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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Transformative Experiences

I have been reflecting on transformative experiences in my life. What come to mind are many experiences that I have had in prayer that truly were transformative moments. It is an experience that stays with one and truly made such an impression on me that I was changed. I have not finished my reflection but have a whole page of experiences beginning when I was in high school and felt the presence of God so strongly that I could never doubt His existence or reality in my life. It was during a summer storm and I was out on the back sleeping porch at my home in blue jeans and a leather jacket and God just came into my life in a very real way so that I knew He was there and loved me.

I did not have another experience comparable until I was a first year novice and making my meditation on the roof during the summer. I was thinking about Jesus as the Good Shepherd and was suddenly so sure of His love and mercy that I was overwhelmed by the experience and it also was one that has never left me and is just as strong today. My misery is the object of His Mercy and His Heart is always open for me.

I think the next experience that really stands out was perhaps the longest as I was five months at the Trinita dei Monti in Rome. Jesus taught me how He wanted me to pray. It was in the little balcony overlooking the altar and on the same kneeler that St. Madeleine Sophie had used. That was a special grace and has marked my life. It was there, also, that I developed a special relationship with each Person in the Blessed Trinity. I also had the grace to be with Mater as sacristan during those months so it was a cumulative grace and I should also include the fact that I made an eight-day retreat with a famous French Jesuit before returning to the Mother House for Probation. My 30-day retreat five months later only deepened the summer retreat, but by then I knew I was going to Chile straight from Rome as a missionary.

I guess this is enough for you to begin to think about your own experiences of transformation.

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