Carmelite Sisters's Blog
Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles
Out of the Mouths of Babes
Yesterday, six of us enjoyed the special privilege of visiting the Getty Museum here in Los Angeles. What a grace filled day admiring all the various forms of art work from paintings to sculptures to photography! Each of us had her favorite, but there is one incident I thought would be great for the blog.
Wednesday is a great day to visit popular tourist places because tourist seem to be out in lesser numbers then. However, every once in a while you run into another group of people: field trips. Lets just say that the median age at the Getty yesterday was probably somewhere around 15, even taking into consideration the many senior citizens that were there.
So it was no surprise when we walked into a gallery to find a class of children being instructed in art appreciation. There was one group that did surprise us, or rather one little six year old boy.
Dressed as we are, we tend to make a bit of an impression where ever we go. And we hear everything from, “Mommy, what are they?” to “Look! It’s God’s wife!” Out of the mouth of babes wisdom often pours forth and yesterday was a prime example.
“You are Church!” The innocence and sincerity in his voice seemed to underline the profound truth he spoke. Others might have wanted to correct him that these women work for the Church, but the reality is what he said is at the essence of who we are. The Second Vatican Council declared that religious life is integral to the life of the Church. I am sure this little fellow had not read any of the documents from the Council, I am not sure if he even knows how to read yet. But looking at us touched something inside him, and he knew.
“And you are with God!” How is it that I spend so much time in the Chapel praying, so much time reading spiritual books, so much time striving to grow in my relationship with God, and here within seconds this little unassuming child perceives a truth I can so often over look?
Yes, there amidst Monet and Rembrandt, admiring the many exquisite works of human hands, we were with God.
And now we are back in our places of service, typing, answering phones, preparing for retreats, always with God.
Thanks, little fellow, for the simple yet profound reminder of what we are all about, we are Church and we are with God!
•A Day in the Life...
on April 7, 2011 at 8:30 am
The Sisters webpage address is:
Vocation story from Sister Marie Rachel a Carmelite Sister of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles:
Sister Marie Rachel of the Sacred Wounds, O.C.D.
J.M. + J.T.
God’s ways are certainly mysterious. Never would I have imagined to be where I am today. All the years that I was growing up I had a definite plan for my life and religious life was not included. In my mind, I was going to be a wife and mother with many children, all of them home schooled. “God will surely send me a good catholic man to marry,” I thought; so I left it in His hands and bided my time. In the mean time, I attended religious talks with my mother. Never did I imagine how one would change my life.
It was just a normal talk on prayer. I am sure I heard similar words before, probably many times before. This time it was different. The words he spoke penetrated my heart. “Prayer is a conversation with God. That means two things: one, we need to talk to Him; secondly, and most importantly, we need to be QUIET and listen.” He said. God will speak to your heart if only you stop to listen. Going home, I felt quite uneasy, convicted. Most of my prayer was simply rattling off memorized formulas with names. I figured that pretty much covered everything I needed to do. As I lay down in bed that night, I did the riskiest thing in my life.
“So God, You speak. Okay. Well, now’s Your chance. I will be quiet and listen.” Not expecting much, I uneasily prayed these words then settled down to wait for whatever was going to happen. He did not lose one moment. Very quickly after I settled down to listen, these words formed in my mind: “You shall be My bride.” Deep down I knew Who spoke this because I had never thought anything like this before. Stunned and in disbelief, my only response was, “What?!?” Again, the same words came back to me. Even more uneasy, as this disrupted all my carefully laid out plans for my life, I tried to wiggle out of it. “Well, the Church is the Bride of Christ and as a married woman with a family, I would be part of the Church. Therefore, You must be calling me to be a bride in the sense that I am united to the Church.” Yet, this thought did not comfort me in the least. I knew He was calling for more.
Then the search began. St. Pio, speaking of Our Lord’s relationship with the soul has a saying that “all is a continual game on the part of your Lover.” And so the game began. Slowly, He wooed my heart and helped me to conform my desires to His. Soon, I found myself seeking out which Community He might want me to enter. With all the vast choices, I simply told Him, “This was Your idea, not mine. You better show me where to go because I have no clue where to start.” Within a few months, two separate people referred me to a Carmelite community in Alhambra California. At first, I dreaded the idea of returning to a crowed city. Nevertheless, I could not shake the feeling that it was no coincidence that two completely unrelated sources were pointing me here.
To continue the story go to the Sisters webpage at www.carmelitesistersocd.com