My experience of being a young (ish!) Catholic today has been incredibly varied. I came from knowing nothing of the faith, to living and serving in a catholic community, to then having the amazing and blessed opportunity to serve as a missionary for the Church in America, to returning home to England and working in a very secular job, to now! Where I have returned to living and working in a Catholic community here at Castlerigg Manor.
This all has occurred in the last eight, most crucial, years of my formation as a Catholic. All these experiences have come with their own challenges and have pushed me in ways that I have often tried to run away from. But what has helped me develop a true relationship with Christ and His Church is the consistency which the Church provides.
I have travelled a lot in this time and I have lived in many places around the world, but the thing that remains consistent, when my life is anything BUT consistent, is the place where we can all find solace and a home. When you move around a lot or your job role changes often it can be hard to pin down where is home and what is it I actually consider as my vocation. But I have come to realise that life will always be inconsistent in ways, and the only thing I can truly rely on to stay unchanging is the way the Church and her people will always be there to welcome, comfort and love me in my joys and struggles.
Someone I look up to in my faith is St Therese of Lisieux (Look her up she’s pretty amazing) who said ‘My vocation is love’ She has a way of putting things so beautifully and simply, and for me simplicity is something I crave when my life seems chaotic and out of my control. These four words she spoke have become something I try and live my life honouring. Because my life and job will probably always be changing but something I am called to do is love, and love well the people God places in my life. Like His love for us, our calling of loving one another will never cease to end, it is something that will remain consistent in a world of constant change.
So, the thing I would like whoever reads this to take away is…..That your life, no matter how much you have planned it out, will continuously evolve and change, the more you trust in God’s plan the more adventures (sometimes scary ones!) He will take you on, and the more you ask of Him in your life the more He will ask of you in His Church. Be brave. Pray. And love.
Please pray for me for my role at Castlerigg as retreat leader and as I prepare for my next adventure of entering the vocation of marriage with my wonderful fiancé Matthew. J
Keep the Faith,