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As  a former religious, I must agree with you that a huge good bye party, would not be a good idea. You are going off to your time of "dating" the community, eventually "engagement" and then with vows your "marriage." Do not push yourself and do not let others who do not understand entrance into religious life push you. When I came back home to care for a family member, I was the one who felt out of place and strange. No one treated me that way. It took many months (not only for my hair to grow back!) to feel "normal" again. I have known many women who have come home from religious life and who needed lots of spiritual direction to not feel like failures in the religious life. They were indeed not! Entrance is a wonderful time of Gods grace and if you are meant to persevere in the life you will, otherwise it is right to return home and come to know what is Gods will for you. I pray and wish for you every wonderful blessing in this beautiful community. Peace and Goodness, Pax et Bonum!

Kathleen, ofs 

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+ Praised be Jesus Christ! + In about* 3 and a half months I will be entering the Roswell Poor Clares! I beg your prayers in these next months. I will be spending less time on VS for the obvious

[quote name='emmaberry101' timestamp='1351907312' post='2503271'] [color=#222222][size=4][background=rgb(255, 255, 255)]I will not lie, I am aching to be back at the Monastery. Literally aching. I

I entered on this day, 22 years ago! I love the Epiphany! I flew here from MA because my parents didn't want to come (they thought it was a phase, even though I had been a novice for 2 years in an act

   Poem of the Day

 

Prodigal

 

The harlots of my thoughts were beautiful

When I had pride to pay them.

Logic, my favorite courtesan, wore smiles

Sleek as a panther. Coins of my perfect reasons

Fell in exotic jangles down the pockets of my mind.

 

Let the Christ come like lightening. We would meet Him,

My mind and I, with perfect genuflections,

Lift up our arms, and even mention love.

Bu what directory in terrible letters

Will give the rubrics for His tenderness?

 

He came too torn for smiting, and no gesture

Of mine dared trouble the waters of His tears.

A look, no word, only the aching silence

Of His eyes finding mine. Only I know

My lips have somehow found the earth and tasted

Pity like myrrh, learned by intuition

The only rubrics for His tenderness.

 

So my heart broke, and all my bones dissolved.

This beautiful Thief has pilfered my best opinions,

Purloined the currency of my nurtured wisdom.

Now I am poor. The trollops of my opinions

Are bleary-eyed and reek of cheap perfume.

Logic has lost her figure. All my pride's

Gay ornaments have peeled their gilt. But, oh! -

 

The first robe, Christ, has crushed me with its awful

Weight of mercy. How these sandals pierce

With little nails my feet grown great with roaming.

And through what scalding sweetness of new tears,

I see the ring securely on my finger

Gleaming - gleaming too bright.

I close my eyes. 

 

 

 

Emmaberry101, of course I will pray for you!  Actually it's an "addition" (the ear thingy and cold)  of the prayer that's been ascending daily for you and all others discerning/entering,  I would LOVE to have a Mass said for your entrance and perseverance if you PM me with your name.  I support the PCPA's in Charlotte and would have the Mass celebrated in their chapel.

Oh, thank you! Sent you a PM. That is just so thoughtful! And in a chapel of fellow Poor Clare Sisters-you have positively made my day. 
 

As  a former religious, I must agree with you that a huge good bye party, would not be a good idea. You are going off to your time of "dating" the community, eventually "engagement" and then with vows your "marriage." Do not push yourself and do not let others who do not understand entrance into religious life push you. When I came back home to care for a family member, I was the one who felt out of place and strange. No one treated me that way. It took many months (not only for my hair to grow back!) to feel "normal" again. I have known many women who have come home from religious life and who needed lots of spiritual direction to not feel like failures in the religious life. They were indeed not! Entrance is a wonderful time of Gods grace and if you are meant to persevere in the life you will, otherwise it is right to return home and come to know what is Gods will for you. I pray and wish for you every wonderful blessing in this beautiful community. Peace and Goodness, Pax et Bonum!
Kathleen, ofs 

Thank you! I think they are understanding more and more. The problem is, now they are practically vibrating with hope that I will come back home-I don't think they even realized this was a possibility before. :doh: Oh well, all will happen as it should. 
 
I can see how many women who leave religious life feel like a failure.. No matter how much I mentally prep myself for what may happen, it will be incredibly hard not to feel that way.. It makes me wonder about the girls who go in convinced they will be there forever, beyond a shadow of a doubt, and then leave for whatever reason. That must be very hard for them.


The Fioretti of Saint Francis

CHAPTER XIII

 

How St. Francis and Friar Masseo placed the bread which they had begged upon a stone hard by a fountain, and St. Francis praised Poverty much. Thereafter, he prayed God and St. Peter and St. Paul, that He would cause him to be enamoured of holy Poverty; and how St. Peter and St. Paul appeared to him

 

THE marvellous servant and follower of Christ, Messer St. Francis, to the end that in everything he might conform himself to Christ, who, according to the Gospel, sent His disciples by two and two to all those cities and places whither He Himself was about to go; inasmuch as after the example of Christ he had gathered together twelve companions, sent them through the world to preach by two and two. And to set them an ensample of true obedience, he himself was the first to go, after the ensample of Christ, who began to do before He began to teach. Wherefore, having assigned to his companions the other regions of the world, he, taking Friar Masseo as his companion, journeyed toward the province of France.

 

And coming one day to a village and being very hungry, they went, according to the Rule, begging bread for the love of God; and St. Francis went through one street and Friar Masseo through another. But because St. Francis was a man too despicable and small of body, and was esteemed a vile mendicant therefor by those who knew him not, he gat only some mouthfuls and fragments of dry bread; whereas to Friar Masseo, because he was tall and beautiful of body, were given good pieces and large and in plenty and fresh cut from the loaf.

 

And so when they had finished begging they met together to eat outside the village in a place where there was a beautiful fountain with a fair large stone beside it, whereupon each of them laid all the bread which he had begged; and when St. Francis saw that the Friar Masseo's pieces of bread were more plentiful and better and larger than his, he showed very great joy thereat, and spake after this manner: "O Friar Masseo, we are not worthy of so great treasure"; and when he had repeated these words many times, Friar Masseo replied: "Father, how is it possible to speak of treasure where there is such great poverty and lack of all things needful? Here is neither tablecloth, nor knife, nor trencher, nor porringer, nor house, nor table, nor man-servant, nor maidservant." Said St. Francis: "And this is that which I esteem great treasure, where there is nothing prepared by human industry; but that which there is, is prepared by the Divine Providence, as may be manifestly seen in the bread which we have begged, in this beautiful table of rock and in this clear spring. Wherefore I will that we pray God that He make us to love with our whole heart the so noble treasure of holy Poverty, which hath God to servitor."

 

And when he had said these words and had prayed and partaken for bodily sustenance of these fragments of bread and of that water, they rose up to journey into France; and coming to a church, St. Francis gat him behind the altar and betook himself to prayer: and in that prayer he received by Divine visitation such exceeding fervour, the which kindled his soul so mightily to love of holy Poverty, that by the heat of his face and by the unwonted gaping of his mouth it seemed that he breathed forth flames of love. And coming thus enkindled to his companion, he spake to him on this wise: "Ah! Ah! Ah! Friar Masseo, give me thyself"; and so spake he three times; and the third time St. Francis raised Friar Masseo into the air with his breath, and cast him before him a great spear's length. Thereat was Friar Masseo filled with very great wonder; and thereafter, he related to his companions that when St. Francis thus lifted him up and cast him from him with his breath he experienced such great sweetness of spirit and consolation of the Holy Ghost, that never in his life had he felt the like.

 

And when this was done, St. Francis said: "Companion mine, let us go to St. Peter and St. Paul and pray them that they will teach us and aid us to possess the immeasurable treasure of most holy Poverty; for she is a treasure so surpassing and so Divine that we are not worthy to possess it in our most vile vessels; for this is that celestial virtue whereby all earthly things and transitory are trodden under foot and every barrier is removed which might hinder the soul from freely uniting itself to the eternal God. This is that virtue which enableth the soul, while yet on earth, to hold converse in heaven with the angels; this is she, who bare Christ company upon the cross, with Christ was buried, with Christ was raised again, and with Christ ascended into heaven; who even in this life grants to the souls which are enamoured of her nimbleness to fly to heaven; seeing that it is she who guards the weapons of true humility and charity. Therefore, I pray we the most holy Apostles of Christ, who were perfect lovers of this evangelic pearl, that they may beg this grace for us from our Lord Jesus Christ that, of His most Holy pity, He may grant us to be worthy to be true lovers, observers and humble disciples of most precious, most beloved and evangelic Poverty."

 

And thus discoursing, they came to Rome and entered into the Church of St. Peter; and St. Francis betook himself to prayer in one corner of the church and lf Masseo in another; and they abode long time in prayer with great devotion and many tears, until, at the last, the most holy Apostles Peter and Paul appeared to St. Francis in great splendour, and said: "Because thou askest and desirest to observe that which Christ and His Apostles observed, the Lord Jesus Christ sends us to thee to make known unto thee that thy prayer is heard, and that the treasure of most holy Poverty is granted unto thee of God in fullest perfection, to thee and to thy followers. And further we tell thee in His name that whosoever, after thy example, shall perfectly follow this desire, he is assured of the beatitude of life eternal; and thou and all thy followers shall be blessed of God."

 

And when they had thus spoken, they vanished away, leaving St. Francis full of consolation. Thereafter, he rose up from prayer and returned to his companion and asked him if God had revealed aught unto him; and he answered "No". Then St. Francis told him how the holy Apostles had appeared to him and what they had revealed unto him. Wherefore each of them was fulfilled with joy; and they determined to return to the Val di Spoleto and to leave their journeying into France.

Edited by emmaberry101
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I can see how many women who leave religious life feel like a failure.. No matter how much I mentally prep myself for what may happen, it will be incredibly hard not to feel that way.. It makes me wonder about the girls who go in convinced they will be there forever, beyond a shadow of a doubt, and then leave for whatever reason. That must be very hard for them.

 

Hi Emmaberry,

I know this thread is not about this topic, but I just wanted to throw in here my two cents -- I entered my former community with full intention of staying the rest of my life, and I made my first vows with all my heart. When it was clear to me and my community that God was not calling me to the religious life five years after entering, there was a bit of a "let down" experience, but I have to say that I grew to love God more than the religious life. It was His will that showed me that I needed to leave, and so out of love for God, I left the convent. Because of that (leaving out of love for God), there was tremendous peace and joy (sadness too, because I loved my sisters). So yes, in a way it was very hard, but following God's will is like "going with the flow" of heaven, and so in a way, it was all very easy. So, I suppose I am sharing a little of my story in order to give hope about the possibility of discerning out of the religious life. Remember, this is God's love story for your soul! It will be beautiful!

Anyway, I didn't mean to change the current of the thread, but I just wanted to sneak this in here!

God Bless you!

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Poem of the Day
 

Tourist

 

(for Sister Madaleva on All Saints' Day, 1964)

 

It was the grand conducted tour,

Down boulevards of psalms,

Along the winding-pathed responsories

Looking back upon themselves

With quaint design and canny emphasis

God was the guide. Divine enthusiasm

Is something, I find, to throw the heart offguard.

 

So I forgot to check itinerary,

Let Him go His wildly wonderful way,

Love careening through a mass of heroes,

Treading down saints in winey victory.

 

I saw the slain Lamb reigning, heard God praise

His Mother for believing, saw St. John

Crowned with his head by angels.

Then God said,

My saints! One steps back into doorwayed awe

Seeing God moved like this. One looks away.

 

Apostles draining chalices, young girls

Dancing with lamps that spill love on the floors

Of Heaven, and a thousand thousand men

With girt loins, fingers curled eternally 

Around a staff of bliss,-I saw them all.

It was, I say, the grand conducted tour.

 

Only when I ran between the peals

Of glory, looked for rest from majesty

Too thick, too heady for my long enduring,

Sat panting on a low stump south of Heaven,

Did I discover you, sweet lady, singing

A small and secret song, the little stars

Of your bright earthly lauding massed about you,

Flowers nuzzling at your ankles, wonder

Caught forever and ever on your face.

 

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The days are just slipping away...

This is actually happening!? 

OH MY LANTA!

 

Less than two weeks (12 days before I am back at the Monastery, 13 until I enter.) Next Sunday will be my last Sunday at my parish. This New Year will be the last I will spend ringing in with my family and friends. I am starting to schedule (and stress over) all the "Hey, we need to get together one last time" visits. THIS IS MADNESS. I am eating my last-minute sweets like a crazy woman trying to get over a breakup. I am sleeping in like I work the night shift (or work at all..) I am wearing my pinks and bows and favorite hairstyles like they're going out of style. Most of all, I am loving my family as if they'll disappear at any moment. It's so bittersweet, how every last from here on out is bringing such consolation but also brings with it a chilling "throat of ice" (if I can quote Mother Francis). I have heard of postulants crying themselves to sleep their first night in the Monastery, and I always thought "You've chosen to be there!" and "I certainly won't do that! I like the Monastery too much, and there is the grace to factor in as well." Well, I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Still though, the tears, when they happen, won't be actual grief, more like the good cry you have when you've finished a really great book, and now it's time to start a new one..or the tears a bride has when she leaves her family and drives away with her new husband. A new chapter is starting and an old one is closing. All these dramatics and my family and I have already had the good long separation that college provides! How girls who enter the cloister from high school survive this, I will never know! Off my soapbox....for now. :evil:

 

Edit: ^Lies! My apologies. Just wanted to add that, for Christmas, I recorded A Right to Be Merry as an audiobook for my loved ones. They really liked it, so I wanted to encourage any of you who are entering soon to record something for your family, if possible something pertaining to the Order or community you are entering. It doesn't have to be long, but if you are thinking of doing it, definitely go for it, as your family will appreciate it: (1) Because they will have your voice for when they really miss you and cannot just pick up the phone and call, and (2) so they can learn more about your vocation and where you will be living.
 
My family gave me the "ironic familial eyebrow wriggle" today during the readings at Mass:
 
Hannah did not go, explaining to her husband,
"Once the child is weaned,
I will take him to appear before the LORD
and to remain there forever;
I will offer him
....Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD;
as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD."

Hannah left Samuel there.

R. (cf. 5a) Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!
My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Happy they who dwell in your house!
Continually they praise you.
Happy the men whose strength you are!
Their hearts are set upon the pilgrimage.
 
 

Hi Emmaberry,
I know this thread is not about this topic, but I just wanted to throw in here my two cents -- I entered my former community with full intention of staying the rest of my life, and I made my first vows with all my heart. When it was clear to me and my community that God was not calling me to the religious life five years after entering, there was a bit of a "let down" experience, but I have to say that I grew to love God more than the religious life. It was His will that showed me that I needed to leave, and so out of love for God, I left the convent. Because of that (leaving out of love for God), there was tremendous peace and joy (sadness too, because I loved my sisters). So yes, in a way it was very hard, but following God's will is like "going with the flow" of heaven, and so in a way, it was all very easy. So, I suppose I am sharing a little of my story in order to give hope about the possibility of discerning out of the religious life. Remember, this is God's love story for your soul! It will be beautiful!
Anyway, I didn't mean to change the current of the thread, but I just wanted to sneak this in here!
God Bless you!

 
Oh, bethoumyvision, this thread is SO long, feel free to ride it anywhere you want! It really has a mind of its own at this point. :P
 
Thank you for the advice. I have a lot of respect for the people I "know" over VS who have courageously left religious life and are living out God's Will in a different way. It is just a hard thought right now.. If it is God's will, then I am sure the grace will be supplied to not only cope but to thrive, but right now the grace is not there.
 
 

The Fioretti of Saint Francis

 

CHAPTER XX 


Of a very beautiful vision which was seen by a young friar, who held the cowl in so great abomination that he was minded to put off the habit and to leave the Order
 
A YOUNG man very noble and dainty entered the Order of St. Francis: the which, after certain days, by the instigation of the demon, began to hold the habit that he wore in such abomination, that it seemed to him that he wore a most base sack; he had a horror of the sleeves, he abominated the cowl, and the length and roughness of the habit appeared to him an intolerable burden. And his disgust for the Religion ever increasing, he finally resolved to abandon the habit and return to the world.
 
Now he had already accustomed himself, according to that which his master had taught him, whenever he passed before the altar of the convent, wherein was kept the Body of Christ, to kneel with great reverence and to draw back his cowl and with his arms crossed upon his breast to bow himself down. It befel that, on the night on which he was about to depart and leave the Order, it was necessary for him to pass before the altar of the convent, and, according to his custom, he kneeled him down and did reverence.
 
And, anon, he was rapt in spirit and a marvellous vision was showed him by God; for he saw before him an almost infinite number of saints, after the fashion of a procession, two and two, clad in very beautiful and precious vestments of silken stuffs; and their faces and hands shone like the sun, and they moved to the sound of angelic songs and music; among which saints were two more nobly clad and adorned than all the rest; and they were encompassed round about by so bright a light that whosoever looked on them was filled with very great amaze; and, almost at the end of the procession, he saw one adorned with so great glory that he seemed a new-made knight, more honoured than his peers.
 
Beholding the aforesaid vision, this young man marvelled thereat and knew not what that procession might mean, and he dared not ask but stood dazed with keen delight. Nevertheless, when all the procession had passed by, he took courage and ran after the last of them and with great dread enquired of them, saying: "O most dear ones, I beseech you that it may please you to tell me, who are these so marvellous folk which go in this procession so majestical". They made answer: "Know, son, that we be all minor friars, who now are coming from paradise".
 
Whereupon he asked: "Who are those two who are more resplendent than the rest?" They answered: "These be St. Francis and St. Anthony; and he who goeth last, whom thou seest so highly honoured, is a holy friar who is newly dead, whom; because he fought valiantly against temptations and persevered even unto the end, we are leading in triumph to the glory of paradise; and these beautiful silken vestments which we wear, are given us of God in exchange for the rough habits which we wore patiently in the Religion; and the glorious resplendence which thou seest in us, is given us of God for the humility and patience, and for the holy poverty and obedience and chastity which we observed even unto the end. Wherefore, son, deem it not a hard thing to wear the sackcloth of the Religion which bringeth so great a reward; because if, with the sackcloth of St. Francis, for the love of Christ, thou shalt despise the world and mortify the flesh, and shalt fight valiantly against the demon, thou, together with us, shalt have like vestments, brightness and glory."
 
And when these words had been spoken, the young man came to himself, and, comforted by the vision, drove away from him every temptation and confessed his fault before the guardian and the friars; from thenceforward he desired the roughness of penance and of raiment, and ended his life in the Order in great sanctity.

 

abrothaX315a.jpg

Edited by emmaberry101
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Emma, anybody who takes a momentous and life-changing decision and doesn't have a few anxieties about it is probably not very well-prepared.  Your feelings just show normal, healthy fears on the brink of great change.  The last few days before you leave are bound to be a hotbed of emotions, and it wouldn't say much about your love for your family if you didn't have very mixed feelings just now, even though you long to be inside the convent with your sisters.  Usually the best way forward is one step at a time.  Don't worry about leaving before you've even entered.  Let God speak to your heart while you're there, especially once you feel calmer having got the parting from your family behind you.  That's the point of postulancy and it's a time of grace and God's self-giving.  Deep breaths. You're almost there and God will be with you and your family in this strangely wonderful, but unsettling time.  Every blessing for your future.

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Emma, I would be very worried if you weren't stressing over your entrance.  It is perfectly normal.  My friend, before she entered the first time, was anxious about leaving because it was something she had never experienced before.  Her spiritual director told her to prepare herself by trying to keep the convent schedule before she entered so it would not be as stressful when she finally entered.  However, she still experienced homesickness because it was the first time ever away from her family since she had lived with them all her life, even when she was in college.  But, she finally got over it and settled in well.

 

Cherish these final days with your family.  Give them lots of hugs and kisses.  Spend as much time as you can with family and friends and laugh like you've never laughed before.  Make this a time to remember so when you look back on the time before you entered, you'll remember it fondly.

 

You are in my prayers!  :blowkiss:

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Emma, anybody who takes a momentous and life-changing decision and doesn't have a few anxieties about it is probably not very well-prepared.  Your feelings just show normal, healthy fears on the brink of great change.  The last few days before you leave are bound to be a hotbed of emotions, and it wouldn't say much about your love for your family if you didn't have very mixed feelings just now, even though you long to be inside the convent with your sisters.  Usually the best way forward is one step at a time.  Don't worry about leaving before you've even entered.  Let God speak to your heart while you're there, especially once you feel calmer having got the parting from your family behind you.  That's the point of postulancy and it's a time of grace and God's self-giving.  Deep breaths. You're almost there and God will be with you and your family in this strangely wonderful, but unsettling time.  Every blessing for your future.

 
 

Emma, I would be very worried if you weren't stressing over your entrance.  It is perfectly normal.  My friend, before she entered the first time, was anxious about leaving because it was something she had never experienced before.  Her spiritual director told her to prepare herself by trying to keep the convent schedule before she entered so it would not be as stressful when she finally entered.  However, she still experienced homesickness because it was the first time ever away from her family since she had lived with them all her life, even when she was in college.  But, she finally got over it and settled in well.
 
Cherish these final days with your family.  Give them lots of hugs and kisses.  Spend as much time as you can with family and friends and laugh like you've never laughed before.  Make this a time to remember so when you look back on the time before you entered, you'll remember it fondly.
 
You are in my prayers!  :blowkiss:

Thank you both! It really helped to read these. 
 
Please forgive me for the inevitable ranting that will appear here in these next days.. I love following countdown threads, but it also bums me out that the poster (understandably) gets too busy for posting in the final weeks. That's when I would most like to see what is happening with the poster, what they are doing with family, their emotions, etc. 
 


 

Poem of the Day

 

Psalm for the Mother of God

 

Sleeved and skirted in sun, informed with Spirit

Invade the moments of my history,

Mary, with all your terrible bright battalions.

 

You are less cadence than sinew of my songs

Girl whose smiles run down my joys, O woman

Whose fiat! blames my sleep of sorrow, Mary,

 

Loop my feet retreating with your glances,

Ropes of lilacs stouter than any chain!

Virgin of perspective, focus me

 

Fast on your So, and catch my straying glances,

Little foxes, in your trap of hands.

Less cadence be than sinew of my songs.

 

get-attachment.aspx2%2023-41-51.jpg

 

 

The Fioretti of Saint Francis

 

CHAPTER XVII


How a boy friar, while St. Francis was praying by night, saw Christ and the Virgin Mary and very many other saints hold converse with him
 
WHILE St. Francis yet lived, a boy very pure and innocent was received into the Order; and he abode in a little Place, wherein the friars, of necessity, slept on rugs. Once St. Francis came to the said Place, and, in the evening, when compline had been said, betook himself to sleep to the end that he might be able to rise up at night and pray, while the other friars slept, as he was wont to do. Now the said boy settled it in his heart to observe carefully the ways of St. Francis, if so be he might know his sanctity and especially that which he did at night when he rose up. Wherefore, that sleep might not betray him that boy laid himself down to sleep close to St. Francis and tied his cord to the cord of St. Francis that he might perceive when he rose up. And of this St. Francis felt nothing.

 

But during the night, in the first watch while all the other friars slept, he rose up and found his cord thus tied, and he loosed it gently that the boy might not perceive it, and so St. Francis gat him alone to the wood which was hard by the Place, and entered into a little cell which was there and betook himself to prayer; and, after a certain time, the boy awoke and finding the cord untied and St. Francis gone away, he rose up and went to seek him; and finding the gate which led into the wood open, he bethought him that St. Francis might have gone thither, and he entered into the wood.

 

And coming nigh unto the place where St. Francis was praying, he began to hear a sound as of many folk talking, and drawing nearer to see and to understand that which he heard, he beheld a wonderful light which encompassed St. Francis round about, and in the midst thereof he saw Christ and the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist and the Evangelist and a very great multitude of angels who spake with St. Francis. When he saw and heard this, the boy fell to the ground in a swoon.

 

Thereafter, the mystery of that holy vision being ended, St. Francis, as he returned to the Place, stumbled upon the said boy, lying as if dead; and for compassion he lifted him up and carried him in his arms, even as the good shepherd carrieth his lambs. And then, learning from him how he had beheld the said vision, he commanded him to tell no man as long as he lived. Afterward the boy, increasing in great grace with God and in devotion to St. Francis, became a worthy man in the Order; and after the death of St. Francis he revealed the said vision to the friars.

 

st%2520francis%2520and%2520our%2520lady.

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Thank you! I think they are understanding more and more. The problem is, now they are practically vibrating with hope that I will come back home-I don't think they even realized this was a possibility before. :doh: Oh well, all will happen as it should. 
 
I can see how many women who leave religious life feel like a failure.. No matter how much I mentally prep myself for what may happen, it will be incredibly hard not to feel that way.. It makes me wonder about the girls who go in convinced they will be there forever, beyond a shadow of a doubt, and then leave for whatever reason. That must be very hard for them.


 

 

Definitely don't worry - Just one day at a time!! My roomie at college tells me every day, 'God's already got it worked out'. So excited for you!! Live in the present moment. And rather than to succeed or to follow an exact plan, we are called to simply be faithful to Him. I was given this quote some time ago and it has helped me and still helps me in so many trials through my vocation journey:

 

       God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next...

       I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments...  Therefore I will trust Him, whatever I am... If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. 

       He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about...   

                                        - Bl Cardinal John Henry Newman

 

 

 May your dear Fiancé bless you and keep you in His amazing love! Persevere, sister!! :nun:  :like3:

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Does that mean Emma,that you will close down/discontinue all your electronic accounts? etc

Oh no! I actually meant that I will be making an extra effort to keep this thread updated with what goes through my crazy head in these next 11 days before I head to Roswell. Most countdown threads I see on VS have the poster kind of disappearing in the last couple weeks while they make the final preparations, which is completely understandable and, dare I say, very normal. It is, so far, the busiest time I have ever experienced, though leaving for college may be a close tie with its last minute preparations and the whirlwind of emotions as well!

 

Anyways, I have always been really curious as to what goes through an entrant's mind those last few days before she leaves. Thankfully, on VS, there are some (edit: who have left religious life) who discuss their experiences from religious life, from the jitters to the vows, but I would have deeply appreciated getting updated on the last minute emotions/thoughts/etc of a poster before they leave, as those thoughts are taking place. Like I said, I understand why this is so often not done, because it is an incredibly intimate time with one's loved ones, and completely hectic! So just in case anyone like me is out there who would appreciate the inside look (crazy as it may be), I will try to present it as best I can.

 

Wow, long answer. :|

 

Nikita, as I was typing this your second response showed up! I LOVE that quote. :like: A wonderful deacon at our parish this past Sunday gave an excellent homily on conforming our lives to the Holy Family. He said, "God's Will is often the more difficult to accept." Saints have said it before (and it reminds me of the quote you posted!), but how simple and profound. Food for thought, definitely.

 

 

Yikes-cannot respond to this quote below it, so I'll have to above it. Hope it is not too confusing!

 

Thank you sister! Wonderful advice. It sounds like you have a great roomie! Also, thank you immensely for the Cardinal's quote! He rocks. :like:

Definitely don't worry - Just one day at a time!! My roomie at college tells me every day, 'God's already got it worked out'. So excited for you!! Live in the present moment. And rather than to succeed or to follow an exact plan, we are called to simply be faithful to Him. I was given this quote some time ago and it has helped me and still helps me in so many trials through my vocation journey:

 

       God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next...

       I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments...  Therefore I will trust Him, whatever I am... If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. 

       He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about...   

                                        - Bl Cardinal John Henry Newman

 

 

 May your dear Fiancé bless you and keep you in His amazing love! Persevere, sister!! :nun:  :like3:

Edited by emmaberry101
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OH MY LANTA!

 

Less than two weeks (12 days before I am back at the Monastery, 13 until I enter.) Next Sunday will be my last Sunday at my parish. This New Year will be the last I will spend ringing in with my family and friends. I am starting to schedule (and stress over) all the "Hey, we need to get together one last time" visits. THIS IS MADNESS. I am eating my last-minute sweets like a crazy woman trying to get over a breakup. I am sleeping in like I work the night shift (or work at all..) I am wearing my pinks and bows and favorite hairstyles like they're going out of style. Most of all, I am loving my family as if they'll disappear at any moment. It's so bittersweet, how every last from here on out is bringing such consolation but also brings with it a chilling "throat of ice" (if I can quote Mother Francis).

Edited by IgnatiusofLoyola
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Sorry for the strange "quote only" post above. For whatever reason, the Quote function wouldn't let me add my own words below the quote.  Oh well.

 

Your comments on all the times you are saying "This is the last time I will.........", made me think of "In this House of Brede" by Rumer Godden. (I love this book so much that my copy fell apart and I had to buy a new one.)

 

In the book, Sister (later Dame) Phillipa goes up to the Monastery tower in her first weeks of postulancy and says with sadness, "I shall never see the sea again."  Then, as time goes by, she continues to say "I shall never see the sea again," but she says it with contentment, because of how happy she is at Brede.

 

Then, at the end of the book, God shows his love of the ironic. The last time we hear of Phillipa she is flying over the sea. For those who know the story, Dame Phillipa leaves Brede (to her regret)--but not religious life or the Benedictines--because she is moving to Japan with a number of her Sisters to become the Prioress of a new Benedictine Community in Japan that Brede has sponsored.  

 

You WILL see your parents again and God undoubtedly has a number of wonderful surprises in store for you.

 

 

Edited by IgnatiusofLoyola
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Emma,

 

Because you asked for them, I'll give you my own thoughts/memories very quickly about the days before entering.   I was in my mid-20's, had been working and living on my own when I was finishing those last days.  I had the fun (not!) of leaving work, closing and apartment, saying good bye to friends and family AND entering the convent all at the same time.  I don't recommend that... really I don't! 

 

As far as the leaving... the lasts are tough.   Leaving the stuff and leaving the people. 

 

I had 'sold' the contents of my apartment to friends a few months earlier; most of them got incredible deals my stuff... but the deal was they put stickers on what was 'theirs' and they had to bring their own boxes and harvest their own stuff three weeks before I entered.   (They knew I needd the $$$ for the last of my entrance expenses... so people were OK with paying... and with me using 'their' stuff until I entered.)  

 

(I remember one guy bought the entire contents of my kitchen cabinets for $50.   He selected all the cans, boxes, spices and kitchen equipment so his sister could set up her kitchen in her new apartment.  He thought he'd bought her a deal (he had--saved her hundreds of dollars!) but I was thrilled --- he were paying ME to pack up the junk in my kitchen.  He said to me later on it was the worst deal he had ever made!  We both laughed hysterically.... ROTFL ROTFL )  

 

However...  that last day when all the stuff was being packed and carried out.. .was a pretty scary moment.  GULP!   What am I doing, was all I could think....   That left me with an apartment to clean and a cat.... and my stuff for the convent.   My landlord finally took my dear cat when I couldn't find anyone else... and that last quiet night without him was very tough.  Lots of moments for second thoughts in an empty, reverberating apartment....

 

I was entering on the 20th, and had to be out of my apartment by the 1st....So after the big clean-up (UGG!) I found myself on the sidewalk in front of the now clean and empty apartment--surrounded by a few boxes & suitcases and a guitar--waiting for my dad to pick me up.  Struck me forcibly that I felt like Maria in the Sound of Music in reverse.... and I hummed "I Have Convidence in Me!' while I waited for him.. but really... it was whistling in the dark 'cause I sure didn't feel so confident right then.   It felt right, but I was PRETTY scared..... OK, it felt MAD!!!!

 

The last few days before entering where a whirlwind of goodbyes.  Those are tough and emotional.   Be sure to give yourself enough time to 'process' the feelings as counselors put it.... time to think and cry and laugh between the visits and phone calls.   But it is normal to feel the pushed in two directions feeling.... it is the same as pre-wedding jitters, and for good reasons!!!!

 

My mom and I made the choice to take the last few days to go alone to a cabin in the mountains that belonged to one of my uncles. BEST decision I ever made. It let us get away to just be alone at a quiet place where we could just relax. Was such a wonderful investment... in my own sanity. So if you can block a little space to just escape, just do it.   One final suggestion -- do NOT start a murder mystery novel that you will NOT be able to get finished before you enter.  Not knowing the ending will drive you nuts.   ;)

 

As far as the leaving the convent fears... don't worry about them.  More likely than not, you won't have to worry about it anyway...   If it should happen,  just as you are responding to a 'call' now -- you'll be responding to a 'call' if God asks you to move on.  It isn't a giving up... it is a response to the voice of the Beloved.  

 

I don't have my copy of The Perfect Joy of St. Francis right now -- someone else is reading it... but I found the story of Francis and his dream about the poor girl (the one that made him go off to war as a soldier) very poignant... and I totally identified with the second half of his dream -- when she comes back and says to him, you misunderstood the dream... go back.   This is how the call to leave the convent was framed to me -- God made it clear to me that it was not that I was wrong or bad, but that He had another plan for me.... I had misunderstood the dream, in all good faith.   Being there was part of the Plan He had... I would not be doing what I am doing now nor have been able to help/be helped by the people in my life if I had not given myself to Him and radically followed His call... both too and from.   God recycles EVERYTHING, so no time, no experience, no relationship is lost.  

 

So don't fear -- it is the Lord!   RUN to him!!!!

 

Hope this wasn't too long! 

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