I was thinking today about how incredibly blessed I am to be able to have such a contemplative life. It's so simple, calm and beautiful, and I love it very much.
Even though I live with my parents in order to take care of them, they do not yet require a lot of hands-on tending, and when I close the door of my room, I can hardly hear anything that goes on in the rest of the house. I am free to do as much spiritual reading as I wish, and I have my beloved books right here in my room. I also have all my St. Louis Jesuits CDs which I can listen to whenever I want--they are always inspirational and touch my heart.
Since I am retired, I do not have to go out much (although I do some charitable work also), so I can stay recollected all day, and pray throughout the day. Jesus is always with me, the minute I seek Him. Sometimes, He seeks me, and gently pulls me away from something I am doing in order that I may come to Him.
I reflect a lot on all the incredible and wonderful things God has done for me throughout my life, and the profound mercy and forgiveness I have received, so completely undeserved! I spend a lot of time just thanking Him, and weeping from the joy of realizing His immense Love for me, also not deserved!
For reasons I cannot possibly understand, He found me for His Church, and chose me to belong exclusively to Him, no one else. I have known that for a very long time, and did enter religious life twice, although in my immaturity, I did not trust Him to lead me to the right place. I was so eager to give Him everything, I just leaped, and did not make wise choices--so I am not in a religious community today, even though I know I belong in one. As I wrote recently, though, He may be giving me another chance to have the consecrated life He willed for me and for which I long.
When I go to bed at night, I first turn on the battery-operated votive light under my crucifix (safe to leave on all night!), and get settled in bed. Then I make the Sign of the Cross and tell Him how much I love and adore Him, and how much I want Him to live in me, and I to live in Him. Then I just relax into His Love flowing through me. If I feel like it, I tell Him anything I want to say about my fears, hopes, aspirations--even though He knows them already. I can confide my deepest truths to Him, because He loves me no matter what and I know He always will.
Jesus is my whole life now--it is like being in Heaven already--although I do long to see Him face-to-face and embrace Him!
I am painfully aware that very few people outside monasteries have the luxury of such a life. I pray that everyone might have it at some point in their lives, because it is a very precious gift to be able to spend so much time with the Lord. +