Moments of Love with Mary
– The Spiritual Letter Box –
A Vocation in Crisis
At the moment of writing to you I am in a state of the deepest anguish. You are aware of the state of my health. In spite of all the medication, I still find I cannot get back on my feet because of the atmosphere in the convent, the problems, the lack of understanding, the demands of all sorts. I really wonder if I will be able to hold my own. And yet I am surprised at the amount of work I can do. Of course, you are aware of my thorniest problem…
Sometimes I ask myself if I would have had all these problems had I stayed in the world. Why does the Lord permit this? What exactly does He want of me? How vexing the Lord can be! And to complicate matters further, I belong to a parish organization directed by an unmarried man, the same age as myself. I must confess that the attention and the understanding he has shown me have struck an answering chord in me. I become attached very quickly. Up to now nothing serious has happened. But I feel that I must resist, that I will have to make a great effort. Some days I even have doubts about my vocation. I must tell you this because I do not want to take the wrong road. It is difficult enough to live as it is. I would so much like to have a spiritual director here. Help me, for I am on the edge of the precipice and I no longer have the courage to fight. I have started saying my prayers again regularly but for the moment I see no great change. You understand me well enough to know that I must unburden myself. And it is you to whom I have recourse. Thank you for all the understanding you have shown me.
I have read your letter very carefully. Your case is most interesting to me, for if you cooperate you can emerge from this painful period an enriched and happier person because of it. “What does the Lord want of me?” you ask. Well, He wants your total surrender to Him, your love in your suffering. He is calling you closer to Him, that is why He has laid the cross upon your shoulders.
You are questioniing your vocation. This happens frequently in the world today. Do you actually believe, Sister, that outside religious life the problems are less acute? We are passing through most trying times, but God is there and helps those souls who desire to remain faithful to Him. Believe me, had you remained in the world you would have had a harder struggle, especially in this era of perversion. To merit, we must struggle. What soul does not undergo these combats? But after the combat, there is pure happiness for those who have resisted.
Your health is poor; your strength is not returning as you hoped it would. And yet you are holding on. That is already something encouraging. The current situation, replete with difficulties of all kinds, both inside and outside the convent, only increases your feeling of insecurity; that is normal. There again, you must hide yourself within God’s hand, continuing to pray, but without neglecting your medical prescriptions.
If you suffer in silence, accepting generously and offering up with love, for the good of souls, those difficulties which seem to come from your superiors, you will soon find your cross lighter, and you will come even to love this cross which purifies you and makes you more pleasing in God’s eyes. To summon up sentiments of love, when the heart is wounded and cries out for revenge, is to apply the salve to the wound ourselves, and to increase our capacity to love.
Your daily Communion is your best medicine, your richest nourishment. Never miss it, for that is what sustains your courage.
Your heart must steel itself against those sudden surges of affection. It is normal that you should experience certain emotions in regard to the attentions of this single person. But you must put a bridle on these movements. If you do not, you could be cruelly deceived, and that will not help your condition. You have given yourself to God. He remains close to you and stretches forth His hand to help you ascend to Him. Are you going to turn your back on Him, on Him who needs His spouse so very much, her love, her generosity, her surrender of self for the good of souls? Your vocation is so grand, so beautiful! May you be capable of living it fully under the fatherly regard of God.
If you only knew the sufferings of some married women and some celibates in the world today who strive to live virtuously, you would be astonished at the weight they carry. There are struggles in every vocation. You are “on the edge of the precipice” you say. You must not fall! For sure your situation is dark and painful, but God remains your strength. Others have experienced the same difficulties and have come through them, happier for their victory. Fix your eyes on Heaven and never take them off it. To suffer, passes; to have suffered well, remains. And the soul purified, knows a happiness it would never have known had it flinched.
The Lord is never vexing. It is our manner of acceptance that becomes vexing to Him. To give our “YES” out of LOVE is to accept unhesitatingly whatever comes and, by that fact, to be blessed with the marvelous graces which inevitably follow our “FIAT”.
This “FIAT” given every day, lived in the fulness of its meaning, is the open door to intense happiness, to profound joy, to unsuspected compensations.
Your prayers, which you have resumed, do not guarantee a sudden radical change in your life. But they will help you better to endure, to love more, to pardon all. Have confidence and courage! All things pass.
(Review, “The Army of Mary”, volume I, no. 1)