The summer after my sophomore year in college, the Lord poured out abundant graces upon me. He brought into my life some really awesome, holy people who showed me that the only one who can really fulfill our lives is the Lord. That summer, I began reading the autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux. Reading about her profoundly passionate, intimate relationship of love with the Lord had a big impact on me. I came to know that our Lord’s love is SO much greater than I had thought and that I can have a personal relationship with Him.
After a very grace-filled summer I decided to make a commitment to making the Lord a priority in my life. I decided to go to Mass throughout the week and spend time with Him in prayer everyday. As I let Him more and more into my life He became more real to me. I began to experience Him as my brother, my friend, and as my Father. He was the one that I could turn to when I needed a shoulder to cry on and someone to comfort me. He was someone who guided me and calmed me down when I had my overly dramatic moments of freaking out in life. And when I was having a great day and just wanted someone to share it with, He was there, too. Over time I felt like He was pursing me and inviting me into a deeper relationship with Him, inviting me to give Him more of my heart.
My junior year in college, the Brotherhood of Hope began working with my university’s campus ministry. For the first time in my life I got to spend time with religious brothers. I was able to see the fruit of their lives: peace, joy, and deep, lasting satisfaction. It was clear to me that they intimately knew the Lord and that their love for Him was real. I came to see that religious life is not empty, and even came to see it as attractive.
At this time I experienced the Lord’s love in a profound way through the Eucharist. Every time I went to Mass I was reminded of our Lord’s AWESOME love for me. I was reminded that He came down from heaven to be born on this earth as a needy, vulnerable infant in a humble manger so that He could live and die for me. I was reminded that He became man so that He could show me how much He loves me and that He would rather die than live without me. Through the Eucharist I experienced His longing to be with me.
Over time, the Lord really captured my heart. He showed Himself to be my protector and my provider. He showed me that He accepts me just as I am, and loves me not because of what I do or don’t do, but because I’m His. He proved Himself to be my loyal, faithful, best friend. He was always there for me, always with my best interest at heart. He was someone I could trust, someone who brought out the best in me, someone who inspired me to be a better person, and someone who revealed to me my own self-worth and dignity.
I experienced the Lord’s thirst for me, His desire to have a more intimate relationship with me, and I experienced Him inviting me to consider religious life. At first, I was very resistant. I really questioned, “Lord, can you satisfy the desires of my heart?” I thought, “There are so many things I want for my life, so many things I’ve dreamed of. How could I possibly be fulfilled being a religious sister?!”
I brought this question to the Lord and slowly, as I grew in my relationship with Him, as I opened my heart to Him, as I gave Him a chance to prove He could be my all in all, and as I let Him love me, I found my answer. Yes, He can be enough. I realized that He alone can love me perfectly and that in Him alone can I place my hope for true, lasting happiness. He alone can satisfy the desires of my heart.
Christ is the one who has captured my heart. It’s Him that I hunger for and want to be united to. He’s the one I want to give my heart to, serve, and live for. It’s in Him that I find joy and meaning in life. It’s He whom I entrust my heart to and it is He who holds my heart. I want to make a response of love to Him who has loved me perfectly. He’s the one I want to marry.