Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Earl Grey Soliloquy: The Mystery of Vocation

Hello dear sisters,

Praised be Jesus Christ!  I apologize I haven't been around for a little while.  My life has been busy, and crazy, and fun, and stressful, but God has been with me through all of it.  Now that summer is over, I hope to get back to a better prayer and blogging schedule.  Today, however, I wanted to share this beautiful, short, and sweet post from Maria @ Earl Grey Soliloquy  You can follow the link below to see the full post.  It is a great encouragement!!  Please pray for Maria as she enters into the next chapter of her life!

Earl Grey Soliloquy: The Mystery of Vocation:      It is my last day at home, but somehow it hasn't hit me yet. The monastery I'm entering feels very distant when I'm sitting...

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Ad Jesu Per Mariam... Repost

Hello dear sisters!!

Today I begin my preparation to renew my Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary on August 15th, the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary.  I made my consecration 2 years ago on that date and I'm very excited to read and pray in preparation again.  I thought I would re-share this post I wrote on Maidens for Mary in April of last year.  I hope you find it inspirational.  Have you completed the Consecration before?  If so, on what Marian feast?  If you haven't, I encourage you to join me during this period, or find another upcoming Marian feast to complete your Consecration on!

"The more we honor the Blessed Virgin, the more we honor Jesus Christ, because we honor Mary only that we may the more perfectly honor Jesus, since we go to her only as the way by which we are to find the end we are seeking, which is Jesus." 
~St. Louis De Montfort 
Trust in me, my daughter, that I am your mother.

The Total Consecration to Mary was written by St. Louis Marie de Montfort (1673-1716), a French Roman Catholic priest and confessor.  "The essence of this true devotion is the total offering of one's self and all one's goods both temporal (of this earth) and spiritual to Our Lady-in as much as the duties of one's state in life will allow-and then living as dependent upon her as a slave to a Queen." (Manual for Total Consecration to Mary pg. v)

(Here is a page with more info: https://www.saintbenedict.com/tradition/total-consecration)

Our goal as children of God is to be happy with Him forever in Heaven and this is brought about by a complete and perfect union with Christ and His will.  How better to achieve this than to imitate the only person on this earth who has ever attained this complete union of wills?  Mary was conceived without sin (we call this the Immaculate Conception) so that she could be a pure and sinless means to bring Jesus into the world.  We know this from the words of the Archangel Gabriel, "And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." (Luke 1:28) Since Mary is without sin, her will is in perfect union with God's.  Therefore, we want to imitate this most perfect example of union with God's will.  We ask Mary to help us attain this perfect union with Christ. 

"When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own." (John 19:26-27)

Christ gave us Mary as our mother when He gave her to the apostle St. John.  If Christ is our brother and wants what is best for us, than so too would His mother be our mother and want what her Son wants for us.

Also, this consecration directs us to offer all of our prayers, sufferings, and desires to Jesus, through Mary.  This concept is illustrated by Jesus' first public miracle, "And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come. His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye." (John 2:3-5)  Mary petitioned the needs of the bride and groom at Cana to Jesus and will do so for us as well.  As we see in this story, Jesus will refuse her nothing.  Therefore, we ask Mary to present our needs to her Son so that He will answer them.

There is a very beautiful and special book that illustrates why we go to Jesus through Mary. Take it to the Queen This original fable explores the events of Jesus' life, and demonstrates the role of the Virgin Mary as the benevolent agent of God's people. Reduced to desolation by a king and prince who feel they have been wronged, the residents of a once-favored village must seek help from the queen, a native of their devastated town.

Have you made your total consecration to Jesus through Mary yet?  If not, here are some things to get you started.

  • Visit this link to learn more about the Total Consecration.
  • Pick a date to complete your consecration on.  You can pick almost any Marian feast day and there are a ton!  I did mine on August 15th, the feast of the Assumption of Our Blessed Mother.
  • Find or order a copy of the Manual for Total Consecration.  You can also get this copy which includes St. Louis de Montfort's other book, True Devotion to Mary, which makes great supplemental reading anytime.
  • Begin your total consecration reading and praying 33 days before the date of your consecration.
  • Finally, don't worry if you miss a day or fall behind.  Prepare your heart and strive in all you do to imitate Our Blessed Mother in her virtues.
There are also some beautiful products for you to commemorate and help you remember your Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary.  You can find them here. 😊

Remember that Mary is your mother.  She loves you and wants what's best for you.  She will always keep you under her mantle of protection as long as you ask and place your trust completely in her more than capable hands.

"Am I not here who am your Mother?  Are you not under my shadow and protection?  Am I not your fountain of life?  Are you not in the folds of my mantle?  In the crossing of my arms?  Is there anything else you need?"

~Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego

If you have some extra reading time while you are making your consecration or after you have made it, I highly suggest that you read Mary Was Her Life: The Story of Sister Maria Teresa Quevedo.  It is an AMAZING account of the life of a young girl who lived her short life here on Earth entirely through Mary.  I made my consecration in August of 2017, but Ven. Maria Teresa really taught me how to live this consecration in every little aspect of my life.

I haven't perfected my consecration yet, but that's not the point.  Mary will help you.  Ask for the grace to grow in your trust and consecration.  You are all in my prayers.

Let us always go "Ad Jesu per Mariam,"  "To Jesus, through Mary."

In cordibus Jesu et Mariae,


Friday, July 12, 2019

"Can we keep talking about Jesus?" Repost

I came across this blog post from the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus and I thought it was short and sweet but so true!  I just had to repost it.  It's so very hard in this 21st center to put the phone down and stop checking for notifications every 5 minutes.  But we need to turn off these distractions to hear the quiet voice of God in our lives.  Enjoy this sweet story by Postulant Therese!

"Can We Keep Talking About Jesus?"

Amidst the buzzing of technological distractions today, one might say we have muted Christ’s knocking on our hearts. It was not until giving up my own “beloved” Android Samsung, that I was able to see just how often I was running from silence by checking it all throughout the day. How long, I wondered, has Jesus been waiting to enter the silence of my heart, just for me to turn away and check my phone? With this in mind, I couldn’t help but worry, how will children search for Christ in a world that offers so many distractions? Only a few weeks in our Carmelite Child Development Center proved to me that Christ goes much deeper than the distractions of the world. One encounter I had speaks for them all. While working on an art project, a few children had crowded around my lap and began asking questions about the crucifix around my neck – nothing new. “Why did Jesus want to die for us?” and “How can I be better friends with Jesus?” were only a few of their remarks. All the while, one little girl, “Ruth”, gently held the little cross in her hands, gazing at it intently. Eventually the questions ceased, the children returned to their play, and I refocused my attention to the painting station. Without noticing that Ruth was still hanging on to the crucifix around my neck, I continued directing the project. After a great silence passed Ruth finally looked up, “Sister,” she asked quietly, “Can we keep talking about Jesus? I like it and I really want to know more.” Such sincere words! Suddenly all the children painting had stopped to listen to me, eagerly waiting to hear more about Jesus. How beautiful it is to witness the joy of little ones seeking to know Christ. Is this not the cry of each of our hearts? Lord, help me to desire to befriend you, just like your little ones at Carmelite. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

2 Quotes on Discernment from St. Teresa of Avila

I've slowly been reading St. Teresa of Avila's The Way of Perfection and came across these two quotes, among many others that seem very helpful to discernment.  Even though this book was written with her community of sisters in mind, I believe anyone can benefit from her lessons on prayer, humility, and charity towards those we live with.  May St. Teresa of Avila intercede for us!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Discerning Your Vocation in High School

Even in my freshman year of high school, people (adults) would ask me what I wanted to do after high school; what college I wanted to got to.  Many people expect you to be thinking seriously about what you want to be even at 13 years of age.  The truth is, you may have an idea of what you want to do as an adult, but that idea will most likely change.  Young teenagers change so much in their 4 years of high school.  And sometimes, graduating seniors still don't know exactly what they're going to do.

So do you really need to discern your vocation in high school?

Well, the answer is half yes, half no.  Yes, we should always be searching for the will of God in our lives and trying to live it out so that we can reach heaven.  But no, we don't have to have everything figured out perfectly to the last detail in high school.  We certainly shouldn't stress or obsess over it.

I used to think my vocational discernment began in high school (and maybe it really did) but I don't think I made any real progress until afterwards because that's when I really started putting time into discernment.  High school keeps most teens super busy and at that time in our lives, we are called to just be good students.  We are called to study, obey our parents and teachers, help around the household, and grow in holiness.  These should come first.

After high school, I took not 1 but 2 gap years and in these years, I had time to spend with Our Lord in serious discernment of a religious vocation.

Now I'm not saying you should leave off discernment completely until graduation, not giving it another thought and just living it up in high school.  No.  I simply mean, please don't stress over figuring out your vocation as soon as possible.  God may tell you right away exactly what you are meant to do but he might not and that's ok.  His timing is perfect and we need to first learn to trust Him.  Instead of worrying, here are some ideas of what to do so you can start pursuing God's will.

Pray!  (hehehe). I know I say this a lot in my posts but it's often the simplest and easiest thing to do.  Maybe starting morning and night prayers??  Here's a post I wrote not too long ago about integrating prayer into your life.

Read books about the Saints and religious life.  I don't necessarily mean specific discernment books but just books on the lives of the Saints and the lives of religious (fiction or non-fiction.)  These can be very helpful in giving you a picture of the religious life and they are fun to read as well.  Here are a few ideas (links to Amazon):

Take advantage of the time you have at Mass and adoration.  You may not be able to (or have time to) drive yourself yet to adoration and daily Mass, but don't stress about it.  Just try to make the most of the times that your family goes to Sunday Mass or adoration.  Spend some extra time just sitting with Jesus after Mass on Sunday.  Quiet your heart and just adore Him.  The more we are "in-tune" with God, the more we will be able to hear His still, small voice throughout our lives.

Grow and develop yourself; body, mind, and soul.  We learn something new everyday and it's often about ourselves.  Maybe we'll discover a hidden talent or maybe a virtue that we need to cultivate.  Take care of yourself and your relationships with other people.  God often uses those around us to guide us, so having meaningful relationships with family and friends is important.  We can all help each other find our vocations and our way to Heaven!!

Don't date.  Jk.  Don't just have a boyfriend because it's the thing to do in high school.  I know what I'm saying isn't the popular thing to say, but it's true.  Dating should be treated as a form of discernment and should be a serious relationship in which two people discern whether they are compatible and want to make a lifelong commitment to each other.  Whether you're dating or discerning, you're trying to figure out your vocation, your calling from God.  Instead of casual dating, try to work on your relationship with God.  This starts with understanding Him which leads to my final piece of advice.

Get to know God and strengthen your relationship with Him.  Remember to turn to Him always when things are difficult.  His love and mercy are always there for you.  Before you can become "the bride of Christ," you have to get to know Him and love Him!!  This is sooo very important and is a step many of us often forget about.  Spend time with Our Lord in prayer and spend time with Him in the people around you; your parents, siblings, friends, etc.  As we get to know Our Lord better we will rely more on Him and our trust will grow so that He can guide us in His perfect and holy Will for our lives!

Know, love, and serve God in this life so that you can be happy with Him in the next.  Remember to take one day at a time and do God's will for today!  That is how He will lead us in our life's vocation for the future!  Please know I'm praying for you that God bless you in your high school journey!  Pray, hope, and don't worry!!

In corde Mariae,