About a year and a half ago, I saw on Facebook that people were becoming friends with the Elmira Dominican Nuns. I was amazed by this, as I only live about 30 minutes from this incredible contemplative order, and in all my years of discerning, had never even heard of them. When I saw on their web page that they had not had a new vocation in 25 years, I wrote to them and said, in a nutshell, that I had been discerning for a number of years, and never even heard of them when they were in my own backyard. I offered to help them, and the vocation director, Sr. Anna Marie, set a time for me to come up and meet with her.
Two amazing things are immediately apparent in this journey: Number One, I thought I was going there to help promote them, and Number Two, I was sure God would never call me to a contemplative order, as He gave me so many gifts that would lend easily to helping people as a missionary or in an active order (lawyer, teacher, musician, etc.). So we met on occasion over the next year, and Sr. Anna Marie was very kind and helpful to me, giving me great spiritual direction, but she never once tried to dissuade me from my path to the DMs. I was just so sure of myself -- RED FLAG. :-)
So then, about 6 months ago, some things happened with the DMs that made me extremely worried, when I saw one sister leave, and others who were not very happy. The disturbance in my soul reached a fever pitch and I ran to see Sr. Anna Marie. I boldly told her to please let me talk and do not say anything until she had time to pray about it because it was bad, soooo bad, and I did not want her gut reaction, (not that she would ever have one, she is so peaceful, and God is soooo close to her). And after giving my whole sordid story she had an inspiration that she believed to be from the Holy Spirit. After this whole year of meeting with me, she had never once thought of me for any other order, but this new order of Dominicans came to her mind. She told me they were visiting Elmira the next weekend and could I come for a visit. They are a contemplative foundation (new Dominican Monastery awaiting enough professed sisters to become a stand-alone monastery), and they have a vision that really complemented the things I had been saying to Sr. Anna Marie all along.
When I heard her say these words, I was immediately flooded with peace. This is HUGE because if you would have seen me crying and frantic five minutes before, you would have to know that it was the Holy Spirit. And when I met them the following week, I again was filled with peace and God's great Love. There was no more concern or frantically trying to get somewhere on my own terms. Things worked out that I could visit them in Delaware the next week, and when I entered their chapel, I felt like I was coming home. I did not want to leave! I took to the monastic life like a duck to water. Honestly, I never felt that way with the DMs. I could not figure it out, as there were so many, so-called 'signs.' But this experience with the Dominicans had absolutely NOTHING to do with me. I did not look for it or ask for it or anything. All I did, was a few months before it all unfolded, I began praying a perpetual novena to Mary, Undoer of Knots, and my prayer changed from, 'please undo the knots that are keeping me from the Daughters of Mary," to "PLEASE, Blessed Mother, from your heavenly perspective, PLEASE undo the knots in my life that I do not even see, and help me to clear the path to wherever Jesus wants me." And she has done just that! She lives to help her children come closer to her Son. She lives to help her children stay on the path that He has laid out for them. Pure Mercy. Pure Love.
So here I am, still with my financial obstacles, but it appears that God is working to make them disappear. I felt compelled a few months ago to ask someone to buy my house. I told him I paid far less than what I am asking. I gave him a price for what a similar house went for in the neighborhood, and then told him the price that would make me a nun. He has agreed to pay me much more than it is worth, and if he can not come up with the funds, has promised to find someone else who will do it! I need a lot of prayer on this, because the evil one is doing everything he can to thwart our efforts. But I do believe it will work, and that I will enter on St Catherine of Siena's feast day, April 29, 2012. Whee!
So that is the scoop for now. I have no idea what God is calling me to 'do' in the Dominican order, and I simply do not care. All I want is to do His will, and clearly this path has come from Him, so I am walking it, with eyes and ears open, excited to see, hear and touch what lies ahead. All for the Glory of God!
Mary, Undoer of Knots,
Pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Pray for us who have recourse to thee.