Monday, September 14, 2009

Beginning of a new life

Dear Readers,

Rarely ever do I write personal notes. It is with great difficulty that I need to disclose to you that on 16 September I will be leaving my community. I am not solemnly professed so no dispensation is required from the Holy Father. I'm simply a "white veil" sister. I have been dealing with a series of medical problems for a couple of months, and it was recently discovered that I have a very serious medical condition. My community is very small and elderly. They simply cannot afford to charitably take care of me, the way it was done with St Teresa of the Andes, Bl Elisabeth of the Trinity and St Thérèse. (Their communities were at least three times the size of mine; and I'm no saint, either!) So I will be going to my parents' home. They are waiting for me to arrive to try to get an extension on insurance, medical treatment, etc. In case you're wondering, I cannot come back. My understanding is that only the Rule of St Benedict allows that, and I'm a hard core carmelite. Plus, my condition makes me an expensive liability even though I'm still young. But I am in peace. When things are from God, one experiments peace in the midst of turmoil and sorrow.

The blog will continue indefinitely, though. Since I normally schedule the posts a couple of weeks in advance, you shouldn't notice a difference, Lord willing, even when I'm not feeling well. There just may be a delay in responding to comments, just like here in the monastery. Because I had not taken a solemn vow of poverty yet, I am allowed to take all my books with me. Thus, the blog will not "suffer" and you will continue to read reading excerpts, particularly from often-times hard-to-get or out-of-print books.

I will no longer be a discalced carmelite nun, though I still "feel" and would like to remain so; but this is not possible. I go back to being a "lay carmel lover" or "a lay person with a carmelite heart." I do not wish to deceive anyone into thinking that the blog is kept by a religious past the 16th. I will change my profile description, but, unless I get many comments to the contrary, I may keep the pseudonym ocdsister. This is something I need to think about. I'm still the same person; I'll just be wearing different clothes and be in a different place. The purpose of the blog remains the same: to provide spiritual reading excerpts, mostly from Carmelite sources, to, hopefully, help others come closer to God. I do not wish my health to be a distraction in the blog, so, please, with the exception of this particular post, keep your comments to the usual topics: spirituality, life of prayer, etc. I wish this blog to remain a place for "spiritual food".

I know this is difficult for some people to understand, how can a religious community get rid of someone just because they're ill. It boils down to this: the Church allows it if solemn vows haven't been professed yet, and the community considers it the best course of action based on their resources (financial and in number of solemnly professed members), the person in question, and condition involved (contagious, chronic, crippling), etc. As the faithful Catholic I try to be, I must obey the Church in all its teachings, doctrines, and regulations, whether I understand them or not. I entreat you not to criticize my community or make negative judgments on the blog. God has an active and a permissive will. In this case, He has allowed this to happen, even though I would have preferred a different outcome, so I need to try and graciously accept it.

Please pray for me during this very difficult period of transition. This truly is an invitation from God for me to practice complete abandonment to Divine Providence in a spirit of trustful surrender. If He's allowing this to happen, it's because He has a better plan for me in mind, and this is for my own good in spite of appearances.

"Followers", whether public or anonymous: thank you for choosing this blog out of the millions of choices available. Those sending me prayer requests, I will be happy to pray for your intentions. If you wish me to forward your request to a religious community of discalced nuns so they pray for you, just mention it. I have many friends that are solemnly professed nuns in several countries, and they will be happy to take your intentions to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

I thank you in advanced for your prayers.


8 comments:

Sarah said...

I knew you personally, Sister...before you entered and all the way, so perhaps I shouldn't be the first one to comment here, but I just want to say how wonderful I know your spirituality to be - and I look forward to continuing to share with you after you leave the Convent. Don't say you are no Saint - let the Lord prove that one out....

carmelitemom said...

Sister...as always, you will remain in my prayers and thoughts. You will always be ocdsister to me.
I look forward to your future posts...you have a wealth of spiritual food to share. You continually feed this hungry sinner and are doing a great service to God...all for His glory!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister,

I am so sorry to hear about you illness. Please know that you are in my prayers. I discovered you blog a few months ago and have enjoyed it immensely.

Perhaps, when things settle down a little bit, you might consider visiting your local OCDS or TOC community. To keep in touch with Carmelite brothers & sisters. It's just a thought.

May the Peace of God be with you.

John

Rebecca said...

Dear Sister,
Know that you are in my prayers. I know this must be very difficult for you. I am glad that you are going to continue to blog. You have a very nice blog and I will look forward to your future posts.
Blessings.

ocd sister said...

I'm most grateful for all your prayers and support. Though originally planning on leaving tomorrow, I will be stepping out of the enclosure in a few hours. And, yes, Lord willing the blog will continue just as it has been. I come from a family of serious readers, so there will be no shortage of books to choose from. I personally have about 600 hard to get Carmelite books, so fear not, my dear readers! Thou shall get thy daily spiritual reading supply! (Did I write that correctly?)
"Anonymous John", where I'm heading there's no OCDS group - but thanks for the suggestion. God will provide the means...

God bless you!

Judy Khalili said...

Dear Sister,

I am in formation with an OCDS group. Carmel is heaven on earth, but so is our soul if the Holy Trinity resides there! It sounds like you headed out into the desert...I am so thankful that you are continuing the blog. It is so inspiring to so many of us. Please keep us up to date on your health - even though you would like to avoid speaking of it. We are keeping you in our prayers. Thank you, Sister. He is leading our path, even if we can barely make out the next step in the darkness.

Anonymous said...

Dear blossom of Carmel,

Our OCDS community only recently discovered your blog. I assure you of our prayers. Please continue your blogging as you are able. I am looking to be further fed by you about our love of God and His Carmel.

Frances

Jennifer said...

I'm so sorry to hear that... I know it is probably so painful. I realize that before I left the monastery, Our Lord introduced me to Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity because He wanted me to have a deep realization that even though He was going to be taking me out of religious life, He was still going to be with me, deep within my own soul... that He wanted me to continue to adore Him and serve Him in a different way, in a different place. I trust that your strong closeness to Elizabeth and her spirituality will draw you through this difficult time with all the abundant grace that the Lord wishes to bestow on you. Thank you for continuing your blog... it has such a deeply needed message! You will be in my prayers.