The first saint who caught my attention was Mother Teresa. Her book “In My Own Words” was given to me after I put together a Christmas play for some kids I was teaching religion to at a prayer group. It helped me understand that the desire to be a saint was placed in me at a young age. I often daydreamed about doing something larger than life. I thought in worldly terms of fame, money, ambition, personality, and success.
Little did I know that the seeds were being sown already.
The next encounter with the saints came when I went for a picnic, this time with the same prayer group to Martyr’s Shrine. This is where Jesuit Martyr’s who brought Christianity to Canada are buried. We went to Mass at the church, prayed the stations of the Cross, and just spent time socializing with each other. That day I experienced something after Mass. I was being washed clean, not in water, but in blood. It was something I could not explain, but just feel.
I felt baptized by blood.
The next saint I would encounter was St. Therese of Lisieux. My friend who is now a seminarian and who I had a major crush on told me that I reminded him of her. One day in the chapel, as I was praying before the Blessed Sacrament, I could smell fresh roses. There was just another woman in the chapel. I looked around for the roses everywhere, wondering if someone had perfume on or whether someone brought in roses. I asked the woman in the chapel later on if she did, and she replied no. When I brought this up one time, with another friend from church, she mentioned something about the little flower smelling roses in the chapel too.
Who was this saint, that was now making her presence felt in my life?
I googled her and came across her autobiography “The Story of a Soul”, which I fervently read. I discovered some interesting things. Like me she was the youngest of four children, she was very spoiled as a child (like me) and equally as stubborn. She lost her mother at a young age. I did not lose a parent, but my parents did split up and since I have not seen my father in a long time, this was something I could relate too. I could relate too being the one who everybody doted over and then to be thrown out into the world unprepared for what was coming.
My affection for the Carmelites began from this day onwards. I wondered if God was calling me to be a Carmelite. I am currently discerning with the Salesians (I will come to that later), but there is still something about the Carmel and it’s deep spirituality.