Where Hope and Faith Lie

Reflecting on my current situation, it would be easy for me to become discouraged and lose hope.  The desire of my heart to enter the cloister is strong, but my educational debt is large and, as a small business owner in this economy, my income is very lean right now.  Time is flying by, but the looming practical hurdles remain.  Despite all this, by God’s grace, I remain confident in Him and the loving provision He makes for His children’s needs.  As we were reminded in yesterday’s Gospel reading:

And [Jesus] said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed.  I cannot get up to give you anything.’  I tell you, if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish?  Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?  If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

With confidence we can approach God in heaven and ask for our needs, knowing He is more kind and generous than we can imagine.  This is not to say God is simply going to grant our every whim or that we can sit idly by and wait for a hand-out, but He knows our needs better than we do and He is faithful to generously provide for us.  Like a loving father knows what is best for his children, our Heavenly Father knows us even more intimately and answers the needs of our hearts. 

Despite facing seemingly insurmountable practical hurdles, God gives me the grace to do the work He has entrusted to me as I continue on this path toward cloistered life.  And as I move forward, it is with His peace and increasing faith that He will make the necessary provisions in His timing.  Even in the past few weeks, I have seen glimpses of His provision as new possibilities for overcoming these hurdles are presented, including the opportunity to share my vocation story through an interview with the local archdiocesan newspaper. 

As I remain open to God’s direction in even the little things, seeking to do whatever He would ask of me, I am amazed how He has worked to put so many people and things in place to accomplish His will, though the ultimate outcome remains hidden still.  It is humbling and encouraging, particularly now.  To all of the family, friends, and strangers who have already given generous support and prayers, a most grateful thank you.  I constantly remember each of you in my prayers.  Please continue to pray for me as well for the long journey ahead.

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