Something beautiful that came from Notre Dame
-these two vocations to this new, hermit community located in South Texas (but based in a Diocese in France). Brother Michael (Tim Monahan) and Brother Thomas (Derick VanDaniker) both led the Children of Mary
for periods of time at Notre Dame. Brother Michael graduated with me and Derick was two (or three?) years behind me.
The contemplative life is something that we desperately need in today's world -full of so much noise, busyness and full of so many problems. The priests down at the Ranch in Texas visited Notre Dame my senior year and encouraged us all to take a year of discernment -to deepen our spiritual lives with Jesus and to discern His will for us -after graduation and before 'starting life.' The priests told us that so often people run off and do whatever they want in life, and then when it does not work out they complain to God. If only they would have stopped to ask His help in the first place, there would be so much less wasted time, regrets, frustration and tears. I will say that the months I spent down at the hermitage deeply affected the rest of my life -and this community remains very close to my heart. And obviously they affected Tim and Derick as well, since they eventually joined and helped to form this new community in the Church.
If you know young people -especially young men -wanting to take a time of retreat or discernment (a week, a month or a year) please pass the webpage (click on the title) along to them. They are open to those who feel called to a possible vocation, as well as young men simply looking to take time 'out of the world' to deepen (or begin) a contemplative life with God. And check the Website out yourself -what a beautiful, deep community! The first three vocations in this community will be ordained this upcoming summer in France -please keep these holy brothers in your prayers.
Also, for all of you who are frustrated with Notre Dame -look here to find some physical 'hope' for the University. When I spent my four years there it was no different than now. I had to fight so hard to get permission for one day of adoration a week -and look, now we have an adoration chapel, daily adoration, as well as a Eucharistic Procession (April 26th after the 11:45am Mass).
Wow. And do you know how many of my friends went on to bless the world with deep vocations -contemplative, cloistered sisters, diocisean priests, Holy Cross order priests, holy families with lots of children, and the list goes on... yes, God blessed us abundantly those few years I was at Notre Dame, and He is still blessing the world and especially His Church with the fruit of it. So, take a deep breath and rejoice that (as the Veggietales say) "God is bigger than the boogieman!"
He can bring great graces out of our little 'yes' and love that we offer Him in the midst of scandal and frustration.