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Veritatis Splendor

"Keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith" --Hebrews 12:2

Pope Benedict XVI before our Lord

And only where God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.
Each of us is the result of a thought of God.
Each of us is willed,
each of us is loved,
each of us is necessary.
There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.
~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily April 24th, 2005

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The love of Christ impels us

The "Help Send Mary to the Convent by Donating to Pay Off Student Loans" fundraising drive continues this week, in the Cathedral of St. Paul bulletin - see my testimony/vocation story on page 6... after you check out the rockin' image of then-Cardinal Ratzinger when he last visited St. Paul on the cover!

Or, I guess I can just post it here too:

2 COR. 5:14

Over these past five years, much of it spent here in the Cathedral, I have grown more deeply aware of the depth of Christ's love for each of us. Out of that realization has come an openness to learning from the Lord what vocation He has created me to fulfill in my life. Gradually, I began to understand that the Lord is calling me to be His own, and to be His own in that most mysterious of vocations, the contemplative life of a nun. On June 11, God-willing, I will enter the convent of the Benedictines of Mary in Kansas City, Missouri. Me, Mary, the girl who loves talking, traveling, eating, and spending time with friends (and a stranger is only a friend that I haven't met yet)—living, working, and praying every day in a "spirit of silence" in a Midwest monastery? Yes!

How can this be? All I can say is that every vocation from the Lord is, ultimately, a marriage—a call to give everything out of love for another. Whether our vocation is to marriage or to the consecrated life, we are called to love, to be loved, and out of that love to "be fruitful and multiply." To enter the convent does not mean that I am giving up anything, it means that I am giving everything! For many years, I have been about Jesus: learning about my faith, talking about Him and teaching others, organizing events and doing many things for Him in this Cathedral. But now I realize that to be about Him is not enough, what I truly desire is to be with Jesus. I have found my beloved. I have seen His face and I want only to run to Him!

In order to enter in June, however, I face an obstacle—that of my educational loan debt. Due to the unique life of a consecrated person it is not possible to enter with any outstanding debt. I am working with the Laboure Society, a local non-profit organization, to work toward clearing my debt through the generous donations of people like you. Perhaps you have been praying for vocations for a long time. Perhaps you have only recently become aware of the different ways that the Lord calls His people to serve. Or maybe this is your first encounter with the idea of different vocations. Whatever your situation, I ask you to please consider supporting my vocation, both through your prayers and though financial support. Donations can be made out to the Laboure Society, with the memo "Cathedral bulletin 4/2008", and mailed to 1620 Johnny Cake Ridge Lane, Eagan MN, 55122. Or go online to www.labouresociety.org.

The Lord, in His goodness, has given the Church and the world all kinds of vocations: marriage and family life, the priesthood and deaconate, and the consecrated life. Each vocation is special, each one is necessary for the health and life of the Church and the world. The Holy Spirit in every age calls people to be open to the will of God, most to marriage, as the family is the heart and origin of society. But there are many, like me, whom God is calling and challenging to be His own. As I move forward to become a Sister, my heart belongs to Christ, but I will never be far from you, my parish family. Daily, I will be praying for the Cathedral and all who worship here. This has been my spiritual home, and united in Christ this bond and love will be strengthened, not destroyed. I invite you all to always send me and the community any prayer intentions that you may have. More information about my community can be found at www.benedictinesofmary.org.

God bless you! -Mary Gibson

(Cathedral of St. Paul bulletin, 4/13/08)


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