Initially I began theological studies three years ago in order to increase my awareness of God. Throughout the reflective process, now so well instilled in me by Loyola, I have come to the conclusion I also desired at the beginning stages of studies to attain the joyous spirituality I saw radiating from the Dominican priests in my parish of Holy Ghost in Hammond
The LIMEX Program has not only opened up worlds of knowledge to me, it has also caused me to seek at a very deep level the spirituality that I was so drawn to three years ago. My studies, which have become my ministry, lead me into prayer and meditation. Within these studies I seek and find the Divine. By means of the grace of God and by means of the teachings of reflective/active study, I have grown into a woman of God with a unique spirituality. I pray. I study. I contemplate. I take the fruits of my contemplation out to others to help them see the love of our beautiful Lord (seems as though St. Dominic has touched my heart with his contemplative active way!). Over and over these fruits (whether they be love, freedom, or simply revelations revealing my authentic self) I give back to God in further study in order to know him at an even deeper level. Interiorly, I am a changed person since I began my studies at LIM. My longing to know God and to work for him is intense. I continue to develop my spirituality so that my mind and my heart are both open to the Spirit. I desire to set others' hearts aflame as my own is in his love.
My practice of spirituality daily consists of the following:
- Daily Mass
- Divine Office
- Ignatian Exercises
- Eucharistic Adoration
- LIMEX Studies
- Other Spiritual Readings with a focus on Mysticism
- Contemplative Prayer 8. Spiritual Friendships
In the course of my LIMEX studies and my deep prayer life, the longing I initially felt for God has grown into a burning desire. There is within my soul a distinct call from God to give my life to him, his Church and his people. My spirituality has developed into the Dominican charism that I so loved in the initial stages of my journey. I find myself in continual conversion with my focus being solely on Christ. These conversion moments have not only allowed me to see with greater understanding the Mystery that is our God, but have also led me to a possible lifestyle change. This past week I met with the Vocation Director for the Springfield, Illinois, Dominicans. I am in discernment for late vocation (an uphill climb due to my age, divorce and children) with the Dominican Sisters. This is a radical, counter-cultural decision made possible because of the doors God has opened for me while a student of Loyola. Without the initial theological knowledge gained and, most assuredly, without the reflective process, I would not have become aware of God's gentle nudging.
I give praise to our God, and in the same breath, thank LIM for its ability to reach my interior spirit. The certainty in this journey is I will graduate next May, 2010, with my MPS, with a focus area of Spirituality. My aspirations, and may they be God's will, are to attend the Spiritual Director Training Program at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis and to begin active discernment/candidacy in a Dominican women's congregation. No matter the outcome of this process, I forsee myself continuously seeking God in studies and prayer. Whatever I do will be for the love of him. May I hold in my heart Mary's fiat.
Thank you for allowing me to share my journey. Know all efforts on behalf of LIM are well appreciated. Blessings. Terry Deokaran, Hammond; Kent Bordelon's Baton Rouge LIMEX Group