Friday, August 03, 2007

How I knew that I wasn't cut out for Religious Life...

During Spring Break of my junior year in college, I attended what we Texas A&M Aggies call the "Nun Run". It's a road trip for young women to go and check out various convents to get a real feel for religious life. Our trip took us to Houston, New Orleans, a quick stop in Birmingham to EWTN, and for several days to Nashville.

Here is a picture of our stop in New Orleans with a beautiful nursing Order, the Sister Servants of Mary. They work especially with dying patients in a hospice apostolate. I'm in the middle on the front row.



Our last stop was in Nashville to visit the well-known "Nashville Dominicans", the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. They happened to be having a Come and See Retreat that weekend, so there were young ladies from all over the country, including the Aggies there. Their main convent was a huge mansion built in the mid-1800s. It felt like had gone back in time, sleeping and sitting on beautiful antique furniture and walking up a creaky wooden stairway.

We spent the mornings in prayer and hearing various talks on religious life, discernment, and that Dominican Order in particular. I had been getting rather tired and distracted during the talks and they had told us we could skip out on any of them if we needed to. So one morning I decided I was going to slip away after breakfast. While the other young ladies were hearing the talks, I decided to escape to the community bathroom and to have a relaxing bath in one of the antique claw-foot tubs! That way there would be one less person to wait in line during the regular hours to bathe.

I enjoyed my quiet time and went back to join the group for lunch. Only then did I realize that I not only missed some important talks, but I also missed the group picture! (See? No Blair to be seen below!)


I always burst into laughter when I tell that story, thinking about how hard it would have been for me to adjust to the disciplined life of a religious Sister. And yet, here I am leading a still disciplined life as a member of the lay movement Regnum Christi. I have been enjoying reading about the YFE (Youth and Family Encounter), which took place in Atlanta last weekend, particularly on Devin and Katie's blog.

Now this past weekend I was relaxing at the beach while over 4000 members and friends of Regnum Christi and the Legionaries of Christ were together encountering Christ and encouraging each other in their vocations. I pray that we might be able to attend this event in the future, because this time instead of laughing about missing parts of a convent retreat, I am reading the stories of the YFE in utter longing to have attended.

I still have a long way to go in my vocation as a wife and mother and in my life of prayer and charity. I pray that God might help me when my unorganized, undisciplined, lazy self gets in the way of my vocation. I pray for Religious Sisters who devote their lives to service of the Church and humanity, and for members of all ecclesial movements and new communities. And for each of the readers here in their own vocations, particularly wives and mothers, that we all might continually strive for holiness in all that we do and bring others to know, love and serve Our Lord Jesus Christ! His Kingdom Come!

5 comments:

Lillian said...

Blair,

What a BEAUTIFUL reflection!! It brought back fond memories of all the young ladies who went. You are such a beautiful wife and mother and a wonderful disciple of Christ!

BTW, we're coming in 2 weeks!! Can we come visit your tire swing?

M said...

What a funny story! And the term "nun run" -- I love it!

Blair said...

We'd love for you to visit Lillian, but you will be so sad to see the yard :( It stresses me out just thinking about it. The weeds are SO bad. Not sure if you can even get to the tire swing through the jungle, but we'll try to have it ready! Is that the 18/19th? We don't have much going on besides a baby shower Sat morning. Can't wait to see you guys! Are you coming for the conference?

Jill said...

What a great reflection. You are so full of wisdom! I also think of Religious Life as such a disciplined vocation. But, you made a good point that the vocation of motherhood could also use a little discipline at times.

The Lees said...

Hi Blair! Thanks for connecting with me again...what a great blog and congrats on baby #3!!! I am also a blogger, a new one :). Our blogspot is www.theleesblogspot.blogspot.com
I was so sad to hear Steven's news, you were the first to tell me. Wow, it really is shocking! Thanks for connecting again and blessings in Shenandoah...I actually lived there all through high school! Love- Steph Lee

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