Today I went to 11am Mass at the nearby hospital. Afterward as I saw in the pew, a lady whom we've been aquainted with for some time (although I confess I don't remember her name!) came over to me all bubbly, saying in an excited whisper, "I heard someone say you are thinking of becoming a nun. Is that true?" When I answered in the affirmative, she was all encouragement. "When I heard that, I thought, 'Isn't that just fabulous? She is just so perfect for that!' You are one of the really special people I know, the kind of person that leaves you feeling good when you've seen them."
Needless to say, I was both touched and lifted by the encounter. And it's not the first of its kind...so many have had similar reactions to my discernment. I realize that I am blessed to be the recipient of such affirmation. I know that plenty of young people respond to their consecrated vocation with little support from family and friends. My case is the quite the opposite... there are so many dear souls both supporting and praying for me on this journey. (Just tonight at a wake, a homeschool mother told me her 10-year-old daughter prays for me "by name" all the time!) The support also brings with it a few challenges of its own — there have been times I've faced a bit of worry about not living up to all the expectations. But I realize that fundamentally, the widespread support is a truly great blessing. It's a little like the "community" aspect of a courtship, only a slightly different kind of courtship.
Thank you, Father, for the Mystical Body of Christ.