After my time as a missionary in a foreign country had come to an end and the convent life before that was already only a memory, I returned to the US with many questions and a lot to unload. A good friend invited me to a retreat out-of-state during New Year’s weekend. I wondered if I should go but since I had already agreed and flights were paid for, I was on my way. I felt like perhaps the Lord had something in store for me but as I sat in on the talks I was either distracted or felt the huge reality that I did not fit in.
I decided to head upstairs to the chapel and pray. As I sat there, the Lord was stirring something up in my heart. There was a sadness that was coming to the surface. Right next to the chapel there was a prayer room where one could go in to be prayed for. As I entered the room, tears began rolling down my cheeks. I said some vague thing about what I wanted prayer for and as the young woman began to speak, my heart rose up in me. She said, “You are still called to be His spouse.”
The sadness that had been welling up in the chapel came fully to the surface with this reminder from the Lord and I could not stop crying. I let the truth of these words wash over me and comfort my soul. I was not forgotten, I was not set aside for having left the convent. He still wanted me, He has always wanted me. I was still called to be His in intimacy and fidelity, although not as a religious sister as I had thought. By belonging to the Church, sister, by being the Church, you and I are called. We are not forgotten. We are invited, too, to be espoused to the Heavenly Bridegroom; to give Him the totality of ourselves in freedom and in love.
Closing Prayer //
Lord, You promised to take us as Your bride in steadfast love (Hosea 2:19). You accomplished this work on the Cross when the Church came forth from Your wounded side, as Eve from the side of Adam. Allow us, Lord, to know our identity as Your Bride and to begin to live out our spousal union with You, no matter our state in life.
Reflections Questions //
- Have you ever felt put aside or forgotten by the Lord? Or perhaps that you are less loved because of your past?
- How has He demonstrated to you the truth of your being, that you are His beloved? If you have not yet experienced His closeness, why not invite Him to come close today?