Lent is here and though I thought I was ready for my favorite Liturgical season I am finding out that I am not quite there.
I have been racking my brain over the past weeks trying to figure out what I must do for Lent and what I needed to "give up" There were so many decisions to make. In other news, I found out the decision of the MEFV board and I was not awarded a grant. I don't take this to mean that I will not be able to enter this year, I take it to mean that I will have to trust the Lord to work out another way for me to enter this year.
I am currently visiting the sisters, no I am visiting my sisters and of course I took the opportunity to be here to speak to Mother. We spoke for a couple of hours and it was really wonderful to be able to talk to her. In the middle of our conversation SrMJ who was copied on the email came in and gave the news that the MEFV board was not able to award me a grant. I took this opportunity to continue speaking to mother about one of the things I wished to do (which was to move closer to the sisters should I be unable to enter this year) we left it up to discuss in May after the Laboure Society makes their decision on grants.
In the meantime we discussed possible ways I can fundraise and I've got homework. I got very excited at the prospect of working with my local Serra club for assistance in fundraising. I also got the chance to speak to one of the Local Catholic bookstores in Spokane and the owner was gracious enough to allow me to put my rosaries in her shop as a way of fundraising. I of course spoke with Mother who was definitely in agreement, so if you know anyone in the Spokane area direct them to ABBA's bookstore and invite them to support me and the sisters in my vocation journey.
Working out ways to make my entrance a possibility this year made me realize what I needed to work on giving up. It is not something tangible but it has been a big obstacle for me, it has even been the cause of me not being able to grow in some of the virtues I so desperately want to grow in. The big monster I am speaking of is PRIDE, I have been telling myself that the reason I am not too forward about asking for donations is because I am worried about folks who are struggling. The fact is (as I am often being told and I keep conveniently forgetting) many catholics want the opportunity to support vocations in the Church. Due to my pride I have decided on my own not to even give them that opportunity because I either don't want to share my story or decide they won't receive me in a positive way. I've realized that in either case I would be in good company. Jesus Himself wasn't well received by his own townsmen! so who am I to be apprehensive about that? The face to face meetings that I have had have proved to me that I've been wrong about my worries and I only need to be open and willing to share myself with others and give them an opportunity to help me in any way their station in life allows them to. Perhaps all one person can do for me is pray but it is also possible that another can give $5 while another can give $20 or another $80.
A perfect example is a parishioner who asked me to fix his rosary, of course I didn't intend to charge him anything but the cost of the materials. Well He wrote me a check for $80! Now had I been planning a meeting with him, I would have been reluctant to because my pride would have had me convincing myself that he has little ones and therefore should not be bothered by me asking for a donation. In speaking to him he openly answered "I only wish I could do more" If only he realized what he had done. He has opened my eyes to my issue of pride and reluctance to share my journey.
As a religious you do not belong to yourself; you belong to the Christ, His Church and His people. I am perfectly willing to belong to Christ and His people and I know that will be my life as a religious. In keeping with my desire to live my vocation now, I must therefore be willing and open to sharing my life with Christ's people today.
Please keep me in your prayers this Lenten season. This task will be hard and I know only with the Lord's grace will I be able to do it. I entrust it all to Him and I ask Him for a converted heart that I my replace my pride with true humility.