I was overjoyed to hear her voice, again, but I knew immediately something had to be amiss if she was calling me. Though we used to talk, text, e-mail, and hang out regularly, she hadn't spoken to me since August 6, 2013. I have kept a message saved on my phone which she left me back in the Spring of 2013 when she'd received some exciting news just so I can hear her voice once in a while.
Our friend has been able to write and receive letters at Christmastime and Easter, so we've kept in touch that way. I figured that's the only contact we'd have for the next six years. Only immediate family members can visit. They let her talk with her mom on the phone once in a while since they live on opposite sides of the country, but that was it.
Two Fridays ago, I got a very unexpected call. The number was one I didn't recognize, but it came up as Carmel. I was confused but answered it right away. I was stunned to hear Michele's voice after so long. She called to tell me that the following Tuesday she would be leaving the Carmelite Sisters by the Sea. She shared about her, at times, very arduous discernment process, and told me where she would be going next. I can’t tell you how good to hear her voice on a real live phone call!
The dear friend of ours who once initiated a round of Hokey Pokey in the St. Benedict's parking lot after Mass put her whole self into the Carmelite Sisters by the Sea. After some significant prayer and discernment, she and two other wise spiritual advisers discerned it was time for her to take her whole self out. I'll let her explain:
Michele Morris's message to the Cursillo family and beyond: “HELLO! :) I am doing well and after many wonderful, in-depth, conversations with Reverend Mother and my spiritual father (a priest who has been serving as one of my primary spiritual and discernment guides), we came to a peaceful and grace-filled decision for me to leave the Monastery and follow God wherever He wishes me to be next. Currently, I am staying with Carmelite Hermits in Newport WA and am enjoying the solitude and rest. I'm not sure how long I'll be here or where I will be going next. I am truly living in the present and not knowing what is to be is quite nice for once. I love you all. Know that you are always in my prayers."
Well, there you have it. I’ll write some more about this aspect of her discernment and some of her other hilarious, very Michele-like adventures in future posts. Please keep her in your prayers as she continues following wherever the Lord leads her and serving in whatever ways He needs her.
Feel free to contact me if you would like her new mailing address.