Fall 2009

God-given promptings

The Way Chooses Us

It seems that one of the most difficult things in life is to pray and live from where we actually are, and not from some place where we should be or where we would like to be. Related to this, it has been a long-standing custom for those entering Carmel to choose not only a new name, but also a title that represents their unique approach to life and to God.

Today, if we were to give St. Therese a title, we probably would say that she should be known as "Therese of the Little Way", since this is indeed what she gave the world. Dag Hammarskjold wrote that we do not choose our Way. The Way chooses us. This means that, on our own, we do not decide what our Way will be. Frequently, though, in our everyday events we do experience God's intended way for us. It has been said that how we spend one day of our lives is how we spend our lives.

One may ask how a person comes to know his or her own particular Way, and how a person stays in contact with their Way. It would appear that there are questions we can ask ourselves. What attracts us? What gives us peace? What seems easy and natural, and appears to fit us? What in us is recognized by others? It is not for us to choose our Way but to find it and to allow the Way to come to us.

As I was reflecting on the above, I was given an unidentified email. The selection was a dialogue between a sincere woman and her Lord. The woman asked the Lord who the Lord was. She was given an answer. However, that was not enough. With tears in her eyes, the woman looked toward heaven and said, "But Lord, who am I?" The Lord tenderly wiped away the tears in her eyes and whispered: "You are mine."

Sister Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D


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