My story begins in the Infinite Love of the Heart of God. From all eternity, He held me in His Mind and through the “yes” of my parents brought me into being. With another “yes” of my parents, He brought me out of darkness into light through the gift of Baptism. Within my Baptism was imparted the seed of my vocation as bride of the One Who created me for Himself alone. Before I could do anything, everything was given to me! My story is a response to God’s invitation to even more abundant Life.
“He never ceases to offer Himself for us,
but defends us and ever pleads our cause…
He is the sacrificial Victim who dies no more,
the Lamb, once slain, who lives forever.”
– From Preface III of Easter
Our Lord is so humble in love – so humble, that in asking me to be His bride, He considers my “yes” a precious gift and favor given to Him! His love and reverence for me cause Him to receive every little gesture of love with infinite gratitude and delight. My existence is one of poverty and need, total dependence on Him Who loves me. And so He lifts me up to His Heart. He gives me incomparable dignity through the very fact that I am. He yearns for an intimate friendship with me, to make me His spouse forever! God thirsts for me! He shed His Blood for me! My “yes” to His gentle, yet insistent call – “Come Be With Me” – makes Him happy! The Heart of God Himself! At the same time, it brings life to the world, nurtures souls, and snatches them from the jaws of hell.
“Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer and so enter into His glory?” -Luke 24:26
I get to intensely participate in the life-or-death mission of my Bridegroom Jesus Christ through our mutual, spousal self-gift. There is nothing better or more fulfilling than this…even when it means going in search of the lost sheep via the Cross! Through religious life, God increases the capacity of my heart for Love beyond what I could ever hope or expect. This involves stretching at times, as He continually makes my heart a home, a heaven, a place of repose for Himself – for Love – for His Mystical Body. At the same time, He provides a special place for me in His Own Heart, in His Own Body. In this commingling of hearts, fortified in Eucharistic Communion, we are no longer two, but One Flesh. It is then that I can truly say with Him, “The Bread that I give is My Flesh for the life of the world” (cf. Jn. 6:51); and “There is living water speaking within me, saying ‘Come to the Father'” (St. Ignatius of Antioch), for He promises, “I will spread prosperity over you like a river, like an overflowing torrent” (cf. Isaiah 66:12).
“This is the boldness we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His Will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of Him.”- 1 John 5:14-15
For this amazing Love I give thanks daily, “going forth from the Eucharistic Table like a lion breathing fire” (cf. St. John Chrysostom) in the strength of the Holy Spirit to “cry the Gospel with my whole life” (cf. St. Charles de Foucauld). It’s a beautiful reality, containing a crazy mixture of joyful “yeses”, disgruntled “yeses”…and…selfish “nos”. Thankfully, “the Lord never tires of forgiving” (Pope Francis), and the Consuming Fire of the Holy Spirit dwelling within my soul turns all to gain, for “Love knows how to draw profit from everything”:
“What a comfort it is, this way of Love! You may stumble on it, you may fail to correspond with grace given, but always Love knows how to make the best of everything; whatever offends our Lord is burnt up in its fire, and nothing is left but a humble, absorbing peace deep down in the heart.” -St. Therese of Lisieux.
This is the greatness of our God! “To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever…Amen!” (Rev. 5:13)