After my last therapy session for Easter PTSD with Colleen (my therapist), I was inspired once again to write a book about my experiences - but not about the convent years. A book about how I went about recovering from losing that which I held more dear than my life's breath. I've spent time reflecting, perhaps unnecessarily breast-beating myself about my own inadequacies, on my true state of wretchedness in being unworthy to be Christ's bride... I came to the realization, as all saints have, that all are unworthy and wretched. I entered a "discommunity" - a dysfunctional one of broken women struggling who were with their own problems. It was I who had presumed, that when God called me to serve, that He wanted me there my whole life. But instead, I was a sacrificial victim only for a time - God knew how much I could handle. He made me a missionary to them instead of pagan lands. I know, as He has very evidently demonstrated, that He has plans for me, for my whole life, outside the convent or cloister.
I used to see things in black and white...I've changed a lot and there's always room for growth. I asked my darling Granny to write me 'encouragement letters' during Lent, and she has done. A few days ago, she sent me a clipping from her parish bulletin. I wish to share it with you:
A Lenten Prayer: How to Fast by Lisa Terneus
Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling within them
Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of life.
Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.
Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from worry; feast on trust.
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.
Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from hostility; feast on nonviolence.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal truth.
Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.
Fast from facts that depress; feast on truths that uplift.
Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.
Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.
Gentle God, during this season of fasting and feasting, gift us with Your Presence, so we can be gifts to others in carrying out your work.
Wherever you are, Lisa Terneus, thank you for sharing this inspiring prayer that brings us to reflect face to face with the Truth!