother of the Church.  What a joyful day! I am so excited for these sisters.  I continue to keep them in my prayers and hope to join them one day soon.  Here is a link to some pictures and info on the new novices.  I am hoping that a video becomes available soon.  Enjoy :)
From left to right: Sr. Maria Faustina, Sr Paschalina Maria, Mother Kathryn Joseph, Sr. Margarite Marie, Sr. John Paul (On either side of them are Bishop Skylstad (far left) and Father Connall)

On another note, I am getting closer and closer to completing my application to the SMMC and hope to have all the different pieces in soon.  Please keep me in your prayers.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The struggle to be Holy

As baptized Christians, we are called to be Holy, to live more and more like Christ everyday - yet it pains me to see how I act from minute to minute.  Take today for example (and it is not over yet), I overslept and therefore did not get to go to adoration or mass before going in to work (I will have to get that done later in the day)  I always prefer to receive Christ at the beginning of my day.

Back to the point of this entry; by 9:30 my day was going horribly - I found myself getting angry quickly with my co-workers (though I don't show it and I don't direct it toward them) my interactions with them is affected, I am impatient and unwilling to be understanding.  So what if I have explained something three times already? Should I be so greedy and so focused on myself that I cannot be inconvenienced?  The ironic thing is while meditating on the 2nd joyful mystery this morning, I ask the blessed mother for her help in being more tolerant and charitable so not to mind so much being inconvenienced for the sake of others.  I believe the events of today is the Lord's way of giving me the opportunity to express the love for others that I so wish to express, yet I am never able to rise to the occasion. 

Why is it that we all desire to be holy but we lack the fortitude to remain loving to our brothers and sisters, I find that what I lack is love; more so than patience, or understanding.  I believe a deep love for all will have a positive impact on my interaction with others - regardless of how many times I've explained something or how frustrating I believe they are being..  I am unable (more like unwilling) to love when it is not on my terms.  I always use the excuse of being too tired, too overwhelmed or too busy to be kind or to be loving. 

But I got to thinking, Jesus was human right?  He was all of those things, too tired, too busy, and I'm sure even too hungry at times.  Yet he always showed love, he always had an open and understanding heart.  It saddens me that I want to espouse myself to someone I am so far from.  Granted we don't want to be exactly like our spouses but come on, it would be nice to be able to share some of the same positive qualities. 

The point of this long and somehow pointless rant is that I have a lot of work to do.  I knew I had work to do but the amount is much more than I thought. 

Keep me in your prayers, that I may be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit to love my neighbors as I love Christ.

Jesus, come into my heart!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A little bit on my journey

Still trying to get the hang of this; I am new at this and am not sure what to do.  I'll just speak a bit about myself, I am a hopeful SSMC and pray that God leads me to that community.  I am currently in the process of requesting entrance and pray that it is God's will that I become a sister.  This has been a desire that He has placed in my heart for some time now.  However, in the past 2 years or so, I feel like He has confirmed my vocation.  If however he calls me elsewhere, I am open to that as well.  

I have had some wonderful experiences in the last couple of years that has led me to be so much more open to the Lord's will.  I ask that you please pray with me as I continue this journey to follow him.
1581 Psalter with Rose Warm sunlight streams d...Image via Wikipedia
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Case of insomnia

It is almost 3 and I am not sleepy.  Part of it is because of the storm earlier but most importantly I think it is because I am anxious.  I am working on my application packet.  I hope all goes well.

Keep me in your prayers!