Friday, March 22, 2013

"When I look at all of these beautiful young ladies, I am filled with hope for the Church."

When I saw the photo of the postulants, among whom is included the daughter of a dear friend, I had that exact same thought, except in my mind, it came out sort of more like, gasp--sob! Because my heart felt like it had just got caught in my throat. In a good way.

 She Answers is a beautiful blog. If you've ever wanted to see inside a religious vocation, or how a mom might feel when her daughter enters religious life, this is the place for you.

Here is just a taste, from last July (cuz I just found out about this blog recently, and so I'm going back and reading all the archives...)
I am discovering something very sad.  Some people (even Catholics) don't get religious vocations.  They are more negative than I could have ever imagined. Some find Maria's entering the convent as "scary", bizarre, cultish, too extreme, embarrassing or a sign of some kind of tragedy.  Someone compared it to a death in the family. One person asked how old Maria was and then exclaimed that she shouldn't give up on marriage at such a young age...surely someone would come along.  As if Maria's desire for religious life is really a reaction to not having a boyfriend! Are we in a world that people cease to believe that God is calling young people to serve Him in a radical way?
Well, yes.

In other words, lots of people who are sad about, or utterly mystified by, her vocation are essentially saying stuff to her mom like, "How do you solve a problem like Maria?" (Sorry--couldn't resist!)

Answer: by acknowledging that we are the problem, not Maria. The world is desperately in need of witnesses for Christ. Praise God that there are so many beautiful young men and women answering that call in a radical way.

Oddly enough, this reminds me of some TV award show I read about where some pop tart dressed up like a nun or something to sing her tartish song, because it would be all radical and bold and transgressive and shocking. (Yawn) To paraphrase something Kathy Shaidle once wrote, long ago, addressing young women: If you want to be shocking and countercultural, don't dress up like a nun; become one.

Maria's story is not without drama: the devil and his minions (a crack U.S. Customs team, or was that a U.S. Customs team on crack?) tried to keep Maria out of America (cuz, you know, they are so VIGILANT and CAREFUL about keeping illegal aliens --especially dangerous ones-- out of that nation!) Here's the first link in her harrowing ordeal. (Spoiler: God wins.)

But in my post, Maria's mom Therese gets the final word:
Such sacrifices can only be fully understood and accepted in light of the gospel and a life in Jesus Christ - in the world, but not of the world.  At times it all seems too hard, but it really isn't.  If I, as a mother, truly want the will of God, I must remember that my own calling is such that I don't possess Maria.  She was given life to know, love and serve God so as to be happy with Him in eternity.  She has, as all of us do, only one real choice, and that is to answer the call and to follow the Lord.

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