Tuesday adoration….broken promises?

I was reading some Facebook comments tonight, and one woman wrote that she had always felt she should have been a nun, and that she still regrets every single day that she did not follow-up on that desire.

That made me smile.  After my adult conversion, I too wanted to be a nun, but there was one problem:  I was married.  I spent a couple of years mourning my lost vocation, before it occurred to me that Our Lord would have timed things differently if He had really wanted me to be a nun.

All of this reminded me of something I was thinking about during Eucharistic Adoration today.

I have recently been going through items I have kept for years, like cards and pictures, and my stack of prayer journals.  The latter go back thirty years, and flipping through them re-acquaints me with someone I no longer am.

There are so many resolutions in those journals, so many promises to the Lord to  do great things for Him, so very many lists of virtues to practice, faults to overcome and new and better prayer schedules.

There are pages written while awash in consolations or on a weekend retreat…words splashed across pages filled with fervor and wonder and exclamations of love.

Have you ever done this?  Have you ever promised the Lord everything….your whole life, every moment just for Him, no turning back, no old ways.  And you meant it, with every beat of your heart…at the time.  No string of adjectives could express what you felt, nor could there be too many exclamation points!  Have you…ever?

I must confess to feeling some sadness and regret, as I leafed through hundreds of pages written by a much more idealistic and passionate young woman than the person I am today.  And of course, I have not kept all of those well-meaning promises or become that warrior for the Lord…..or fulfilled my long ago dream of echoing the heart of my beloved Therese.

“What about all of this Lord?”  I found myself wondering today, when I realized that I had not even kept most of the resolutions written in this year’s journal.

And Jesus seemed to say:  But you meant them at the time, didn’t you?  Don’t you know that I am listening to your heart at every moment, and I accept every good intention, every act of love, every desire you have for Me and My Glory?  Nothing meant for good is ever lost.  Without your realizing it, I have planted within your soul, a kernel, a seed of all that you have ever offered to me….and in My Own Time, I bring forth the harvest. 

I was truly comforted by these thoughts, which seemed to lift a burden from me….the impossible burden of being perfect, of remembering every promise, and of journeying in darkness and dryness of soul with the same flush of fervor experienced during my first encounter with my Lord, so many years ago.

Thank You, Jesus, for tending the garden of my soul.  May it flower in Your Season.  I love You!

17 thoughts on “Tuesday adoration….broken promises?

  1. Patricia,
    Thank you for this beautiful reflection. Broken promises to Our Lord? I have plenty. I love the line in those thoughts that were given to you: “Nothing meant for good is ever lost.” What a consoling thought! I thank God that He knows me better than I know myself.
    A happy and blessed Thanksgiving to you and your family.
    God bless.

    • Karin, I’ve missed you. I visited the Front Porch the other day, but it didn’t seem like anyone was home 🙂 Maybe I didn’t look around enough.

      I think of you often, and know you are in the safe keeping of Our Blessed Lord..but still hope you will be back. Are you “offering” parton Saints again this year?

      Thank you for your comment. God is so Good…so Generous. We can never hope for too much from Him….

      Wishing you and yours a most Blessed Thanksgiving too! Come again soon 🙂

  2. Patricia. I have loads of those broken promises too..And oh.did I ever want to be a nun. Blew that one big time LOL. But I love that the Lord comforted you with the fact that you meant it from the heart at the time. I feel the same way when I read my journals..kind of like I’ m tired of hearing myself talk! Isn’t it good that the Lord never tires of hearing us..
    Blessings and + xxxooo

    • Caroline, you too? A nun? I should have known….. 🙂 I would have had to found a new order of night owl nuns…could never keep the hours the others do!

      LOL….I’m also so tired of hearing myself talk. I can’t tell you how many times when I make my holy hours that I thank Jesus for not getting tired of llstening to me! It’s so wonderful that we can count on His constant, untiring and unconditional love for us….no matter how many times we repeat ourselves.

      I love one of the antiphons….from night prayer I think where it says: O God, how unwearied is your love for us. Unwearied….how awesome!

      I wish you lived next door. We could pop in the DVD of The Trouble With Angels, and argue over who gets to be Mary Clancy ; ) Love you!

  3. Broken promises, I was thinking more of a broken record…something like, “i lpve you, adore you…. ” and then a page later “How can I love this God that is absent, non existent” Such is the spiritual life….Promises, broken yet well intended, love declared and then denied….sounds like St Peter doesn’t it…there is comfort in that. The challenge is to be faithful, even when God seems to be hiding…
    This is the first time I have read your blog, I find it interesting that God keeps bringing me back to Carmel and whilst I am not in a position to join the lay carmelites yet, I do feel a tug. I have 5 kids and the reality of committing to a monthly meeting is unrealistic at this time. All things of course happen in God’s time….

    • Welcome Doris. Thank you so much for your interesting comment. I love the comparison to St. Peter. Jesus must have chosen Peter to give hope to us all 🙂 He certainly was one to make impulsive promises, wasn’t he? But in the end, he learned to truly love Jesus. So, I guess there is hope for us too!

      I know what you mean about Carmel. I felt the tug long before I was able to join. I finally felt the time was right when my son was a senior in highschool. In my experience, I seldom meet secular Carmelites who have young children. There are exceptions, of course. But when I joined in my 40’s, I was one of the younger members. So, you hang in there and if it’s meant to be, you will know. Meanwhile, you can pray the Divine Office and read the writings of Teresa, Therese and John of the Cross for starters.

      I hope to hear from you again. Meanwhile, I will remember you in prayer. Blessings always…. Patricia

      • Thanks Patricia, I appreciate your kindness. I am not overly concerned about the lay carmelites at the moment, and certainly my carmelite director doesn’t think that this is the right time. I just try to live each day in the present moment and in God’s presence whether I notice Him or not

        • Hmmm, talk about broken…my lovely daughter broke her arm today. So that is where God has planted me today, nurturing, tending the wounded and trying to bring comfort. In some ways this reminds me of Our dear Lady, tending her Sons wounds when he fell as a young child. I’m sure he grazed his knee when he was a kid. So I thank God that He has given me the eyes to see Him amidst the trials that my daughter is going through

          • Oh my goodness, Doris, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter breaking her arm. I do hope it isn’t a bad break, and that it will heal well without any complications. I read your comment before Mass, and remembered you in prayer. It’s beautiful that you are identifying with Our Lady through this trial. (Wish I always remembered to do that!) She must have had her hands full with an active little boy. Can you imagine…how beautiful He must have been, and how very sweet!

            I’m glad you aren’t worried about a future with Carmel. It will certainly come, if God wills. Look at you…having a Carmelite director! Lucky girl! Wish I had any director. My last one died in 1998. I sometimes pray for one, but the Lord has not seen fit to answer that prayer. But, it is a great blessing to have someone to help you on this journey. I’m glad you do. Thank you for commenting again, and I hope to see you back! Let me know how your daughter is doing. God bless you and your family!

  4. This is wonderful, consoling. And the comments above are as well. But I am afraid I won’t be able to leave you and Caroline and everyone else here to watch the Trouble with Angels in peace …I just HAVE to jump right in and watch one of my favorite films with you. I’ll bring the popcorn… deal? And the Night Owl Nuns might have been just the ticket for me :).

    (the NONs?)

    • Nancy! It wouldn’t be a party without you 🙂 I first mentioned that movie in a post a year or so ago, and I couldn’t believe how many other ladies chimed in to say how much they love it. I thought I was the only person in this century (!) to quietly sneak my DVD in every once in a while—actually I had a VHS tape for years until I spied the DVD in the $5 bin at Wal Mart a few years ago.

      Hooray for wannabee nuns, I say! I think the Lord laughs along with us…and Our Lady for sure. It was a touching movie, and so much fun. Wish we really could all get together. Love the NONS! You are so funny! Love and hugs, Sister Nancy!

  5. i am indeed blessed when it comes to my director. I knew nothing about Carmel at all until my parish had a series of 3 talks by a carmelite priest. His first sentence was simply the question that St Theresa was asked…”will you be my friend?” I was hooked, lined and sunk. This priest spoke of a God that wanted me, and desired me and wanted to enfold me in his arms. My dear husband has never understood the “union with God stuff “and I didn’t know anybody else who did understand it. But here in this priest I found expressed exactly what I have sought all these years but didn’t know how to express it. I then went to a series of talks at his parish that he gives as a lenten programme. I asked him a question and he suggested that I was quoting from Theresa, I had never read any of her work. So it went on until both he and I were in agreement that I needed to see him on occasion for direction.
    Now, in my parish we have a new parish priest. A man who was a carmelite but left and is now a regular diocesan priest….but the way he speaks of a God who wants to be in an intimate relationship sets me on fire…..
    I am truely blessed

    • Doris, what a beautiful comment! You made my heart quicken 🙂 How providential of God to arrange your meeting with the Carmelite priest…it seems you have a soul thirsty for Carmelite spirituality, the goal of which is contemplation and union with God, as you alluded to. I am so happy that you have found support along the way. People generally don’t understand the contemplative life if they aren’t called to it. Like you said, it is something you seem to know without even being able to express it…a call from God to come closer..go deeper. You are truly blessed!

      You might one to check out two Carmelite blogs I list on my blogroll: A Solitary Bird, and My Desert Heart. Both ladies are wonderful Carmelites who write beautiful posts. I think you would enjoy them.

      So glad you found me, and I look forward to hearing from you again! I’ll remember you at adoration tomorrow. Blessings always…..

  6. Hi Patricia,
    How are you? Okay, I’ll just come right out and say it:
    Me too. Yeah, the nun thing…lol. That’s what conversion does to us! Of course, I never told my husband that I thought I may have missed my calling 🙂 I laugh (to myself) about it now but I was concerned for a while! Like you, I realized that God would have worked things a bit differently if His plan had been for me to be a nun.

    I know all about breaking promises too. (But your post consoled me. As did the comments!)

    God bless!

    • Mary, I’m missing you! I’ve checked in over at The Beautiful Gate, and it’s been quiet. I hope you are well and maybe just needed a blog break. I haven’t been too active myself. I got really behind this summer around the time of my son’s wedding…and never got back on track. I’m working on it : )

      Of course you wanted to be a nun too! 🙂 Maybe we should form an Order online…wonder how that would work? I think it’s normal (maybe!) when first falling in love with God to long to give Him that total gift of self which we associate with the holy nuns. Then we wake up and realize…hey, I’m married! I guess this is my vocation. So funny…all of us!

      I’m glad you were consoled by the post, and the lovely comments of others. It IS consoling to know that we all struggle with this.

      Love you joyful Mary! xoxo

  7. Jesus told his disciples that their generation would his return. It didn’t happen. Jesus didn’t return then and he isn’t returning now. Jesus isn’t coming back. His false promises are nothing to build one’s life around.

    • Hi Jack…thank you for commenting. I think what Jesus actually said in the gospels is that no one but the Father knows the hour of his return. i can’t imagine why he would leave us with false promises, after all the good he did.

      what is interesting to me are alll the prophecies of his coming in the Old Testament…and how they were eventually fulfilled after 5000 years. it can be hard for us to be patient; I’m sure many people gave up then too.

      he will return in glory, but the best part is that he is with us now…just as he promised, in our hearts if we welcome him, and in the most sublime Gift of the Holy Eucharist.

      please don’t give up on him; he will never give up on you. Thanks for stopping by. please comment anytime.

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