Well, it's real. After six months of being part of the aspirancy program, I've submitted my application to be considered for formation as a Secular Carmelite. While it's not definite that I'll be accepted, and while there will be two (or three?) years of further formation prior to making a temporary promise, it's another single step along a lifetime journey. I have wondered on occasion if I am an appropriate Carmelite, being the action-oriented extrovert I am (they are a contemplative order), but one thing is certain: I've received many graces through being in the program.
Yesterday two opportunities for grace converged: our monthly day at the monastery and Divine Mercy Sunday. The latter has a special place in my heart: our dear Papa, Pope John Paul II, died on its vigil (which is quite appropriate, considering it was he who canonized St. Faustina, from whom the devotion to the Divine Mercy comes). He was devoted to her message and designated the Sunday following Easter in this way.
I made a confession at the monastery (something that is encouraged on Divine Mercy Sunday) and, miraculously, that allowed me to become detached from a sin that has plagued me. Surely His mercy has been poured out upon me. Repentance is the true makeover.
Today has been one of Holy Spirit tutelage. My spirit unchained, I am able to see things in a new way. Miraculously, my will cooperates and feelings follow. Restless, I look forward to wearing these changes as garments.
I have learned, painfully, that I haven't respected myself as a human creature and child of God. Pursuit of holiness, especially in light of my Carmelite journey, must be taken more seriously than my own needs... or the need to please.
The "Holy Spirit Shop" is the best place to buy new clothes. I have found something that fits well; gratitude is deep.
Thank you, Lord, for your Divine Mercy!