"Mothers of Souls"

So my resolution to stop buying things in the church store failed miserably. Today’s purchase was a book called ‘Advent and Christmas – Wisdom from Saint Benedict’. I was looking for something for the season and I spotted it and immediately thought “that’s perfect!”. I hope to be a Benedictine so I figured what could be better?

Right now, I feel in a bit of a rut. My next step is to tell my family. I’d do it today if I could but over the phone really isn’t the best time to break it. I’m going home on Thursday and conveniently my sister is out at life drawing class that evening so I’ll have some time alone with my mother where I can talk to her about it. Honestly, I’m petrified. My head is going through all the possible reactions, from horror to disbelief to anger to tears. But at the same time I’ve reached this stage where I’m desperate to talk about it, to share my vocation and the joy it brings me.

Anyway. Enough about that. I’ve been looking at various resources and videos online about vocations and discernment and I just got this sense of awe at how wonderful the calling is. I’m not saying any vocation is superior to another, each vocation is beautiful and unique and a way to serve the Lord. But religious vocations are in the end much fewer than marriage vocations. I realised that they are rarer and I was just filled with feeling of enormous blessing. The Lord is calling me – weak, sinful, imperfect me! It’s just , wow. Of all the people on this earth, people surely much worthier than I am, and yet I am called. I can’t even describe properly how truly magnificent it is.

I was watching a particularly great video on YouTube called “The Beauty of Being a Young Nun”. It’s only two minutes long but I was really struck by the way she speaks. I especially love when Sr. Allison talks about being “a mother of souls”, it’s incredibly beautiful and striking and it really resonated with me and helped me understand my own desire for motherhood. In a cloister the main work is of course to pray, and to pray for others. It reminds me of a story I once read concerning St. Thérèse. When very ill, she was advised by a nurse to take a 15 minute walk each day. She found this exercise very difficult and to no effect and another sister, seeing her pain, urged her to rest. The saint replied, “Well, I am walking for a missionary. I think that over there, far away, one of them is perhaps exhausted in his apostolic endeavours, and, to lessen his fatigue, I offer mine to God.” I think this is a wonderful example of exactly what Sr. Allison says.

So there it is, weak, sinful, imperfect me, called to become a bride of Christ and a mother of souls. Who would have guessed?

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