Monday, May 10, 2010

Carmelite nuns: mothers to souls everywhere

"In the elementary school department at Ladycliff there were a number of little boys as well as girls. Often I would be asked to supervise their evening play hour, and I loved to tell them stories and to answer their questions. Whether it was my natural penchant for storytelling or the maternal instinct that every girl has, I don't know; but I do know that these hours with the children were my greatest recreation. They were also the cause of many a silent struggle deep in my heart.

The delight I found in the children and their warm response to my interest in them sent waves of doubt and indecision over my soul concerning my calling to the solitude of Carmel's cloister. Maybe, I thought, my fondness for children was an indication that I should enter an 'active' order of nuns so that I might teach children daily in the classroom or go to mission lands and give myself to thousands of orphans. But in the silence of the Chapel where I would take my troubled heart peace and certitude would return, and I would dismiss all doubts as I poured out my love to Jesus. Deep within me, apart from all emotions, came the clear, persistent call of my Beloved to leave the world and to mother only the souls of these children - and the souls of all mankind everywhere with my prayers and penance from within the cloister.

How that could be done I did not at that time fully understand, but my years in Carmel's solitude have taught me that one does not have to be visible and physically present to ease the burdens of an anguished world."

-- My Beloved: The Story of a Carmelite Nun by Mother Catherine Thomas, ocd

** Photo is from the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Ontario

No comments: