J M J
THE GRACE OF A VOCATION
Religious life was a dream of my youngest years. It is true, there were moments when I had abandoned this desire, perhaps only seemingly, because in my heart it must have been constant. This life style appeared to me to be so holy, so perfect! I desired it only because I wanted to love God all the more perfectly, serve him more zealously and save my soul more easily. God granted me my wishes sooner than I expected, and today I am already his servant.
Why do I not feel the joy which I had imagined? Surely, because I do not live according to this vocation; I only wear the garb which represents a religious woman, but my life, my thoughts and my way of serving God is worse than that of a lay person because I served God more zealously when I was a secular.
How this happens, I do not know. Is it because I do not have a vocation to the religious life? It is true that I do not have such temptations; however, this should not set my mind at rest. Perhaps I do not experience such temptations because I do not take this lifestyle seriously enough, or I do not appreciate the grace of a vocation. I have never thought about it deeply. I never thank God for it. I do not feel any gratitude for it; I do not think that God has done anything great for me, as if I had a right to it. Maybe I remain in this community from laziness, because I feel good in it, so comfortable. Maybe it is from human respect, because I am ashamed to return to the world? Truly, I do not understand myself, nor do I know myself.
Oh! how difficult it is to live in such uncertainty; I do not know what to hold on to. If I do not have a vocation, I will not persevere. This also helps me very much to bear all my burdens. I do not understand why I do not feel any gratitude towards God for so many blessings; perhaps it is because ingratitude is my main fault against God and people as well. Sometimes I think that I have no heart because I am so indifferent towards everyone and everything which does not involve me.
I feel so hurt when I recall how zealous I once was in the service of God. Every exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and each Feast of Corpus Christi was a source of happiness and blessing for me. With what joyous anticipation and impatience I looked forward to those days! It used to surprise me and I could not understand that people could walk out of the church when God was present on the altar. And today, during the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and during Holy Mass I sleep because I am too lazy to kneel upright. An hour of adoration is too long for me; I cannot even sigh or say a word. In addition, my physical condition is no help at all because it seems to me that I will burn up from the fever. I must leave the chapel convinced that there is no hope for me. I beg God to help me, to send me some illness, that perhaps physical pain will alleviate the sufferings of my soul.
I no longer believe in the prayers of others and even in the Sacrifice of the Mass. All this seems so ineffective to me. Indeed, I feel that the more they pray for me, the more I suffer. O Lord, if it is Thy Will that I should suffer all the more, why do you not give me the strength and a love for suffering?