by Sr. Marie Richard Carmel, O.Carm.
I have been in a very reflective mood for several weeks now….at least more reflective than usual. Perhaps it has something to do with turning 60 – perhaps not. There are so many feelings that are coming to the surface….even a few that have been buried for a long time. Why? I don’t know. I can’t help but wonder if the Lord is trying to draw me closer to Him now….or teach me something that I still need to learn.
I am such a mystery to myself….a contradiction in so many ways because I experience such variations of temperament and mood…highs and lows, light and dark, hot and cold, zealous and lazy, strong and weak, fearless and fearful. It always astonishes me that the Lord called me from such a young age to follow Him as a Carmelite. He knew from all eternity the ways in which I would fall short….even fall flat on my face….but still He beckoned me to follow Him. He also knew that I would keep getting up over and over again….but only and always with the help of His outstretched hand, His amazing grace that still amazes me.
Time continues to pass….moments into minutes, into hours, into days, into weeks, into months, into years, into decades…..a symphony of joy and sorrow all rolled into one lifetime that is mine. I would not trade any of the moments of my past for different ones…. every experience both good and bad, every friendship formed and nurtured, every loss and hurt, every success, every failure, every regret - without exception - has changed me from who I used to be into who I am now, and will continue to mold me into the person God intended me to be from all eternity.
Yes, I will always be a contradiction and a mystery to myself. But by the grace of God I will remain fully committed, totally free, deeply myself, always human, forever Carmelite. Standing and waiting, looking and listening as Elijah did for the “gentle breeze” that is the Lord who passes by, and who promised to return someday to take me with Him. I pray to remain faithful until He comes. May it be so. Come Lord Jesus!
Sr. Marie Richard Carmel, O.Carm