whispered love
all my life




When I started reading 'The Seven Storey Mountain' I was moved and touched. One afternoon, as I walked into town, I was filled with a feeling of sweetness and happiness, as I imagined working as a nurse and caring for people, and also leading a life as a contemplative, even though I live in the world. I realise vocation isn't something I have a right to grasp, but it felt as if it was what I wanted to do all my life, a discovery of who I was perhaps, and a feeling that seemed so clear... and yet I haven't wanted to do it all my life because I could never have imagined coming to this place of brokenness and repentance, or being in this position as a woman, and a nurse, and a kind of contemplative sister alongside all the other contemplative sisters in the world. Sometimes you can spend a whole lifetime 'coming home' to who you are. Sometimes you are simply afraid to 'come out' and step out. Or as Anais Nin once wrote, 'Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.' But sometimes we are brought to points of resolve, when we open to our calling. Anais Nin again: 'And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.'

Ultimately God's vocation calls to us, calls us into being who we are. It's who we may have been all our lives - who we are in eternity - but didn't know, or recognise, or dare, or allow ourselves to be.

Today I work as a nurse. I have the privilege of holding the sick and dying (and it is privilege indeed). And I try to grow in the sense and calling of being one of the contemplative sisters of the world. Yet, day to day, the challenge remains: to open up to love and grace, to the people who are placed on our paths, and the people we hold in special commitment. Repeatedly one feels like those women in rags in Isaiah 4, or Naomi and Ruth returning in poverty, and yet there is God's good intent, God's good estate, and God's invitation to community and sharing of so much love.

At the heart of the interior castle... of the innermost cloistered gardens of our souls... this God awaits, longing for us to open up that far, and share our lives, and truly come home to our selves, as we find them in God.




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