Things have been going really well with me lately. In case you don't remember, I am teaching in Japan for a year and it is my plan to do a live-in at a Discalced Carmelite monastery when I get back to the States.
Unlike before, I no longer have any doubt that God is calling me to this. I don't know the future with any certainty, but I am certain that God is telling me in my heart to follow this path toward this vocation. If He chooses to lead me on a new path later, I am striving to be open to His Will, to not get too attached even to the idea of living in this particular monastery, though I do adore what I know of it so far.
I have been occasionally e-mailing with the Prioress there. Every time she amazes me with her insights. I have also been e-mailing with another serious candidate who did her live-in already and who is planning to enter as a postulant in January. We are close in age and even Mother said she thought we would make good companions. I am so happy, the only thing that gets me down sometimes is the many months I have left here. I am not really upset about it anymore, because I feel like Our Lord is giving me this time to grow so that I will be more mature entering monastery life.
I have really been feeling like an exile lately. Of course we are all exiles in this world, longing for our Heavenly Home. It adds to it that I am a foreigner in a country that is largely racially homogeneous so there is no possible way to blend in. On top of that I live alone, miles and miles away from all of my family and friends in America. When I first got here it was painful in many ways, but I have learned to be grateful for all of it. It feels like preparation for my entry into the Carmel where--even though I will be physically much closer--I will be even more cut off from communicating with my family and friends for the sake of my interior life with God. In some ways my situation now is even more solitary than life in the Carmel because there I will be living in a community. I think God is preparing me to have the proper detachment that is part of the contemplative vocation--to make sure He is forever my first priority.
Anyways, that's my vocation update. :)