Friday, June 14, 2013

You Have Loosed My Bonds

You Have Loosed My Bonds

Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

By Melanie Rigney

For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. (2 Corinthians 4:11)
Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones. O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your handmaid; you have loosed my bonds.  (Psalms 116:15-16)
(Jesus told the disciples:) “It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.” (Matthew 5:29-30)

Lord, help me to die in You so I may live in You.

Dolores Hart was on the fast track to a solid Hollywood career. By the time she was in her early twenties, she’d made ten highly successful movies. She’d costarred twice with Elvis (including giving him his first on-screen kiss). She had top billing in Where the Boys Are, MGM’s top-grossing movie of 1961.

Two years later, she was a postulant at what is now the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut. She took her final vows in 1970, and is now the abbey’s prioress.

Imagine that… from kissing Elvis and attending openings and galas and being part of a world where you’re judged on how you look and who you know… to being a cloistered contemplative.

Mother Dolores was at the Catholic Information Center in the District last week. The event featured a showing of the Oscar-nominated documentary about her and the abbey, called God is the Bigger Elvis. She also made a few remarks, and signed copies of her memoir, The Ear of the Heart. She looked peaceful, happy, and serene. She looked as if she’d made a lot of right choices in her life. But how did she do it? How did she let that life die? How did she put aside public adulation and clothes and cars and boyfriends and parties and all the rest?

In her memoir, Mother Dolores says she’s been asked that over and over again. Her answer:

I left the world I knew in order to re-enter it on a more profound level. Many people don’t understand the difference between a vocation and your own idea about something. A vocation is a call—one you don’t necessarily want. The only thing I ever wanted to be was an actress. But I was called by God.

Yes, Mother Dolores gave up much. But she gained even more. May we all gather courage from her example, and turn ourselves over to our special vocation, confident that through that decision our earthly bounds will be loosed.

Listen attentively when you pray this week. Is there a part of you that needs to die so that you can live in Christ?

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