Contemplating Jesus and Discernment

When I named this blog "Musings of a Discerning Woman," I was knee deep in full fledged vocation discernment, pondering the crazy yet wonderful idea of becoming a Catholic Sister. The journey started just over 10 years ago. I started the blog 9 1/2 years ago to document that journey and to help me give words to the inexplicable movement of my heart.  In the words of my first blog post:
I've searched the blogsphere myself, looking for the "What should Susan do with her life website" to no avail. I have, however, been lucky enough to stumble upon the stories of others who have been able to stop and listen to what God might be calling them too. I've benefited from the struggles, the sharing, the hopes, the fears of complete strangers. And so, I figured it was worth the risk to start documenting my own journey in the hopes that it strikes a chord with someone else. Gives someone else the thought that it's not so crazy to listen to that voice deep down inside that won't go away, the idea that maybe there's something more to this life thing. And, hopefully this new form of what is essentially an exhibitionist journal will help me along on this journey of mine.
There is something sacred about this virtual space and something immensely powerful in sorting through the unbloggable thoughts and then recording the movement of the Spirit in a way that expresses the truth written in my heart yet is understandable and perhaps beneficial for others on their own journeys.  

I haven't really been in a unbloggable space for the past few years, but rather have been whole heartedly engaged in the joys of my life of ministry and community. Ironically, this life giving and affirming mix has meant I haven't blogged as much. I seem to blog more when I'm dealing with unblogables. Does that count as paradox?

Well, my friends, have you noticed an uptick in blog posts in the past week or so? That's because I am wading back into unbloggable territory, pondering an invitation from my community to consider a new way of answering my call to seek justice, love tenderly, and walk in the way of peace as a Sister of St. Joseph of Peace.

It's exciting and terrifying at the same time, kind of like that "fearful yet overjoyed" feeling Mary Magdalene felt at the tomb when, seeking to spend time mourning her friend Jesus, she is instead met by an angel with unexpected tidings: ""Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.' Behold, I have told you."

In our CSJP Constitutions we say:
Our vows, rooted in our baptismal consecration,
express our response to God's call
to participate in the mission of Jesus Christ.
Through vowed membership
in the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace
we specify the direction in which we live
our baptismal commitment. (38) 
By our public profession
of consecrated celibacy, poverty, and obedience,
we freely dedicate ourselves for life to God
according to these constitutions.
We commit ourselves to one another in community,
we signify our availability for service in mission,
and we express our willingness
to become peacemakers
in the spirit of the beatitudes. (39) 
As we live our vows each day
we trust that Christ's blessing promised
to peacemakers will sustain us,
knowing that God working in us
will accomplish more than we can ask or imagine. (62)

Indeed. Discernment never ends, my friends, it just shifts deeper and wider as we live more fully the life God calls us to by virtue of baptism.  As a religious Sister, my love of my community and commitment to our charism of peace also challenges me and brings forth even more love and commitment to following Jesus.

And, like the angel, Jesus also said "Be not afraid."  I found myself this morning remembering a video prayer reflection I made years ago, during temporary profession and a different flavor of discernment of this call, set to the Tony Alonso song "And Jesus said..."

I prayed with this video and song this morning, at this new space and discerning this new call within a call within a call within the context of a discerning community.

Jesus, brother and friend, be with me/us on our journey into peace. Open and soften our hearts so that we may hear your call deeply and clearly as we face the future with gratitude and hope. Amen.


Kelly_SSJ said...

Prayers as you discern the invitation and ponder with love and wonder the great mystery that is Gods love and call.

Susan Rose Francois, CSJP said...

Thanks Kelly!