Love, the driving force: a journey of discernment

Chronicling my formation with the Loretto Sisters (IBVM)

Looking back

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As I look back through photos from the past few years, I am reminded of the incredible experiences I’ve had since joining the IBVM. I find it hard to believe all that has happened, and, oh, the places I have been. I am in awe of it all and filled with gratitude.

Arriving at Loretto Abbey in September 2014. I was struck by how beautiful it is.

Received as a candidate with the IBVM.

Helping Marren to dress for a Canadian winter. 

Our evening tea time at the Abbey.

My first visit to New York City and the United Nations – March 2015.

Halloween at the Abbey – October 2015.

 

Received as a novice – December 2015. 

Memories of the Philippines and Vietnam – 2016. First year/canonical year of novitiate.

My second visit to New York City and a chance to intern at the IBVM UN NGO – April to July 2017.

Discernment retreat for profession of first vows. Pondering the future – August 2017. 

This prayer of Thomas Merton has accompanied me for much of my adult life and it has been in my heart many times over the past three years:

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
– Thomas Merton

It still rings true to me now, even with my first profession just a few weeks away. There is always an element of risk in life; we cannot ever be completely certain of where we are going or what will happen. Certainly over the past three years much has happened that I could not predict, and I suspect the future will be the same. I have come to see that religious life, despite sounding quite tame and restrictive, is anything but. There is a lot that is unknown and much joy that comes in the discovery.

7 thoughts on “Looking back

  1. Dear Sarah, I am so proud of you that you answered the call and said ” Fiat”. We are so privileged to be invited for your proffession of vows. May God bless ou on your journey and may He fill your heart with faith joy and love.

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  2. Wonderful photos telling a story of desire, welcome, challenge, discernment, joy, fun … so much more. A life full of grace.

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  3. Our dear Sarah we have seen you grow in so many ways, though we miss you we know there is a passion in your heart to a blessed road ahead. God bless you on your continuous journey our dear and loving friend. Love always Gary and Lise

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  4. From across the miles in Ireland I am praying for you as you prepare for this next step on your journey. Wishing you many blessings and a joyous celebration.

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  5. Dear Sarah – such a terrible correspondent I have been but you are much in my thoughts and prayers as you take this next step in your life. Much love, Libby

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  6. Wishing you a blessed New Year! Keep up your important work. 💟

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