Mother Clare and Fr. Mark-Mary encourage you not to fear giving God your hopes and dreams. If it’s seeming more and more like God’s plan for you is not what you envisioned, feel the emptiness and anger—don’t suppress it—and bring it all to God. Your disappointments in a way may contribute to the economy of grace for the salvation of the world. No matter how big or small your sacrifice, when offered to God he can use it to help save someone else. Also, inevitably, your sacrifices will sanctify your soul.
Mother Clare has wrestled with the desire to have children, but the mindset that has given her peace is saying to herself, “I will never carry a child in my womb, but I will carry many children in my heart.” Similarly, Fr. Mark-Mary said, as a postulant, it took him time to regain his balance whenever he saw a beautiful family, because he still felt the desire to have a family himself.
But the promises of joy in this life do not compare to God’s eternal promise, and ultimately that eternal promise was what Fr. Mark-Mary and Mother Clare chose with great peace of mind. We tend to dwell on the short-sighted benefits of choices; but God’s plan is timeless, and even lifelong happiness can’t compare to what he has in store for us.
More resources on discernment:
Podcasts, videos, and articles on discernment
Pray, Decide, and Don’t Worry: Five Steps to Discerning God’s Will
The Fundamental Theory of Happiness: How to Find Your Purpose and Be More Joyful
Called by Name: The Inspiring Stories of 12 Men Who Became Catholic Priests
I Will Follow (Testimonies of Fr. Mike Schmitz and Fr. Josh Johnson)
Meet Fr. Mark-Mary
Father Mark-Mary was ordained as a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal (CFR) in 2018 and lives at a friary in the Bronx.
The mission of the CFRs is to wholeheartedly embrace Jesus through fidelity to the Church and her Sacraments. Paired with their commitment to prayer, contemplation, and study of Sacred Scripture, the CFRs serve those around them, especially the poor, in the footsteps of Christ.
Discover beautiful music from the CFRs here.