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I’m Back!

My head is cold.  I have an irresistible urge to wear outrageous color combinations.

I gave up being a nun for Lent.  More accurately, God led me into the desert and to follow His crazy plans!  St. Faustina called Jesus “the divine madman” and now I know why!  He will stop at nothing, absolutely nothing, to recreate us in His image, to bring about His plan for our lives, which will ultimately bring us life to the full and blissful union with Him in heaven.  The Divine Bridegroom will stop at nothing to win His Bride and be united with her forever.

For the past three years I have been in formation with the TOR Sisters, as most of you know.  God made it clear that He is calling me elsewhere, so I came back home recently.  I’ll write more about that experience and my time there as I process it.  I’m not sure if anyone even still reads this blog, but if you do hello again!  Thanks for sticking with me.

P.S.  Have pen, will write!  I am looking for a job and any writing opportunities.

Find Your Humanity! (Beauty and the Beast Style)

TOBI’m sure someone has written about this already, but my cursory internet search came up with nothing, so here’s my two cents: Beauty and the Beast screams Theology of the Body.  I had this revelation while watching the new live action version.

What specifically came to my mind is the fact that St. John Paul II says women teach men how to be human.  This is literally happening in Beauty and the Beast!  Due to the fall, men tend towards beastliness (ok honestly we all do), at least figuratively.  In this classic movie, Prince Charming is literally turned into a beast, so his outer form matches his cold, selfish heart.  Remember, he was never really charming to begin with, so he couldn’t use turning into a beast as an excuse.  However, he became more bitter and resentful.

Enter a beautiful, selfless, young woman.  Here is a person whom the beast can love, can live for.  With her he can, “discover himself through a sincere gift of self”.  And she must let herself be loved as she is, just as she receives him as he is.  She, through her love, helps to redeem and transform him into a man, more of a man than he ever was.

Incidentally, this is all reminding me of the ideas of a newly ordained priest, Fr. Patrick Shultz, of the Cleveland Diocese.  In his Master’s Thesis on the genius of men (it’s about time!), he described the man’s heart as a castle.  A man is pierced, wounded by a woman’s beauty and he let’s her into his heart, to be protected.  The man’s instinct is to live with an outward focus, but when he lets a woman inside she draws him in as well, into the home she creates.

Do you see what I see?? This is also happening in Beauty and the Beast!  The beast is trapped inside this castle, through his own fault.  It became a prison, something to escape from.  But then he lets Belle, aka Beauty, into his castle and eventually into his heart.  His rough exterior is pierced and he is freed to love.  At first he tries to possess Belle, to keep her as a prisoner in his castle, but it is only when he sees her as a gift and lets her go that she can truly be his.

Why do women have this unique role?  The more human we become, the more God-like we become.  Jesus became man so we could see what we’re supposed to look like, for we were made in his image.  Furthermore, God chose to redeem the world through a woman – and continues to do so.  It is women who are the preservers of culture, who embody compassion, kindness and mercy.  It is women who make humanity more human.  Every time a woman gives birth to an immortal soul, it is a redemptive act, and as she tries to bring that child up in a Godly way, then she is bringing that child closer to its destiny of becoming God-like.  She is repairing the image and likeness of God in humanity.

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The Well is Deep

Jesus the Bridegroom.  The very words send a thrill through my heart.  The sisters heard me go on and on about the topic, but you, my lucky readers, are a whole new audience!

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Thanks to my time in the convent, I’ve been given a love for scripture and new eyes to see its depth.  The top two things that have opened up scripture for me are:

  1. Reading scripture with Jewish eyes.
  2. Seeing that Jesus is always the Bridegroom.

Today’s Gospel is the perfect example of this.  In the Old Testament, whenever a man and woman met at a well, they ended up getting married.  Another key piece of information is that the Jews and Samaritans were “divorced” from one another.  The Israelites had split into the Northern and Southern kingdoms, with Samaria in the North and Jerusalem in the South.  So when Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well and asks her, “give me a drink”, what He’s really saying is, “give me your hand.”

What really turned me on to all this is Dr. Brant Pitre and his book Jesus the Bridegroom.  I strongly recommend it to all.  The most important thing I want to convey is that Jesus is a personal bridegroom to each one of us, not just of the Church in general, and we experience this best through prayer.  When I learned how to pray according to the Ignatian method of prayer I felt like I had never prayed before.  This involves imagining the scene with all your senses and placing yourself in it.  Imagine yourself as the Samaritan woman.  Jesus asks you for a drink, you ask him for living water.  What are your “husbands”, those things that you are ashamed of, that you think make you unworthy? He already knows and He is “the one”, the Christ, the Bridegroom.

 

Waiting on the World…at the DMV

Dear Sir, what’s your story?

I left the golden island for streets of gold.  I left the warm beach for cold concrete.  I left hopelessness for a chance at happiness.  I left empty pockets and took a chance with these empty hands.  Family?  I left a daughter and a little one on the way.  I came to make it.  I came to the land of dreams.  I came again and again just like you.  Your eye?  I didn’t want to ask.  Vision’s perfect – 20/20 times two.

Thank you St. Joseph!

My dear friends and family,

I have some sad news to share with you.  This probably really will be my last post (unless the Holy Spirit has other plans!), because…

I AM DEBT FREE!!!!

AKA I can be a sister!!!!!!

Last Friday, I found out that I have been awarded the St. Joseph grant by Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations.  I am still in shock and awe at the great work the Lord has done.

This wonderful organization will now be paying off my student loans and those of everyone else who they are helping.  I ask that you prayerfully consider supporting their mission.

Here is a letter from their website about this years awards and why they need your help more than ever:

We have made a leap of faith.

Two unexpected occurrences have led to a very surprising event for the Fund for Vocations. First, by the time the application period had closed this year we had only 23 applications for grants. Normally, the count is in the 40s. We have no idea why there were so few, but we expect it is just happenstance and we will see a return to normal numbers next year, particularly since we are seeing our usual level of inquiries for early in the year.

Second, our donors’ generosity has greatly exceeded our expectations and the Fund ended 2013 in the fairly good financial condition.

Those two occurrences led the Fund’s board of directors to make a great leap of faith and authorize the funding of grants to all our applicants this year! This act equates to a commitment to raise an additional $75,000 each year for more than a decade.

That is a 35% increase in our commitment to help men and women proceed with the life to which God has called them. As we can only attribute our good financial position to your generous response to God’s call to you, we can do no less. Please pray for us and continue to help us in this work to build up the Church.

I cannot thank you all enough for supporting my vocation and know that all of my benefactors are in my prayers.  Please continue to pray for me especially during this time of initial formation!

I would love to receive letters and hear from you.  My address is 369 Little Church Road, Toronto, OH 43964.  If you’re in the area please don’t hesitate to ask about visiting!

May God Bless you all and may you remain in His most Sacred Heart!

P.S. Entrust St. Joseph with all your needs – he gets things done!

Christians Never Say Goodbye!

I told you that my last post wasn’t goodbye!  I’m writing this quick update while on my home visit because I really need your help.

These last five months have been amazing, challenging, and just all around a blast!  When St. Francis started attracting followers he reportedly said, “…and the Lord gave me brothers.”  Now I can truly say, “…and the Lord has given me sisters!”  The TOR community has quickly become my family and I love them dearly.

By the grace of God and the trust of my superiors, I was allowed to enter with some remaining debt.  However, it does need to be paid off before I enter postulancy in August 2014.  So many of you have been incredibly generous and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  However, there is still about $23,000 that needs to be paid off.

I have applied for a grant from Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations but they do not make their decisions until March 15th.  Please pray extra hard until then!  My chances for receiving the grant will increase if I can decrease my debt before then, so anything will help!

Donations can be made through this website: http://www.youcaring.com/other/form-a-franciscan-sister/85925

Or by mail:  369 Little Church Road   Toronto, OH 43964

Please make checks out to Franciscan Sisters, TOR

We visit a nursing home weekly and bring communion to the Catholic residents. It has been a very stretching experience!

Check out the Youcaring site for continuing updates!

And now it begins……

(Posted by Victoria’s family)

On this past Sunday we took Victoria out to the TOR Sister’s Mother house in Toronto Ohio.  We will post updates when possible.  During her formation Victoria will not have access to email and limited contact with her family.  So the best way to communicate with her is to drop her a note addressed as shown on the right.

If you have mass intentions you can actually enter them here: http://www.franciscansisterstor.org/chapel/prayer-requests-2/ 

And if you want to know more about the sisters you can go to their main website at http://www.torsisters.org.

The sisters also have a facebook presence where they have posted some pictures from Sunday.  https://www.facebook.com/FranciscanSistersTOR

Please let us know if you have any questions.