My journey through the faith has seemed long and arduous for one who has only been Catholic for 7 years. I’ve passed through dryness, darkness, sadness and more than a couple faith crises. In all this, Jesus kept me strong. His Eucharistic presence remained a constant beacon of light and love. The Eucharist is ultimately what made me become Catholic and my life since then has always been about proclaiming the love of Christ in this Holy Sacrament.
Following my conversion, I stumbled into adoration, not knowing they were having it in the chapel. My eyes fell upon the white host in the golden monstrance. I didn’t altogether know what was going on but I knew I stared into the face of my Lord. I fell to my knees and gazed. Nothing else existed besides Him and I. After this, I thought I should become a religious sister. I contacted the Sisters of Notre Dame De Namur, a teaching order, and they told me I had to wait 4 years. Wait I did. In the meantime I believed God called me to marriage.
However, I had trouble finding a date and the poor boyfriend I eventually got was dragged constantly to Mass and adoration. My spiritual life afforded little time for a boyfriend. He realized my unavailability and soon broke up with me. Thing happened in this manner as my interest in prayer and study only grew.
Because of my hard and sinful past, I had difficulty finding a religious order that even would consider me. I contacted order after order who said either my past mental issues or loads of college debt made me out of the question. One vocation director told me “Don’t even bother to visit.”
Inside, I felt tormented because more than anything, I wanted to consecrate my life to God and serve him in a convent. I also struggled to discern whether I was called to be contemplative or active. Prayer and contemplation really drew me but also going out there and telling others about God. There was, and still is, a fire burning within that wanted to preach the Eucharist. In frustration I cried out “Where is an order that both ceaselessly adores the Eucharist and teaches people about Him?”
That weekend I went on a retreat and met the vocation director of the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. Sitting down with her, let’s call her Sister J., I went over all my frustrations. I divulged my past of emotional abuse, depression and self-injury, saying: “I didn’t know Jesus back then.” At the end of our conversation she invited me to discern with their community. Their charism by the way, was Eucharistic adoration and working to free people from their captivities. They vowed to give their life so others may be set free. I was once a captive. Could Jesus use me to deliver others?
TO BE CONTINUED…