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Friday, 30 November 2012

Sharing God's eternal love...

My story is still on-going. I am only just beginning to discover some of the things that God wants me to do, and why He wants me to do them. Slowly, but surely, I am learning that He has a special plan for me, and that there was a reason for switching me into the new parish at the time He did. And now, recent events make it seem to make even more sense...

My friend from work said something to me the other day. She told me that she wanted to have her four year old daughter baptised. She is a lapsed Catholic, but wants her daughter to be brought up Catholic so that she might come to know about God and the Catholic Church, because that was how my friend was brought up - Catholic. My friend said she felt her daughter was at an age where she knows what is going on, and won't be completely unaware of the Catholic faith. At the moment, the girl does not know anything about the Church, but her mother wants her to give it a go and see how it goes. It does mean that my friend at work will start going back to Church regularly. She said that she didn't know how to go about it in the past, but since she happens to fall into the same parish as I am currently going to, and I am known for VERY openly discussing the faith, even at work, she felt able to ask me to help her. I have encouraged her to come to the Monday evening prayer group I like to go to at Church to see if she can catch Father afterwards and perhaps arrange a longer chat at another time, but at least then she would have met Father. Please do keep her in your prayer and her little daughter too. The Lord does really work in mysterious ways. I do hope all works out well. Just trust in the Lord, for you can do no better than live in absolute faith at all times.

With all God's Love and Blessings,
Kim xxxx

Tyburn Convent Monastic Afternoon THIS SUNDAY

Hi everyone,

Just to let you know, the Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmatre, O.S.B. will be having another monastic afternoon THIS SUNDAY, as on EVERY FIRST SUNDAY OF EACH MONTH, starting from 2.00pm. This is a chance to talk to the nuns, go on a crypt tour, go to Vespers (evening prayer) with the nuns, and have a cup of tea to meet other people. The Chapel is open from 6.30am-8.30pm daily, should you wish to pray at the Convent at other times.

For more information, please either call Kim (do not leave messages on my voicemail because I will not get them. If you do not get through the first time, then please call me again later), or else contact Mother Prioress, Tyburn Convent, 8 Hyde Park Place, London, W2 2LJ, or call 020 7723 7262.

I hope to see you there.

God Bless,
Kim Lee :)

P.S. If you want to talk to me in person, and cannot find me when you are at the convent, just ask one of the Mothers - I can pretty much almost guarantee that they will either know who I am, or would have heard my name about a hundred times over! :)

Advent

http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Advent/index.html

This is a really good site for praying throughout the Advent season which starts tomorrow.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Vocation Story: Sister Mary Catherine, Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate


I think I felt the call to Religious Life when I was about 16 or 17. I didn't even really know what Religious Life was but I felt God calling me to give myself totally to Him. I had a conversion back to the Catholic Faith when I was 19 after I had been involved in an evangelical church for about 2 years. I dove into my Faith and started to go to Mass and say the Rosary daily. The Lord blessed me with many strong Catholic friends that I met at retreats and conferences.


Now that I look back I can see that God was preparing me for Religious Life. 

By the time high school ended I still did not know what God wanted for my life. I had a spiritual director who was helping me to listen to what the Holy Spirit was saying to me and I was open to whatever God wanted of me, religious, married, or single life, but I think the idea of becoming a Religious was always in the back of my mind. So I began to look to find an order. My main fear was that I would not be able to find an order that was faithful to the Magisterium of the Church. I was very involved in the pro-life movement and it was at the March for Life in Ottawa in 2001 that I met the Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate. I said to myself, "Nuns at a pro-life march!?!" So I ran, yes ran, over to them and arranged to make contact to come visit them. Right away I fell in love with their brochure which said they were loyal to Peter's Successor. I went and visited them for a week and by the end I had decided to join! Two things that attracted me most were their love for the Blessed Sacrament and their love for Our Lady.

The hardest thing for me was leaving my family because I am very close to them. But I have come to realize that the separation has actually helped me to love them more and my desire to grow closer to Jesus has also grown.



My family was a little shocked at first but they love me very much and just want to see me happy. Most of my friends were very supportive and one even said, "Yah! I'm going to have a nun for a friend!" The people I went to high school with and some of my relatives had seen me heartily practicing my Faith for the past few years so they weren't too surprised, but I could still see they didn't fully understand. 


I love it here in Religious Life! And my advice to any person who thinks God might be calling them is to "come and see". You owe it to yourself and to God to check it out. God bless you and may Our Lady guide you!

Community Spotlight: Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate





Order: Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate
Gender: Female
Apostolate: Teaching of the faith and care for the elderly
Eligibility: Unknown
Formation: 3 month candidacy, 1 year postulancy, 2 year novitiate, 5 year temporary profession
Vows: Poverty, chastity and obedience
Practices: Daily Holy Hour, Marian devotion, chaplet of Divine Mercy, devotion to St. Joseph and St. Michael, the Angelus
History: Community History

Recommended:


Blog

Newsletters

Saturday, 24 November 2012

The Search goes on...

Yesterday, after my RCIA lesson, I spoke to one of the Brothers from the Community of John. One of the most interesting things he told me was that our Lady had consecrated herself to God as a virgin when she was in the Temple as a child. The thing is, having been in the line of descendants that could be used as an instrument to bear the Messiah, she had given up any chance of being the chosen one for that vocation. Yet, God still chose her. We can reflect on this and use it in our own lives today. Just as our Lady gave herself wholly to God and sacrificed her own will to follow the will of God (in the Annunciation, we see this as Mary says, "Let it be done unto me according to your will") we too, as Christians, can abandon the worldly, materialism and secularism and make the time and effort to become closer to God, so that we might listen to Him and let Him lead us closer to doing His will.

As you may have seen, Emily has posted that she believes that God is not calling her to the Religious life at this moment in time. What was really interesting about that and the revelation from the Brother at Church yesterday was that when I was younger, I had made a promise to God that I would never have any children of my own, so in other words, what I was really promising Him was that I would remain a virgin all my life because I am one of those people who does not believe in having premarital or extra-marital intercourse. The other interesting thing was that recently I have been praying a lot to God saying things like, "If you want me to do certain things, like do more regarding the Religious life, I cannot then do all the things I am doing now, and what will come of this blog, and the homeless people I look after, and the friends I have come to know and help?, Who will continue this work I have started and who will maintain it?", so when Emily posted what she did, it actually spoke to me and made me realise that I should trust the Lord more, because He has a plan and will sort it out.
I was previously asked by Brother whether I had a special devotion to a particular saint. I said not really at the time, but last night he asked me if I had a special devotion to our Lady, and now I think of it, I actually do, so I said to him that actually I do, and perhaps wasn't sure how to express it that last time we were talking of that. I also told him that my birthday was on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and he said, "You do have divine providence looking upon you then" which was quite reassuring in a way. A nice reminder of how our Lord and our Lady are watching over us.

As we approach the end of the liturgical year, we are reminded in Mass by the numerous readings from the apocalypse that feature daily. For us, as Christians, we must think of the hope it brings that we will one day be what I like to call, "at one with God". We will finally come to take the next step in being in a perfect state of pure grace with God, as we start to be purified while in purgatory. At the same time, perhaps now, as we approach Advent, it might be a good time to reflect on our lives and how we can, with humility and faith, approach the season with a view to be more "Christ-like" - How can we live our lives in a more faithful way? Which leads me back to the begging question of vocation - What do I take as a sign, and what not? Am I interpreting things in a certain way because I have already made my mind up, or because those things are really leading me to where I think they are?

I spoke to Father and Brother yesterday and they said to me, "Kim, did you even leave the Church today?" I said back, "Yes, don't worry, I did actually go, and then I came back again this evening", Brother then said, "That's ok, we'll start worrying when the statues start moving and talking to you, and you'll be like, Brother, they've given me another sign!" I was like, "No, that's just not going to happen...*laughs*". The conversations I have with Brother are very interesting, and he had been teaching me a lot on the faith, which is lovely. My only challenge is trying to keep this a major secret, because should my family ever find out, they will go mental! Please keep my journey of faith in your prayer, as I will keep you all in prayer too. Many blessings be upon you, as the light of the Lord shines down on you this coming season of Advent, which will start next week.

God Bless you all,
With my fervent prayer for you and your vocations,
Kim Lee :)

Monday, 19 November 2012

Update: Emily's Story

This was originally posted on Emily Ann's Corner.

As my past posts may have indicated, I have struggled in my discernment recently. I have struggled to find any peace. I realised by personal desires were getting in the way of my discerning the will of God. So I offered all my desires to God, and over time have been able to realise that I do not believe that I have a vocation to the religious life.

I do not regret the path I have taken. I do not regret discerning the religious life. I do not regret my time at St. Cecilia’s. I truly believe that God called me to discern the religious life. But for now, I believe He is leading me in a different direction. I loved St. Cecilia’s and the thought of not going back was very painful at first but the Lord has given me peace. I think that peace is for me the truest sign that this is the will of God. Perhaps He will lead me back there in the future, at the moment I do not know.

As the subtitle of this blog says, I am trying to find my way. I don’t know where the road is leading at this point, but I trust that the Lord has something great in store for me. I want to thank all of you who have been so kind and supportive of me on this journey. I do plan to keep on blogging so this blog is not done with yet!

Addition for The Vocation Operation:

Although I have discerned that my vocation is not to the religious life, I have a great appreciation for the religious life and am still committed to the work I have begun in The Vocation Operation. I hope to use my experiences to continue to help others who feel called to the religious life. 

Friday, 16 November 2012

An interesting conversation...

This morning I had a rather interesting conversation with the parish priest. I had asked to see him about a few things, but then towards the end of the conversation, he asked me if I knew the brothers before I came to the parish. I had only ever heard of them maybe once or twice when people in my parish in Cambridge would talk about various people they knew. One of the families from Cambridge who I know from Church knew them due to their work with the national association of Catholic families. That is all I really knew about them - their name. I told this to the parish priest and he said I seemed to fit in very well in the parish and with the brothers. I think, and please correct me if I am mistaken, people seem to think I know the brothers well, which I can't really claim I do. I have only known them for the few weeks I have been in the parish. I also said to the parish priest that the Tyburn nuns and the Salesian sisters like to tease me and tell people who visit that the next time they come they will be asking for "Sister Kim" - and I said to him that I asked them not to say that just yet! I think I might have just "let the cat out of the bag" - I wasn't exactly trying to hint at any sign of me discerning the Religious life to anyone at Church really, but I've probably, by natural articulation, have done just that!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Saints Corner: Saint M. Faustina Kowalska


Name: Maria Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament, born Helen Kowlska, commonly known as Saint Faustina
Birth & Death: 25 August 1905 - 5 October1938
Feast Day: October 5
Country of Origin: Poland
History: 
Born into a poor family, at 19 she felt God call her to the religious life. She travelled from her hometown to Warsaw, not knowing anyone there. A local priest arranged for her to stay with a local woman until she found a convent. She was rejected by several due to her poverty and lack of education. The Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy eventually accepted her on the condition that she could pay for her habit so she worked as a maid until she had enough money for her habit. She made her first vows in 1928 and made her final vows in 1933. She was a mystic and a visionary, and Jesus gave her the Divine Mercy devotion in her visions. Her diaries were originally suppressed before being approved in 1978.

Recommended
Saints.sqpn.com
Sister Faustina: God's Gift to Our Time
Saint Faustina, Apostle of Divine Mercy
Mary Faustina Kowalska
Saint M. Faustina Kowalska
The Divine Mercy
Chaplet of Divine Mercy
The Divine Mercy Devotion

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Tyburn Convent visit with a friend

I've just spent a day at Tyburn convent again, one of my monthly visits on the first Sunday of the month. I always try to be there then, but sometimes I am at the convent at other times. Sunday was the first time I brought a friend of mine along with me, a lady I know from Church. It was her first time in a Benedictine convent, and she told me she expected it to be dark and cold - quite the opposite! Tyburn Convent is very well lit and it is usually fairly warm, except sometimes the chapel may be a bit cold since it is quite a large, open space. We spoke with Mother Matthias as I always do, and she said that my "finding myself somewhat associated with and at times, outside Tyburn Convent" is not what I said was "random", but rather the Lord giving me a mission. What that mission is, I cannot say, because I do not know. I am still trying to discern exactly what the Lord wants from me. I cannot deny the frustration I experience when being behind the grills. That is one of the reasons I like to be on the balcony in the chapel, because I can see over the grills. It makes me feel like I'm actually sort of "inside" the convent, even if I'm not quite in the enclosure (yet!). My friend was asking about Mother Matthias' vocation story, which I will one day document and post on here, should I be given her permission to share her story with you all. I know a lot of the Tyburn Nuns personally, and so far, I know of two girls from two parishes I have been part of that have entered with them. They are a "traditional, faithful, and flourishing" congregation. Please pray for their house abroad where there was a fire recently, that the sisters may find the assistance they need to rebuild the part of the house that was burned down. Please also pray for their latest project of setting up a house in Nigeria. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.