Sunday, July 6, 2014

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

J.M. + J. T.

Dear Friends,

Praised be Jesus Christ! Tomorrow we begin our novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in preparation for the biggest Carmelite feast of the year, which falls a week from Wednesday, on July 16th. It is a big day here, and I'm really looking forward to being here with the Sisters on that day. There will be three Sisters making their first profession, and it will be an incredible day of giving thanks to God for his great love.

I'm incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported me with their prayers and financial support as I've been working to pay off my student loans so that I am free to enter postulancy later this summer - I have been able to raise about $5,000 through the generosity of many people in the last few weeks, and it has been an incredible encouragement to me. I still need about $9,000 to pay off my loans completely, and I must have that money by the 16th to enter this year.

I think that of everything I've learned throughout this discernment process (and I've learned so, so much)... the most important thing has been learning how to trust God - to really trust Him. To be able to honestly believe in the very depth of my soul that God is in control and that He will work everything out as He sees fit.  It may not be what I had in mind, or would prefer, but I trust that everything that happens to me comes from out of His inexhaustible mercy and tender love (even suffering and pain, when it is for our ultimate good). Trusting Him has always been hard for me, and I think it's only by taking little steps in faith, without being able to see where our foot will land, that we will learn how trustworthy God is. I wanted to share with you a quote that a Sister shared with me recently that I've been thinking about quite a bit:

The root choice is to trust at all times that God is with you and will give you what you most need... God says to you, "I love you, I am with you, I want to see you come closer to me and experience the joy and peace of my presence. I want to give you a new heart and a new spirit. I want you to speak with my mouth, see with my eyes, hear with my ears, touch with my hands. All that is mine is yours. Just trust me and let me be your God.

Remember, you are held safe. You are loved. You are protected. You are in communion with God and with those whom God has sent you. What is of God will last. It belongs to the eternal life. Choose it, and it will be yours.

- Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love

So I am perfectly at peace, knowing that if I give everything to God, He will do with me whatever he wants. And what could be better than that?

For this novena, I will be praying especially for all of you who have held me in your prayers, and I have held you in mine. Please let me know if you have any special intentions that I can be praying for - I hold you all close to my heart each day before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. 

And if you are able to support me financially (even in a small way), please consider doing so - I'm incredibly grateful.

God bless you!

In His Sacred Heart,

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