Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Quote of the Day

"To know whether God will have a person become a religious it is not to be expected that God Himself should speak, or send an angel from heaven to signify His will. It is not necessary that ten or twelve confessors should examine whether the vocation is to be followed. But it is necessary to correspond with the first movement of the inspiration, and to cultivate it, and then not to grow weary if disgust or coldness should come on. If a person acts thus, God will not fail to make all succeed to His glory. Nor ought we to care much from what quarter the first movement comes. The Lord has many ways of calling His servants."

—St. Francis De Sales

Monday, March 30, 2009

Quote of the Day and New Website!

"It was not you who chose me,
but I who chose you
and appointed you to go
and bear fruit that will remain."
(John 15:16)

Oh, that quote is SO meaningful to me, especially right now! The consecrated life was/is not of my own choosing. I have long desired so deeply for the fruit of motherhood. But His words, "I have chosen you to bear fruit that will remain"... could very well be referring to the fruit of spiritual motherhood.

Today I discovered that the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia have a most beautiful newly-redone website. I will be visiting them in a few weeks and it is exciting to explore everything on the new site. Be sure to visit it!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Open Wide the Doors...

"Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away and He gives you everything. When we give ourselves to Him, we receive a hundred-fold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ — and you will find true life."

-Pope Benedict XVI

Music and Meaning I

The playlist at right features about 20 selections that are very meaningful to my discernment. You may notice that there is a bit of a mix...a number of scriptural pieces and John Michael Talbot mixed with a few more contemporary hymns, and even a couple of significant ones from Classical/Pop singers.

I'd like to share about many of these beautiful songs, starting with Love Is Not A Fight and While I'm Waiting. (While I'm Waiting will be the theme of a later post.)

These two songs have grown on me since I first heard them in the magnificent film Fireproof. They are a little more on the "upbeat" side compared to most music I take to, but the lyrics fit so wonderfully into the movie that I fell in love with both. I have since found them to be very relevant to vocational discernment, too.

Love Is Not A Fight
(Warren Barfield)
Love is not a place
To come and go as we please
It's a house we enter in
And then commit to never leave

This stanza actually brings the cloistered life to mind (even though I don't believe I am called to the contemplative/cloistered vocation). In a larger perspective, however, is the call to interiorly "dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple." (Psalm 27:4)

Lock the door behind you
Throw away the key
We'll work it out together
Let it bring us to our knees

Love is a shelter in the raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
If we try to leave,
may God send His angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight,
but it's something worth fighting for

Love is a person, and yes, He is a shelter in the raging storm, and peace in the middle of a war! The paradox of "love is not a fight, but it's something worth fighting for" really speaks to me.

To some, love is a word
That they can fall into
But when they're falling out
Keeping that word is hard to do

Lord has very tangibly been showing me of late what it means to love as a decision, not based on feelings...of which mine can be very unreliable!

Love will come to save us
If we'll only call
He will ask nothing of us
But demand we give our all

Oh, how very true those last lines are! He does demand our all, whether it is through the consecrated life or not.

I will fight for you
Would you fight for me?
It's worth fighting for...

There are plenty of times of interior struggle to let go and accept the love He offers. And there have been temptations to distract me. My God fights for me...so I remind myself that He is worth fighting for. Even if sometimes, that fighting is against my own weak flesh!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Solemnity of the Annunciation

"Ecce ancílla Dómini.
Fiat mihi secúndum verbum tuum."
Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord.
Be it done to me according to thy word.
-Luke 1:38

Visit Women for Faith and Family for a beautiful history of the prayer "The Angelus"! This feast of the Annunciation is a special one for me. If you haven't made note of the blog header, now would be a good time to do so. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

An Unfolding Love Story

I've prayed since childhood to know and follow the unique calling Christ has for me. I have long dreamt of and longed to be a bride, to be a mother, and in recent months He asked me to be more open to total consecration as His bride, and the spiritual mother of many.

Discerning and discovering this call is presently a journey in progress. Many wonderful friends and family have offerend an outpouring of loving support and enthusiasm. I've also wished that I could freeze the most meaningful moments in a time capsule to revisit whenever I need to!

This blog may not be as intimate or personal as a heart-to-heart over a cup of tea, but I hope it may be a place where I can reflect at His workings and chronicle this unfolding love story — both for myself, and for anyone who wishes for a glimpse at the journey. May the manifestations of His love to me be for you just as deep a blessing.

In His Heart,
Claire H.

...A Chosen Handmaiden