Yesterday my daughter entered the Dominican Order of Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. She did not want her dad and me to make the trip, as she wants us to come in October instead when we can have two visitation days with her. As a mom, it was hard for me to let her go on her own. But God took care of her, and me. My husband’s sister lives just minutes from the convent. She was able to pick up my daughter from the airport, keep her overnight, and attend the entrance ceremony the next day. She took pictures and I was able to see how beautiful the chapel is, and see my daughter during the ceremony. The Sisters also posted pictures on Facebook so I could see the other Postulants that will be starting this journey with her.
I am thankful for such consoling graces, as it is a bittersweet experience to have her leave. We are very grateful for her vocation, and couldn’t ask for a more perfect “spouse”, but our human side has us family members a bit sad about the loss of constant contact with her. She was my best “texter”, so I will miss her daily messages. She has a wonderful sense of humor, so I will miss her wit. She is a kind soul, so I will miss her care and concern. I am envious of her new “family” who will get to experience these special traits now on a regular basis.
Even though she will have limited contact with me, I do feel we will be connected through receiving the Eucharist, Adoration, and prayer. Spiritual graces seem to transcend time and space, and just at daily Mass today I felt a joy receiving the Host knowing that she too, receives this special grace. Looking at Jesus in the Monstrance will be looking at her chosen spouse, so will unite me again to her.
The Order’s motto is to Jesus through Mary. So we will also bond through the Blessed Mother. Being a mom and not free to share in her concerns/trials, it is very comforting knowing she is in an order that entrusts themselves to our most blessed Mother, who will, and has always, taken special care of her.
So it is no coincidence that God has me reflecting on the section in the spiritual book that I am reading about accepting our sufferings with joy. I have had a lot of tears the past few weeks, but have called them happy tears, for how can I begrudge my daughter’s choice to be Christ’s bride?
“Let us go even further and say that happiness and suffering are inseparable. Some fear to make such an affirmation, because the world would look upon them as fools. How can we say that happiness and suffering are inseparable? Is it not just the other way around? It is not I who say this, but Jesus in the Beatitudes. Open the Gospel to the Sermon on the Mount. [Cf. Matt. 5:3-12] What does He tell us? Blessed are those who weep; blessed are the poor; blessed are those who suffer. There, then, is the affirmation that true happiness and suffering are inseparable.”