Visitors - Come on in and say hello!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Epiphany

Psalmody
Ant. 1  When will I come to the end of my pilgrimage and enter the presence of God?

Even when I think the journey is over, I find that God has not given up on me.  Even when I've long given up on myself, God sends messengers in the form of angels, homilies, friends and prayer to call me again to Himself, to rouse me to battle on and seek Him in my Vocation...whatever it is.

I wrote only a few days ago that I'm certain I am NOT called to religious life, and the last time I met with my SD, he commented that I seemed at peace with the idea.  I hesitated, though, in responding.

No, I'm not totally at peace with that idea. I know that there is something more, and in the end, I told him I think I'm just in some strange limbo. Neither here nor there, just....existing. Trying to focus on what I know and needing to work on holiness in the present moment.

The problem is that I'm so weary from this journey. I'm so tired of seeking that I'm ready to lie down and go to sleep, accept where I am and just go on from there. I'm ready to accept that I'll be single forever, and that my Vocation is one of perpetual pilgrimage, wondering if I should take private vows to that effect and be done with it.

This weekend, though, we suffered experienced the transferred Solemnity of the Epiphany, and at my home parish, the Pastor gave an incredible homily about the Magi, about their journey and about how we should learn from them. The journey is hard, but their eyes were on the goal.  Father called us all to keep our eyes on the goal, and not to give up just because it seems at times that the journey never ends. He cited weariness, he cited trials and difficulties, delays and roadblocks. And then he called us all onward, to continue that journey because to find Christ under the star, to adore Him, is the goal of us all for eternity. He waits for us, He awaits our gifts, not just of what is needed...but the free gift of ourselves.

As Father spoke, nearly every word cut right through me. He didn't know I was there. He wasn't speaking to me or intending to be speaking in terms of Vocation.  Yet...that's what he was doing.  As I listened to his homily, I couldn't help but see the parallels between the journeying Magi and my own search, the search that seems to go on into eternity. First waiting, and then, upon recognition of the star, that there really IS a goal, to travel the long and dangerous route to get there.

No, Father wasn't talking to me personally...but the Holy Spirit was, and He isn't one to leave me alone.  Later that day I saw that another priest had delivered the same message, although a bit more specific (I'm hoping he posts the text; all I have is an allusion to it.)

I left Mass a bit shaken, realizing it ISN'T over, God HASN'T forgotten about me, and hasn't abandoned me.

At that same Mass I pondered Marriage again, wondering if I was wrong. All I know is that the Single life isn't fulfilling. I need something more, am called to something more and the way I'm living it now isn't "it".  Yes, I've spoken of being single as a Vocation, and it can be...when it is committed and consecrated in some way. For now I'm still floating. As I've called myself before, I'm a dangling participle, hanging out with a question mark.

I thought about a guy I met recently, and even as I considered wanting to know him better, I thought, and tried to push it away,  "But I want to belong to Jesus."

During Mass on Sunday, during the Offertory, I thought about Marriage, about that guy and considered yet again that I KNOW I am not called to marriage.  To be clear, I LOVE men, I think men are great, I'm attracted to men and sometimes lose about 100 IQ points in their presence, but I have absolutely no desire to have children and don't feel a bit "pushed" by the "biological clock" so many women cite.  I cannot see myself as a mother, I cannot see myself raising children, I cannot see myself married even without children. The very idea is preposterous to me.

Every time I read scripture, praying the psalms of the  Liturgy of the Hours I realize I want God alone. I want to come to the end of this journey, and I want Him to be waiting at the end of it.

If I picture my wedding, in my mind's eye I don't see a groom and a fitted gold ring, but I see the Cross, I see a priest, and I see a ring that is a crown of thorns.  I see the eternal wedding, of the Lamb and the Church and I know that nothing but God will ever satisfy me.  I want to die to the world in order to die in sacrifice and rise with my Beloved, I want to do as His Mother commanded at the Wedding at Cana:   everything He tells me. And I want to spend my life in Adoration of Him, for why would ANYONE ever want to be out of His sight?

This morning I knelt before a Nativity in a church to pray Morning Prayer, contemplating the Incarnation, the wood of the cradle and the wood of the Cross, the Adoration of the Magi...and death to myself.

Ant. 1  When will I come to the end of my pilgrimage and enter the presence of God?

Psalm 42
Longing for the Lord's presence in his Temple
Let all who thirst come; let all who desire it, drink from the life-giving water (Revelation 22:17).

Like the deer that yearns
for running streams,
so my souls is yearning
for you, my God


My soul is thirsting for God,
the God of my life;
when can I enter and see
the face of God?


My tears have become my bread,
by night, by day,
as I hear it said all the day long:
"Where is your God?"


These things will I remember 
as I pour out my soul....


Why are you cast down, my soul,
why groan within me?
Hope in God; I will praise him still
my savior and my God.


My soul is cast down within me
as I think of you...


Deep is calling on deep,
in the roar of waters:
your torrents and all your waves
swept over me.


By day the Lord will send  
his loving kindness;
by night I will sing to him
prais the God of my life.


I will say to God, my rock:
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
oppressed by the foe?"


Why are you cast down, my soul,
why groan within me?
Hope in God; I will praise him still
my savior and my God.

Ant. When will I come to the end of my pilgrimage and enter the presence of God?

 Tonight, during Evening Prayer, I prayed on:

Ant. 2.  The Bridegroom is here; go out and welcome him.

Psalm 45, II

Listen O daughter, give ear to my words:
forget your own people and your father's house.
So will the king desire your beauty:
he is your lord, pay homage to him.


The daughter of the king is clothed with splendor,
her robes embroidered with pearls set in gold.


She is led to the king with her maiden companions.
They are escorted amid gladness and joy;
they pass within the palace of the king.


Sons shall be yours in place of your fathers:
you will make them princes over all the earth...

Ant.  The Bridegroom is here; go out and welcome him.

Canticle:  Ephesians 1:3-10
God our Savior


Praised be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ
who has bestowed on us in Christ
every spiritual blessing in the heavens.


God chose us in him
before the world began
to be holy 
and blameless in his sight.


He predestined us
to be his adopted sons through Jesus Christ,
such was his will and pleasure,
that all might praise the glorious favor
he has bestowed on us in his beloved. 


I have spent so much time and energy running away from Him.  I don't know my Vocation, I can't say that I am being called by Him to be His Bride, yet I likewise cannot rest where I am, for my journey is not complete.  Like the Magi I must continue on this quest, recognizing the light of Christ and knowing I have a choice:  to follow it or to walk away.

He won't let me walk away. He won't let me forget, He won't leave me in "peace"...



Through His persistence, and the unwitting encouragement of my Pastor,  I choose to follow and see where that star of Bethlehem leads....
****


Holy Spirit Sister in Adoration photo source

4 comments:

ck said...

Gorgeous post.

Sr_Mary said...

Excellent post. The pic is of OUR Lincoln Christ the King chapel. MANY HOURS of my own vocational discernment was in that very chapel. It was where I went to 7:00 am daily mass before going to work down the street, at 8:00. It was in that VERY CHAPEL God spoke to my heart and confirmed what I thought was an answer to prayer, and a certain calling from him to be a religious. Yes, you ARE called to belong to HIM alone ... whatever vocation you discern He calls you to, you remain ALL HIS. Thanks for the post!

Trang said...

Your commitment to Christ is inspirational. I pray that you receive strong discernment regarding remaining single in devotion to Christ or devoting your life to Christ from marriage. Remember that Christ knows what is of your heart and what is best for you including your happiness. So if you let go and let God, he will be the one to guide you into singledom or marriage.

Adoro said...

Trang ~ Thank you for your comment. However, I was not writing here about a call to remain single, but rather, to once again discern a Call to enter religious life - and specifically - the cloistered contemplative life.

Being Single is not a Vocation unto itself. We are all called to some form of consecration. I know I am not called to marriage. Therefore, what I am discerning is whether I am to be a Bride of Christ Himself, or seek another form of consecration.