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!