Hello to you all! I am Father David Hasser, a priest of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana. I was ordained a priest in 2007 and currently serve full-time as the Director of Vocations for our diocese. In anticipation of you reading this brief post, I wish I could have heard your personal story and written this just for you! Since I haven’t figured out how to do that yet, let’s ask the Holy Spirit be our guide today and during this celebration of Holy Week!
It is Palm Sunday, and when Jesus enters Jerusalem He intimately embraces and experiences our broken, blind but beautiful selves. He draws the closest to us ever in order to love us to the consummation of His original and enduring promise.
In the fourth Eucharistic Prayer of the Roman Missal we pray:
And you so loved the world, Father most holy, that in the fullness of time you sent your Only Begotten Son to be our Savior. Made incarnate by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, he shared our human nature in all things but sin. To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation, to prisoners, freedom, and to the sorrowful of heart, joy. To accomplish your plan, he gave himself up to death, and, rising from the dead, he destroyed death and restored life. And that we might live no longer for ourselves but for him who died and rose again for us, he sent the Holy Spirit from you, Father, as the first fruits for those who believe, so that, bringing to perfection his work in the world, he might sanctify creation to the full.
When all is said and done, this is the answer and invitation for which your heart searches! This was true 2000 years ago and still is today. You have been sanctified to the full! He has spoken His Word of salvation, freedom and joy to you! However, selfishly fallen angels may bother you with so much distraction and nonsense that your heart becomes restless again. You need to let yourself rest in Him, beauty ever ancient, ever new.
I don’t know how you originally discerned to enter the community which you eventually exited. I don’t know how you feel about that discernment and which direction you are now pursuing. If you are still looking for your next step, I’d encourage you to let the Holy Spirit move you rather than the expectations of the world. I wonder if you feel pressure to tie up your experience in the convent with a nice little ribbon bow and put it behind you. I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss it. Use everything you’ve experienced so far to help you follow The Lord now, because He still calls out to you. He still invites you to follow Him and to be concerned for the things of the Kingdom of Heaven, maybe in a different community, maybe with a different charism, maybe in marriage and family life or maybe in private consecration.
Take the time you need to sit at the Master’s feet and rest in Him. He still calls you to come after Him and follow Him, to see where He is staying. He still calls you to communio through His intimate covenant with you. If outwardly it does not take the form of communal consecrated life, I would encourage you to keep your heart and life open to be consecrated to Him. He embraces your brokenness, blindness and beauty, and He invites you to share in the consummation of His promise. Let His message of salvation, freedom and joy be the invitation to which you next respond!