“In allowing my heart to be pursued by God alone, I found love, joy, and peace in Him alone.”
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My name is Marie Arnold. I am called to commit all of my strength to inculturate the Gospel as a religious sister with the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará. This is my story.
I grew up moving a lot as my dad served in the U.S. Army. While we were stationed in Germany, my family began to practice the Catholic faith more devoutly. My mom, sister and I began to pray a weekly rosary together, and attend the Stations of the Cross. The practice of my faith gave me insights into the heart of Jesus, and I was moved by His great love and suffering for me and for others.
After high school, I attended university and was blessed to find a beautiful, vibrant Catholic community. In my walk with others, I found that my sinful heart could be forgiven and loved through the Church in Her sacraments, Eucharistic Adoration, and devotion to Our Lady.
In my second year of college, I felt an invitation from the Lord to simply be with Him. At that moment, I told the Lord that if that invitation was truly placed on my heart by Him, then He must change my heart to match His Will. The Lord answered my prayer the following year, while I was on an Ignatian Retreat. Christ in His Passion made it known to me that I had placed my relationship with a man above my relationship with the Lord. I saw the pain I caused Him. Then, in His love and peace, I encountered the Resurrected Lord and truly allowed my heart to be pursued by Him. In this moment, I came to know the true desires of my heart with clarity. Christ asked for a chance to pursue my heart and that I consider being His alone. Before I could even think, the response of my heart was yes. However, I had to experience some healing and purification of heart before fully discerning my vocation.
I finished college and the next year went on mission as a Seton Teaching Fellow, teaching catechism and learning to better love those around me. In laying down my life for others, I found the healing I needed. I found my heart fulfilled and stretched in spiritual motherhood. During these times, I was reminded of my vocation to be His alone as a religious sister.
I’d heard of the Servidoras, also known as Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará, many times before attending a “Come and See” visit with them. Eventually, I found myself on their community website. Intrigued, I decided to attend a “Come and See” with the sisters. At the end of the short weekend, I’d found a home in which the Lord took a little piece of my heart to keep, so that I might return.
When I returned to work and life in the world, I found myself thinking about the Servidoras more and more. I couldn’t shrug the peace, joy, and love that I had experienced with them. In subsequent visits, I found more of myself in their daily life, and experienced freedom in their life of prayer and true joy in contemplating the goodness of the Lord through manual labors like cleaning and sewing, and times of recreation.
The Lord has been pursuing my heart to be at the heart of His body, the Church. I look forward to laying down my life for others in a life of prayer and contemplation, so that others may come to know, love, and serve Christ.
Please pray for me and for my fellow Labouré classmates on our vocation journeys.
Feel free to reach out with any questions you might have at: Marie@rescuevocations.org.
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