“Most women who leave the convent leave the Church.”
I was shocked to hear this statement when I told a young man whom I had just recently met that I had been in a convent for a bit. I couldn’t imagine losing Jesus on top of my perceived “loss” of the convent and all my Sisters.
The way he said it, so matter-of-factly, and the way he looked at me, like I might lose my faith in Jesus too, scared me and put me a bit on the defensive. I don’t like that statistic, whether it’s true or not. Just because someone finds out that a particular community wasn’t their “fit”, or religious life wasn’t their calling, does not mean they are going to lose God.
We must build our foundations strong on Christ so we can weather all storms; we must stand firm on Jesus, our Rock. All God’s people are called to be “like gold refined by fire”, and the fire that we withstand with Christ as our Strength makes our faith in Him stronger, if we allow it.
Let us use our hurts, struggles, and feelings of rejection to help us grow closer to God and His Church, and thereby “win” Jesus; do not “lose” and fall away from God, from Jesus, from the Church, from Love.
Jesus is our True Lover and Friend still. He stands by us through thick and thin, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. If we lose, it is because we rejected Him; if we win, it is because we accepted Him and His Will for us.
And Christ is present in all of us, so we must stick by each other, all other women who have had similar experiences. We need to hold on to one another and build each other up. Let’s turn that statistic into a lie! Not all women who leave the convent leave the Church. We must be living examples of that.
Leonie, St. Therese’s sister, left two convents before she entered the Visitandines where she ended up staying! We all have our own paths to follow to find God’s Will for our lives, remain faithful, and He will show us true love, joy and peace.