Oh Hai Internet

My poor neglected blog. I always have these dreams of posting more than once a millennium, and those dreams last right up until I sit down to write a new post and end up getting distracted by Tumblr. Such is life.

I haven’t been a zombie these past couple of months, though. Thankfully, it’s been more of a “living so much that I don’t have time to write it down” situation. And let me tell ya, that is a great situation to be in. I went on a weeklong vacation to my hometown, just because. It was lovely to spend time with my family on a non-holiday. We went to the beach. We spent time with my sister. I got to celebrate my best friend’s birthday IN PERSON. That hasn’t happened in ages! It was great.
Then came the novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (who I have a big devotion to) and the feast day! I attend a Carmelite parish (Little Flower Basilica FTW!!) so it was a solemnity for us. The Mass was glorious, and the dinner afterwards was great!

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The altar all decked out for Mass.

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Carmelite Sisters! More about them later.

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Ora pro nobis, Regina, decor Carmeli!

I received some major graces during that novena. I mean, I was just happy because one of my favorite Internet peeps said he would pray it with me (and he did!). But Our Lady interceded for me in a big way and I finally feel like I have a clear path cut out for me for the time being. God is so good.

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I didn’t read quite as much as I had been earlier in the year, but here are two of my recent favorites.

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Epic. I saw the movie ages and ages ago, but as a card-carrying member of Team The Book Is Always Better Than The Movie, how could I resist picking this up and blazing through it? It did not disappoint. It’s not a short book (my copy had over 1000 pages) but it’s definitely a page turner. I carried the book with me everywhere, reading snatches whenever I could, because I just HAD to know what was going to happen to Scarlett next.
And can I have a second to talk about Scarlett? Holy crap. Book Scarlett is like 9727182637 times more infuriating than Movie Scarlett, and let me tell ya….I loved it! She’s just one of those characters you love to hate, and I kept having to suppress audible reactions to things she said or did. Definitely recommend!

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I’d never read any Merton before, other than random quotes floating around the Internet. The only thing I knew about him was that he’d converted and then joined a Trappist monastery in Kentucky. And for some reason I associated him with sketchy theology??? (I don’t know why?) Anyway. I enjoyed this book. He’s pretty quotable, and has a way of writing that occasionally makes you go, “Huh. Hmmm. Yeah. Yeah!” The book is a bit slow in the beginning when he’s talking about his childhood, but picks up after he gets older. I liked it a lot, so much so, that I checked out “The Sign of Jonas,” which is his journal from his first years in the monastery, from the library the other day.

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I’ve started looking around at different orders here in San Antonio. Nothing too intense, just sort of feeling out a few that caught my eye. I did go and visit the awesome Carmelites of the Divine Heart of Jesus! I’d actually never heard of them before the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, but after I saw them at Mass on the feast day, I asked around and got some info. It was soooo much fun, and they are definitely on my short list of communities to look into further!

Please keep praying for me! As you can probably tell, I’ve decided to go full steam ahead into looking at religious life. So if you think of me, please ask for continued clarity in discernment, por favor. 🙂

Until next time!

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Possibilities

Oh dear. I was doing so well with posting for a while, and then…I don’t know. My bad. Here’s a picture of Carmelite friars hitting a piñata as an “I’m sorry” gesture. 🙂

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I’ve been taking a bit of a social media break over the past month. I just felt this strong pull to sit and think and, most importantly, listen.

Mostly, I’ve been pondering the scary-ish (for me, at least) question of Vocation. As in, what is mine? I confess, I haven’t given it a whole lot of thought over the past couple of years. Oops. But in the midst of moving up here and getting settled and working on trusting God more, I just haven’t had any time! Okay, well, I’ve had time, but I didn’t feel like I was in a space to be deciding anything major. But no more! I have a decent job, I have no debt, and I feel emotionally prepared to actually listen to what God is telling me instead of talking to myself and pretending that it’s God’s will for me. Do you hear that, Lord? I’m ready to listen to all the things!

However, let me just say this: I’ve already given religious life a serious try. About three years ago, I went through aspirancy with an amazing cloistered order in Kentucky. Obviously, it didn’t pan out, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a good, spiritually fruitful time! Seriously, though. I don’t know if it was because I was younger (21! d’aww) or if it was my first time seriously away from home, but holy homesickness, Batman. That, combined with my inner people-pleaser taking over my life coming out to play, which made me clam up something fierce (not good), combined with the death of a family member coming right at the end of aspirancy, made me seriously freaked out about religious life as it applied to me. Whenever someone tried to ask me, how was it? Or, are you going to try another order? I was like:


nopenopenope

At the time, it felt like the end of the world, but now I just feel a little ridiculous when I think about it. Because nothing bad even happened to me! The nuns were lovely and awesome and kind and fun, and I learned SO much about myself, and I definitely grew up a little. I would definitely do it again.

Lately my prayer has been different. For the past three years, I was just like:

But now? Not so much. It’s a lot less fearful; it’s freer, somehow. I have been feeling the urge to tell God, “Take me wherever You need me to go. I’m not so afraid anymore.” It’s times like this when I am even more grateful that the Church, through the Liturgy of the Hours, gives me the words for the movements in my heart:

“Incline my heart according to your will, O God.”
“Speed my steps along your path, according to your will, O God.”

So. Here I am, back at square one. At first I was like, “Right…so…how  do you discern again?”

For real.

Now, before someone goes, “Just do what you did before, Liz,” well, the last time I seriously discerned, I put my name on some mailing list, and a week later, my mailbox was stuffed with mailings from religious communities all over the country. I got stuff from over 80 different communities, multiple times. Yeah. All it did was bring out my indecisiveness and freak out my roommates. (Sorry, past roommates. I promise I’m not a religious nut. Well, actually, I am, but I’m the fun kind of religious nut!)

So I’m making it my mission to find a spiritual director soon-ish. I’m extremely nervous, mostly because I’ve never asked anyone to be my spiritual director before! Eeek. And all of this doesn’t mean that I’m looking to join religious life anytime soon. I’m definitely open to it, though! I just need some help getting going with discernment.

Anyway. This is basically a very long-winded way of saying, “Pray for me! Because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing! Yayyy!” But seriously. If anyone has any advice, throw it my way, please.

Until next time! I promise it won’t be a month. 🙂