Greetings in Christ! My name is Mary Rose Kreger, and I'm delighted to be writing here on www.monasteryinmyheart.com. This week, my dear friend Lisa invited me to become a contributor on her blog. Lisa and I have been friends for 8 years, since the days we were both in the convent together. Thank you very much to Lisa for this exciting opportunity!
Seven years ago, I was a novice, Sr. Mary Inez. I had an amazing convent experience, but today I am a happy wife and mother of two. My family and I live in the metro Detroit area, where I write fantasy stories for teens, and memoirs about the wisdom we only gain from experience.
As a contributor on Monastery in My Heart, I'd like to share reflections on my own spiritual journey—before, during, and after the convent. I am a writer, but I hope these pieces will point towards the true Author of my life, Our Lord Jesus Christ. No one else could write such an exciting story!
My first reflection, "Untouched", is a poem about my lovely, lonely year in central Texas. In 2010, I worked at Fort Hood, Texas, as an Army public affairs intern. It was a time when I was seeking God, but also chasing after idols: romance, relationships, new experiences. Still, I consider my Texas year as the beginning of my convent journey.
Aching sunlight pierces her spring window
Texas paradise, far from home.
Everything sits quietly: the chairs
At the table, the doors closed,
The slip of hallway grey and silent—
She has no one here in the
Lone Star State, and today
Finds no distractions.
Loneliness is that hollow state
That must be undone – better
To be thick with thieves and liars
Than sitting slim in an empty room.
I loved my own thieves and liars then
Let them rob me of innocence and grace
Let them whisper whatever might make me stay:
In the upstairs flat, the shuttered bedroom,
And who can blame them?
Is it stealing when you leave
Your heart wide open for plunder?
No one ever stole or lied
More to me than I did to myself:
Nine years a slave to a half-buried wound
Nine years pretending to feel nothing but joy:
Smiles on the outside, half-true at best;
Inside, a brood of vipers rest.
Yet I, wiser now, truer too,
Am kind to my young self.
She didn’t know what I know now:
That our darkness bears as much fruit
As our shine; that even slow-grown girls
Bloom bright at last.
That Someone loves her so much,
He came down and died and gave her
The brilliant Texas sky, glistening in night-splendor
Pinpoints of light in a grand expanse:
Soft music to pillow her wild thoughts
And prairie grass to enshrine her good body.
So good because He made it just for her –
And He is there and loves her when the rest
Have turned away – when first one and then
The other have rejected her for
Fairer beauties. No more alone, no more
Untouched: His finger melts my insides
And quenches my panting spirit – I am alive in
Him, and can never be alone again.
Thank you for reading! Join me next week to hear the story behind “Untouched”, as well as how dating a lifelong atheist led me closer to God.