+ J.M.J.A.T. +

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Well, last night someone told me that I was beautiful, but not in the, "oh, you're a young nun, you're so beautiful..." way.  It was more in the way that a man tells a woman that she is beautiful.  It really caught me off guard because I really haven't experienced that in such an obvious way as a religious before.  As a religious I have experienced attractions that come and go but much more subtly.

Anyway, I didn't know what to say and it was super awkward, which I'm sure everyone can appreciate.  That kind of awkwardness, unfortunately, happens to everyone.

It doesn't really matter what was said by this man to me or why or how, although it probably wouldn't have made me think so much about chastity if it had been rude or out of order instead of just a genuine compliment.  What mattered was what happened in my heart after.  I felt so discombobulated and distracted.

I knew that I needed to speak to God about what I was feeling.  I prayed a very distracted compline and then I got into bed while still thinking about this interesting conversation I had just had.  My normal practice when I get in bed at night is to pray my Rosary (my guardian angel finishes it for me every night!).  Nothing spectacular happened except that a peace that transcends all peace relaxed everything in me.  I was so moved by this peace that my deepest desire at that moment was to offer all my mixed and uncomfortable emotions about the night for the salvation and peace of the man who caused them to begin with.

I don't know if any of this is making sense, and I hope it doesn't scandalize at all because I am just speaking candidly of the struggles and daily choices all religious experience and make.  What happened though was what chastity is all about.  I was able in that sacrifice of myself to offer God a soul, to offer Him in prayer this son of His.  What an amazing goodness that can come from a real interior struggle.  I am just filled with awe at God's goodness to bring this man to me and to allow me to hold him in my heart the way that God would.

One time a very special religious told me that love is a commitment.  Commitment is the definition of love.   I am young and am still learning but I feel so clearly that God has won a small battle in my heart and in the heart of the one He brought to me last night.  Love has prevailed.  He is so so so good.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I am home at last in my new convent.  Since my retreat ended I have been running around like a crazy woman trying to get unpacked in the convent and school while figuring out where the soap, broom, milk, and other household items are!  The sisters have been wonderful to me, especially since most of them are new as well!  We have all been lost in the basement more than once since we arrived due to the fact that there are three stairwells in this house.  It makes things quite confusing. 

It is so overwhelming to spend so long packing and preparing to move and then have to undo all of it and put things in order again.  I am so glad to finally have most of my life in some organizational scheme.  School is coming along as well.  I went over yesterday and stayed all day but today I decided to sleep in and go to the 11:30 Mass.  After, I cleaned my charges and did laundry.  However, there is still much to be done.

One of the things I love about convents is that they are old.  I know not all convents are old but a lot of them are... mine is one of them.  Old things frequently need repairs and we have been having a hilarious time trying to figure out what is wrong with more than a few items in and around the house.  One of those items is the internet, which is why I haven't been posting for a while.  Other items include the sewing machine, phone, television, refridgerator, ice maker, carpet cleaner, and almost everything in the basement.  During the day all of the sisters have been going their own ways to fix up their charges and get classrooms ready, but at night in the community room the big discussion is always about the discoveries during the day.  One sister found the key to a door we couldn't open, another found the dust brush, another gave up and bought a new mop (I'm sure in a few months we will find the old one!). 

No matter what there has been much love and laughter as we have banded together in community to get comfortable in our new surroundings. 

Thank God there is still time before school starts because there is still so much to do.  I know He will take care of it though!

Many prayers!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


This evening I am going to begin my retreat and I am so excited.  I have a few good books that I can read if I desire, but the best part of retreat is that it is all about what desire God gives me in each moment.  There is no "achieving" in retreat, no "doing."  It is just time to be with the Lord and let Him guide me and bring me to a place of rest and refreshment.  So, please pray for me during these days as I will also be praying for all of you!

God bless!

PS. The visitor was "caught" and released!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Well, yesterday on the feast of St. Alphonsus, all the sisters gathered at the Motherhouse for our annual Convocation.  It is a wonderfully beautiful day where we gather to pray together, share with one another, and be renewed by the words of our General Superior.  Watching my sisters gathered together to celebrate our grace-filled heritage filled my eyes with tears.  However, the most touching moment for me was when we sang St. Alphonsus' O God of Loveliness.  Being daughters of Alphonsus, the words were very touching for us and I was not the only one with a few tears in my eyes.  Here are the words:

O God of loveliness, O Lord of Heaven above,
How worthy to possess my heart’s devoted love.
So sweet Thy countenance, so gracious to behold
That one, one only glance to me were bliss untold.

Thou art blest Three in One, yet undivided still,
Thou art the One alone, whose love my heart can fill.
The heav’ns and earth below were fashioned by Thy Word,
How amiable art Thou, my ever dearest Lord.

To think Thou art my God—O thought forever blest!
My heart has overflowed with joy within my breast.
My soul so full of bliss, is plunged as in a sea,
Deep in the sweet abyss of holy charity.

O Loveliness supreme, and Beauty infinite,
O ever flowing Stream and Ocean of delight,
O Life by which I live, my truest Life above,
To Thee alone I give my undivided love.

After our guests left the Motherhouse and we collapsed after a joy-filled day, everyone wandered back to their rooms to rest.  I awoke to the news of another guest - this one not so pleasant.  I went to get some coffee this morning and there was a note on the white board which is usually reserved for schedule changes.  It said, "BAT ALERT."  

Well... after a busy day of sisters roaming in and out and all over the Motherhouse a bat decided to pay us a visit.  So needless to say, he scared many a sister and is still stalking around here somewhere.  It is a good thing we have some expert bat catchers.  It is a frequent occurrence in the summer for us to find some of these dear creatures making themselves at home in the high ceilings and stone cellars of our beautiful Motherhouse.  Naturally some sisters scream and run when they see them, while others have honed their skills and have become our very own bat catchers.  They have their own nets and systems to find and capture our guests to release them back into the wild.  Hopefully we find this little guy soon and return him to where he belongs.