Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Many (okay, about four) of you have asked if I'll continue to blog once I enter the cloister. At one point, I did briefly entertain ideas about writing out posts, sending them with my letters, and having friends put them onto the blog for me. But the closer I get to entering the enclosure, and the more I meditate on what it means to be enclosed, the less comfortable I am with such a plan. Enclosure isn't just about what you do or where you reside - it's about who you are. Enclosed nuns are utterly God's in a profound and radical way. This is what I believe God wants for me, and I can't do it halfway. On this feast of St. Clare, I pray for her intercession; I ask for her to obtain for me the grace to be fully and wholly His - since this is the only way to be fully and wholly me. I ask for your prayers as well and promise mine in return. For a glimpse of what my life will be like after this Saturday, I invite you to visit my community's website: www.poor-clares.org. If you have prayer requests, please send them to me at the following address:

Sara Galey c/o Monastery of the Poor Clares
5500 Holly Fork Road
Barhamsville, VA 23011

I may not be able to respond in writing very often, but I will always respond in prayer.

Peace be with you!

Monday, July 27, 2009

"Our Kids Dress Themselves"

I found this short (1:38) video while browsing this blog that I found from Conversion Diary's "7 Quick Takes Friday." Foster care/adoption is such a brave and beautiful act of giving - it always touches my heart to meet or hear about people who have opened their homes, lives and their very selves to children in need.

Cloistered nuns tend to have one or two causes that are especially important to them. They spend extra time in prayer for these things that God has placed in their hearts. As a Franciscan, I'll be dedicated to the conversion of sinners and the poor, but I think I'm also called to pray for children seeking love and stability through adoption or foster care.

Vocations directors for dioceses and religious orders often remark that a key point in many young people's discernment is someone posing a simple question to them: "Do you think you might be called to religious life/priesthood?" So I guess that's what I'm doing with this video - posing a question and hopefully planting a seed in someone's heart.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On this feast of St. Mary Magdalene, l pray that her intercession will obtain for me this fidelity of love.

When Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and did not find the Lord’s body, she thought it had been taken away and so informed the disciples. After they came and saw the tomb, they too believed what Mary had told them. The text then says: The disciples went back home, and it adds: but Mary wept and remained standing outside the tomb.
We should reflect on Mary’s attitude and the great love she felt for Christ; for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. She was still seeking the one she had not found, and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tells us: Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved.
At first she sought but did not find, but when she persevered it happened that she found what she was looking for. When our desires are not satisfied, they grow stronger, and becoming stronger they take hold of their object. Holy desires likewise grow with anticipation, and if they do not grow they are not really desires. Anyone who succeeds in attaining the truth has burned with such a great love. As David says: My soul has thirsted for the living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God? And so also in the Song of Songs the Church says: I was wounded by love; and again: My soul is melted with love.
Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek? She is asked why she is sorrowing so that her desire might be strengthened; for when she mentions whom she is seeking, her love is kindled all the more ardently.
Jesus says to her: Mary. Jesus is not recognised when he calls her “woman”; so he calls her by name, as though he were saying: Recognise me as I recognise you; for I do not know you as I know others; I know you as yourself. And so Mary, once addressed by name, recognises who is speaking. She immediately calls him rabboni, that is to say, teacher, because the one whom she sought outwardly was the one who inwardly taught her to keep on searching.

- St. Gregory the Great, Pope

Holy St. Mary Magdalene, first to encounter our resurrected Lord, pray for us! Obtain for us the fidelity of love that anchored you at the foot of the cross and outside the empty tomb - the fidelity of love that opened your soul to the glory of the resurrection. Amen.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph!

Today we specially contemplate the Immaculate Heart of Mary - it's one of my favorite remembrances. At Morning Prayer, I renewed my consecration to Christ through Mary's Immaculate Heart. I also placed the people I pray for under the mantle of her intercession.

The question "Can I love if I am broken?" is asked by our deeply troubled world in so many ways. We look at Mary's pierced and bleeding heart and answer with an enthusiastic "Yes!" When Christ gave her to us to be our own mother, she didn't say "Now wait a minute, I need some time to heal before I can take something like this on. I have to work through this pain - there's no way I could be of any use to someone else until I've gotten past all this." She lived the "yes" she had been living from the first moment of her existence and trusted God to not only show her how, knowing that He is the how.

In our suffering, we learn to love with the Love of God - not the superficial affection and lust the world offers as a cheap substitute. We're hesitant to love the way God loves. Who wants to be broken, vulnerable, raw, exposed? We try to fix ourselves and promise that once we get our own lives in order we'll be ready to take care of other people. It's an absolute lie - the oldest lie ever told - that we can fix ourselves, that we don't have to entrust ourselves to God, that we can be our own gods. We cannot heal ourselves - we will never get there - and in trying to do so, we cut ourselves off from the source of the very healing that we seek. Our attempts focus our energy and attention on ourselves and close us off from others. But God's presence, His Love, is mediated through those other people! We need to come together in our brokenness and let the love of God flow through us into others and through others into us. This is the same love that poured out of Christ as he hung on the cross - the Unbroken giving Himself to the broken, to be broken so that we can be healed. Dearest friends, I consecrated myself and all of you to this Love this morning because in entrusting ourselves to God, we are empowered to truly love!

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

In 4 more days I'll have 2 months to go!

As my entrance into religious life gets closer and closer, there are more and more questions posed to me everyday. Some are easy to answer ("Yes, I'm really not going to have sex ever again.") Some are harder. I ask myself the hard questions around this time of nights when I'm getting ready for bed. I like to fall asleep with them. People think this is odd - aren't the burning questions supposed to keep you up at night? I like to go to bed with these questions because in asking them, I'm drawn deeper into the Mystery. I learn about God, and I learn about myself. It's in the asking, the seeking, the desire that we come together. In this coming together, every question is answered - not with a forecast of things to come, but with the knowledge that I am His. I wonder about how this belonging will take shape, how I'll live it out over the next 60 or 70 years. All that really matters though, is that we know we are Loved and that someday, when the time is right, we will have been made able to stand in His unveiled presence and stare into His face with nothing but Love in our hearts. Good night everyone!

"The blink of an eye in itself is nothing, but the eye that blinks - that is something. A span of life in itself is nothing, but the man that lives that span - he is something."
- Chaim Potok The Chosen