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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mawwiage, Mawwiage

Mawwiage.  Mawwiage is what bwings us togethaw today.  Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam... 

~ The Princess Bride 

In my crabby ranting post I wrote last night in which I expressed that having a roommate is making me seriously reconsider the potential of religious life, there was a comment I want to address.  

He expressed that he feels I have a Vocation to motherhood. 

I sincerely disagree with every fibre of my being.  If there is ANYTHING that gives me any sense of peace at all, it is the "knowledge" that I am NOT called to marriage. 

I love marriage. It's beautiful. It is holy. It is part of God's plan of salvation. I will fight all day long to defend marriage, and I will defend the life of unborn children. 

But it's not my Call. 

Last summer, I attended the wedding of a friend, and it was beautiful.  She and her husband are very holy people, they knew fully what they were doing, they had carefully discerned God's will, and let's just say it's one of those weddings even Priests like!  

But I had an amazing moment during that Wedding Mass;   when they stood at the altar exchanging vows, I realized that I never wanted to have that experience. I did not want to stand at the altar and give my vows to some mere mortal. I DID NOT WANT TO GET MARRIED!  EVER!   As I prayed about this, I was absolutely FLOODED with peace, and even a kind of quiet joy...the knowledge that this is not where God is calling me.  

That sense has not left me. I am not called to marriage, I am not called to have children. 

That shouldn't be taken to mean that I hate men, marriage, or children. Far from it!  I LOVE all those things, I love the Sacrament...but it's not where I belong.  And that's a sense that I've had for a very long time, although I was in denial of it.  Even as I've embraced my Single life, I'd wondered, and said that I was "open" to marriage.  Am I now?  Of course..God Calls where He will. But He also helps us to know what it is that He is asking...or not asking. 

I firmly believe that God is NOT asking me to get married. That doesn't sadden me. It isn't something to be mourned, because it's not something I ever "possessed".  

People have told me over the years that a good Sister would also have to be a good wife and mother, and I agree. But I've considered marriage, and even focused on it...and have eliminated it from consideration at this point. 

This is a good thing; it means that one door has been closed.  The options that remain are religious life or the single life.  Of those, I have to discern what community/charism/spirituality, etc., or if not, then what kind of single life?   Single life as I live it now, or consecrated single life as a hermit? 

Having a roommate again is leading me back into single life, but I also realize my irritation could only be a temporary distraction.  I am by no means at the end of my discernment. 

I am, however, happy and very peaceful with the understanding that marriage is not my Vocation. And that is a relief! 


Anonymous said...

You are so right on with your understanding of marriage and consecrated Chastity. "Mere mortals" can never rise to the spousal love of Christ. AT the same time, community life is a far cry from a single roommate or sorority... we all have a common rule, common purpose and common prayer. It makes a world of difference. Believe me: community life is a daily miracle ... grace in action!

Lillian Marie said...

Okay - no vocation to 'sisterhood'; no vocation to 'motherhood' -

that's it - I guess you'll just have to be a lady bus driver like me. *grin*
(yes, story behind that comment)

In 4th grade, a friend's mom had a baby & my friend was telling me that her mom was in a lot of pain. Came home that night & asked my mom - she agreed but also stated that the joy of being a mom nullified any pain felt. Then, I asked if there was a lot of blood - she said some. Then my dad came home after giving blood that day. In those days, they cleansed almost the entire arm with iodine and put a huge bandage overtop with huge amounts of tape as well.

I announced to my family that night - I was not going to have children - I was going to be a lady bus driver.

So there you have it - the vocation of all vocations - a lady bus driver.

(thought you needed a laugh for the day)

Rae said...

I've heard the "sisters are good mothers and wives". I've also heard it in a different context--

That they're the wives of Jesus and the mothers of the children of the Church.

I don't know if you've heard that, but I just wanted to share.

Adoro said...

Sr. Mary ~ I thank GOD that He preserved me from entering a sorority! (although my college didn't have sorority houses).

LM ~ I'm pretty sure I don't have a vocation to be a lady bus driver! lol! Cowgirl maybe, though.

Rae ~ That's exactly what is meant by that comment. Some people actually take it literally, however, and that's taking it too far. For example...a woman who is called to religious life is indeed a Bride of Christ and a spiritual Mother of the Church, but that doesn't mean she necessarily would have been a perfect wife and mother - those are different charisms. And if it's not one's's not one's Vocation.

Hard to explain...I know what I mean but I'm expressing it badly!

Deacon Bill Burns said...

Actually, Adoro, it was none of my business and I was out of line. I apologize for it.

Anonymous said...

Theocoid ~ No, you were fine. It was actually refreshing to hear from someone who's not assuming I'm headed for the convent! lol

Warren said...

Wow, Brilliant! Adoro! This is the point exactly. So few people get this.

If I believed, that I had been called to the priesthood (and by now I'd be called a missed vocation) then the idea of marriage would not have any spiritual fire under it, so to speak.

This is why I love to ask priests, and religious of all kinds, about their vocation stories. They have about them the qualities of the best romances. They are, after all, sharing with me, a love story.

A love story, where individuals respond with unrestricted love, adoration, and comittment, to God.

This vocation is extraordinary, whereas marriage is the ordinary road. Thus, it seems to me that although priests and religious remain very much human, there is always something extraordinary, something supernatural, about the call of God, and the response, there is a characteristic joy, an abundance of it. Nowhere do I look to that joy more, than in the case of my own dear St. Francis. There was a fire of Love burning in him hotter than any fire on earth or below it. There was nothing that could satisfy him but God alone. This same fire burned in St. Elizabeth of Hungary, and in many others.

As a person called to marriage, not priesthood or religious life, I believe that I can have that fire too, in my secular state. That is what I mean by my profession to the Secular Franciscan Order.

However, I think that for those who
can leave behind the secular life, for the religious life, there is a particular joy, and charism there, that should be affirmed, encouraged and promoted, without in any way taking away from marriage.

It is marriage which is the picture of the love of Christ for the Church, not the other way around. The love of Christ for the Church is eternal, human marriage is only until death do us part.

There is a particular type of response to God, made out of love not obligation, and which is the individual's response to God, although there is some role to be played by the community, or the Episcopate, there must also be an individual yes said to God, a yes like Mary's formed out of the very purest love of a handmaiden, for her Lord.

I love a good love story, and vocation stories are some of the best. My friend Sister Christina told me her vocation story, and she speaks of it the way a woman speaking about her husband would speak. Her love for God us overflowing, and her joy is evident to all. Vocations are the call of God, the ultimate lover of your soul.


uncle jim said...

cowgirl, huh?

with skis strapped to yer back, maybe?

and riding range in WY or ID or CO or some such at a ski lodge, roping in potential avalanche starters.


I want the screen rights to it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that sounds like fun to me!

MemoriaDei said...

I feel your discernment process and your peace when you discover. I went through this 4 years ago for 2 years. Praying daily. Asking "what?" One day outa nowhere, I heard (not a voice) say, "You don't have to wait for me to tell you. You decide and do it for love of Me." Wow, the peace. I knew immediately that God was just letting me use my free will completely to choose but to choose any which way out of love for Him." Phew...peace...felt so good.

Lillian Marie said...

I'm not sure about those ski lodges ... heard broken arms & legs occur frequently. And sometimes, you may even get a glimpse of a full moon. ha ha

Maggie said...

Vocational discernment can be so tricky- I'm currently struggingling with it- so I'm glad you're eliminated one of the options!

Have you considered consecrated virginity? It's not sisterhood, and CVs don't live in community or wear veils or call each other "sister" but they have a mystical marriage to Jesus in earth. There's an awesome blog written by a newly consecrated virgin that you might like-

Adoro said...

Maggie ~ thanks for your comment. Consecrated Virginity is also one of the options I've eliminated, although I did look into it.

What I didn't know about until recently was a Consecrated Sister Hermit, they DO wear habits (that may vary, however), and it might be something I eventually consider, especially considering that high debt would not prevent that particular Vocation.

Anonymous said...

Hi Adoro,

Yes, this is something I'm thinking about now, amidst university study and not exactly being sure about my actual vocation (being apart from any job/career).
While you may have ruled our marriage, I think I have ruled out the religious life.
So, I'm praying that I'm either directed towards marriage, or I'm seriously considering being a member (for want of a better description) of Opus Dei and taking yearly vows but living in my own home.

Good luck with it, it feels very confusing at times and it's very tempting to just look to the heavens and say 'Oh, just leave me along why don't you? It's too hard!'


Pam H. said...

Great book, re getting along with others in a convent:

The Hidden Face by Ida Friedericke Gorres. Best book (besides her own) on St. Therese of Lisieux I've ever read. Stunning.