April 18, 2014

Doing the Father's Will

                As first year novices we spend quite a bit of time learning, reading, and praying about our three vows.  So far, I have focused more of my time outside class on the vows of poverty and chastity.  It has been a great blessing to deepen my understanding of God’s call for me to live in intimate union with Him – loving Him before all others and above all else, and seeing everything (and everyone) else as a gift from Him.  I have been able to recognize more His great love for me in the gift of my vocation and all the many gifts He gives me each day of my life. 
               That was a rather long introduction to the point of this post.  I am supposed to be writing about a Lenten grace.  When I was praying about how God was calling me to fast and pray this Lent, He seemed to be saying, “Okay, what are you waiting for?  It’s time to think about that third vow.”  So I resolved to focus on Obedience for this time of Lent.  It seemed simple enough to me – just do what my superiors asked, follow the order of the day, and be cheerful while doing it.  If I really wanted a challenge I could even make myself available to do things that my co-sisters asked, even though I didn’t really have to.  By doing all of this I could more closely imitate Christ in His obedience to the Father.
                The grace of this Lent has really turned out to be a much greater awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life.  He has guided me to a much deeper understanding of what it means that Christ was obedient even to death.  Through scripture reading, meditation, and daily Mass, the Holy Spirit has increased my love for and given me the grace to do the will of the Father.  Through our daily examination of conscience, He has helped me to see how He is really there, showing me God’s will at every moment.  If I follow His promptings, I will receive more grace and be open to Him even more.  He has led me to reflect on how these little daily obediences are how I grow closer to Christ in doing the will of the Father.  And all this has led me to ponder how much I am willing to give.  Am I really ready to give my whole being, my whole life, like Christ did?  That’s definitely something to continue to strive for, while knowing that the Holy Spirit will show me the way to do it, give me the grace to do it, and increase my love for doing it, moment by moment, and day by day.

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