This week, I have a very moving conversation with the beautiful Elise Abshire about her “Yes” to the Call of Our Lord. Shortly….very shortly….Elise will be leaving her home and family to begin postulancy with the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara – the Servidoras for short. Take a look at her beautiful picture – that smile radiates God’s love to every person she encounters! She truly shows the love of God in her person, just by being who He created her to be.
Please keep this young, beautiful daughter of the Most High God in your prayers as she offers her Fiat to the Lord as a religious sister. As you listen to her beautiful testimony, join me in prayer as well that her story will inspire other young women to consider the consecrated life.
After you listen to her story, take a look at her “After the Interview” interview with final words that she wished to leave with each of you!
Here is my “After the Interview” interview of final thoughts and words with Elise that she wished to leave for you – for all, as well as especially to any young woman who may be hearing the call to religious life.
So, Elise, what will happen once you arrive at the convent on June 21st?
“A few days after I arrive in DC, we will drive to upstate New York for a 30 day retreat! Praise God! Following that, we will drive to New Hampshire to have time to bond with our class and to get to know their hearts!
When I enter, I will be a postulant (postulant literally means ‘to ask questions’ HOW COOL!) for about 6 months until I take temporary vows in December this year (on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. WOW!). After that I will be a novice for a few years. I will take my first vows next year in November on All Saints Day! That is when (God willing) I receive a royal blue habit…ahhh!!! After seven years, I will profess my final vows.”
I have understood in my conversations and other encounters with men and women who have discerned a call to religious life that there can sometimes be a rather powerful struggle with the religious vocational call versus a sincere and beautiful desire to be married and have children. Is this a struggle that you have encountered as well? What has your discernment experience been like in that regard?
“It is so funny how God knows our hearts because I have been saying for a long time that I wasn’t going to have my own children. Not like a rejection of children or of femininity, but rather a different lifestyle of having spiritual children. Never a bitterness – just a quiet knowing that I’m not called to have children. Now I know that He wanted so many spiritual children for me. The call to marriage was only manifested if it meant that Jesus could be my spouse.”
I’m so interested in this beautiful order, as I imagine listeners who may be discerning a vocational call as well will be. Tell us more about it! I simply love the name of the order, as well as the beautiful royal blue habit! What is the charism of the order?
“The Servants of the Lord and the Virgins of Matara! The Servidoras! Wow, I could say so much, but I will try to be concise. Father Buelos started the order in Argentina, and they are missionaries! Their mission statement is ‘evangelizing the culture’ which I LOVE!!! They want to meet people where they’re at and LOVE them where they are in their lives. Man, isn’t that good stuff? We will be students, probably study in Rome, and then get sent off to serve God in other countries! I’m praying that we will be able catch souls through a net of joy!”
“You should go visit any order just to see the beauty of sisters. God uses the vessels of beauty to confirm vocations, whether to marriage or to consecrated. You do not have to visit tons of orders or EVERY order!! You don’t date every guy in the world J Haha! If you fall in love with Jesus and you find PEACE that surpasses all understanding… Run… chase after that!!!”
As a parent myself of three children, I wonder what your parents’ concerns and/or feelings about your vocation to religious life were? Can you give parents who may also be in a similar situation a little window into what this journey was/is like for your family?
“It is definitely not easy and a very big sacrifice to give up a child to Jesus Christ or really to watch your child move anywhere. So, they, understandably, had a little bit of a rough time at first, but GOD KNOWS HEARTS!! He has been walking with them and transforming their heart day by day! He shows them the Love and Peace that He has given me through this yes to Him. They are beautiful supporters, and I am so thankful for them supporting me in this new adventure of faith.”
What was the specific vocational call like within you – how did you know it was truly God calling you? Did you hear something specific, or was it a more gradual, general understanding and assurance that developed?
“As I said earlier, chase after that Peace that surpasses all understanding and never let go! If God gives you the Peace through a man that wants to serve Christ together with you in the Holy sacrament of marriage… let God infiltrate your heart with that peace and keep it…hold it! God will romance you if you are called to religious life. You may be attracted to the Joy or the structured daily life or the pure beauty of them… whatever it is… God knows! Just be open and always persevere in prayer! Totus tuus and God love y’all!”
End of Interview…
Finally, here are a couple of quotes from Blessed Mother Teresa that Elise asked me to share with you as her final words to you all! Please pray for this precious daughter of the Most High God as she journeys to meet Christ where He has called her. And join Elise and I as we pray unceasingly for young women to have the courage to answer the Lord with their “Fiat” in whatever vocation He calls them to.
“Joy is a net through which we can catch souls”
“If you don’t have time for one holy hour, take TWO!”