The Lord likes to take me places for me to build a deeper relationship with him. Since April of 09 I have went to visit the Daughters of St Paul, The Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand IN, The Benedictines in Greensburgh PA, The Salesians in NJ, Sisters of Life, TOR Sisters in Toronto OH, and have recieved countless emails from religious orders. These have been great experiences filled with advice from beautiful sisters and heart to hearts with Christ. However, my heart will never be at rest when Im trying to catch Christ. Recently I went on a retreat with the TOR sisters. Before I was expected praise and worship, discussions with Girls, getting up early, and possibly a come and see. However the retreat was not what I expected. When I arrived at the airport I felt ackward with a big suitcase. It made me feel that I brought too many belongings. In reality not very many belongings were in my suitcase except for clothing and music which does take up space! Anyways after we arrive at the convent almost immediately was a shower. It was pertitent to shower for my body was tired and not smelling wonderfully from the airplane travels. A little while after the shower in a small square I met a few girls. We conversed briefly about our journeys and few minutes later a tour began. The place was quite large filled with a plethora of rooms, and many hallways. Almost every room I asked questions! After the tour was a quick talk on the liturgy of hours. Following was our first time in the chapel for the weekend.
My intial time time the chapel:
The first thing I see are the beams which look like Dominos
Jesus is sitting on the altar waiting for the world to see
The Sisters, novices, retreatants are here for Jesus
and me Daughter of Christ asking where he is calling me
I have many thoughts, feelings, wonders, fears
But my tiredness is wiping my mind away
So I just sit and just be in the presence of the Lord
When evening prayer was over it was dinner time. Because they fast on Friday we as retreatants were asked to participate in the fast. The fast consisted of bread, water and a choice of protein which was an egg. Because I was tired the meal was sustaining (somewhat). Following dinner was a beautiful talk by Sister Therese Marie. By hearing her talk I felt her love of Christ and her deep intimate love of him. When the talk ended we made our way to our rooms and after preparations for bed sleep my body went.
The next morning came at around 6:00 AM. This is quite early for me!! We made our way to chapel for a 6:30 am adoration hour. For an hour we were asked to be in the presence of Christ. In the morning it was hard to sit for an hour and be mentally present. Then we prayed morning prayer. Afterwards there was mass I think! LOL!! We sat for a long time in the mornings!! LOL! After prayer was something but I dont remember!! LOL!! Eventually there was lunch. It was nice to talk with the sisters and girls about our adventures in our lives. Througout the afternoon we heard a beautiful talk about the charism in which they used to minister, and a testimony which was full of talk about obedience, and love of Jesus. When the talk was over we had an hour before the empowerment prayer session!! My heart was in anticipation for what the Lord was going to me and what songs the sisters were going to play. This goes against advice from a SOLT priest "Participate dont anticipate".
After an hour or so we made our way to the chapel for P and W. During the prayer time a sister came up to me and asked what was on my heart. I spoke to her and spoke from my heart. The sister began to pray in tongues. I bowed my heart and let the Lord work. While the sister was praying the Lord was speaking to my heart. He was telling me to just be in his presence. I didnt have to go anywhere, sing or do anything for him to look at my heart with love and compassion, and for him to pursue me. Feeling the Love of the Lord was beautiful. He never wants to let go of me!!! When the P and W was ended it was time for dinner. Dinner was nice. I learned one thing at dinner. If I am talking with my hands I cant eat! I had issues conversing and eating!! LOL! I wonder if this is why some orders eat in silence for meal times.!! When the difficult meal was over it was dishes time. That was quite entertaining with a lot of people in the kitchen trying to dry dishes an not knowing where anything went!!! Following chores was recreation. We sat around the bonfire and talking. Me, I was given permission to play my sax around the bonfire. I played catholic hymns on my sax until it was too dark to see. The Sisters loved the music!! When it was too dark to see I sat with a sister and conversed. When it was 9:00 it was bed time for the sisters. I, as well, went to bed.
6:30 comes quite early for this girl. Throught the time I kept waking up thinking my alarm was off. It was soo bizarre. When morning hit, it was time to get dressed, prayer, one more talk and sunday mass. We also had one-on-one talks. My talk with the sister was helpful, tearful and honest. The sister gave me hope and love in my heart. Follpwing the talk was a bit of time before mass and brunch. Each was beautiful in its own way. After all was said and done it was time for me to visit my friends for the night. Visiting my friends was beautiful. We reconnected at a deep level, and knew we loved each other.
After a few days being home my hear desired a come and see. However the sister felt it was not my calling to be considered for their way of life. My heart was saddened but knows the Lord still loves me, wants me as his own.
The most important lesson: The LORD WANTS TO PURSUE ME!! I WILL REST AND LET HIS FIND ME!! My heart will rest in him and he will show the WAY, TRUTH AND LIFE!!!