So surprise, surprise. Carmel meetings are not always a bed of roses. Or rather, there are heavenly roses sent down from our buddy St. Therese of Lisieux along with some sharp, juicy thorns from our other buddy St. John of the Cross that are aimed RIGHT at the most sensitive part of the back of my knee.
As I YELP in shock and pain, Mr. John of the Cross gives me a huge thumbs up sign. "Just making sure you're staying awake Miss Abigail" he shouts with a smile. "Wouldn't want you to get too comfortable. Carmel is not a spa treatment! This is hard work for Jesus, baby!"
(This was not my Carmel experience for the month of September!)
To wit I reply with complaints and tears "I work SO HARD for Mr. J.C. all month! Don't I deserve a little break? Isn't there one place where I can come and not get surprise jabs in the heart when I least expect them?"
So far the answer seems to be an emphatic "NO!"
I'm slowly becoming more and more okay with that.
Maybe, instead of a place of rest and relaxation--an easy well of spiritual renewal, Carmel meetings are a place of hard work for me right now. A place to give love. A place to donate smiles. A place to deposit more peace, and hope, and joy--than I withdrawl from right now.
Maybe Carmel is supposed to be more about serving Our Mother, and less about having a comfy place to crash among all my Marian siblings.
You duped me Lord, and I let myself be duped! But lead me on! I know you always have my best interest at heart.
St. Teresa of Avila, pray for me.