• August 13, 2010

Marylouise M. - Austria, 2010-2012

Christmas break 2009 I thought I had every­thing planned out for my life after grad­u­a­tion. Upon grad­u­ating from Franciscan University of Steubenville in May 2010 with a double major in Theology and Philosophy, a won­derful group of friends, and a deep­ening inti­macy with the Lord, I would move to Boston to pursue my long-time pas­sion of pho­tog­raphy. Then, sit­ting by the fire one night with my father, I con­fessed to him that in fact all of my plan­ning was not resting peace­fully in my soul and I felt God calling me in a dif­ferent direc­tion—to a life of ser­vice, a life of mis­sionary work abroad, a life of living as the Lord’s hands and feet, eyes and ears, heart and life to those who most need him, a life of radi­ating the love of Christ.

Since that moment I have expe­ri­enced the pro­found love and sup­port of a mother, father, and brother and many close friends and family mem­bers who stand behind me urging me on to follow God’s call.

It wasn’t long—two weeks to be exac­t—be­fore I found Heart’s Home online and imme­di­ately fell in love with the sim­plicity and depth of their mis­sion of com­pas­sion, the con­tem­pla­tive devo­tion and sacra­mental life of their mis­sions, and their answer to the dire need for respect for the inherent dig­nity of the human person. Over the past year the Lord and His most holy mother have been gently teaching me the pain, love, and strength of the cross and the beauty of being a pres­ence at the foot of the cross. Without knowing it, this teaching has been all the while preparing me to walk the path to which God was calling me—the path of a Heart’s Home mis­sionary.

With such peace, joy, and zeal that can only come from the Holy Spirit, I look for­ward to my December depar­ture for Austria to begin an 14 months of pres­ence, com­pas­sion, poverty, and trans­for­ma­tion—but most of all love, a life of love. As a Heart’s Home mis­sionary, as a troubadour of the enchanting love of Christ, that is my cal­l—to live of love. To leave you with the simple and beau­tiful words of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, patroness of mis­sion­aries:

To live of love is to sail afar
And bring both peace and joy where’er I be.
O Pilot blest! love is my guiding star;
In every soul I meet, Thyself I see.
Safe sail I on, through wind, or rain, or ice;
Love urges me, love con­quers every gale.
High on my mast behold is my device:
‘By love I sail.’

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