By: Dr. Mary Amore
“Life is God’s novel. Let God write it.” This quotation penned by Isaac Singer, challenges each one of us to be open to the workings of the Spirit in our daily lives. That is not an easy task, for we all think we know what’s best. We plan, we strategize, and we try to control the people and events in our life. But do we really? In reality, none of us have control over what happens today, tomorrow, or next year. We are simply part of God’s larger plan. God calls, and we are free to respond or not. Such is the basis for today’s blog.
It took me eight grueling years to earn my Master’s Degree, and after graduation I was quite content to work full time at my parish as Director of Liturgy and Adult Faith Formation. After all I no longer had to spend my free time writing papers or commuting downtown to class. Life was good. About a year into my post grad enjoyment, I began to feel the tug from God again. This time it came in the form of an inner yearning, a deep seeded desire to continue my theological education. I chose to ignore it because this was not my plan. I was done with school, or so I thought. But God is relentless, and the divine tugging continued, and so I applied for the Doctor of Ministry program at CTU and was accepted. Another long but rewarding road began for me. But since returning to school was not my plan but God’s, I wrestled with what I would do with this new degree. What did God want from me? I finally surmised that God was calling me to teach. I was sure of it.
After my D. Min graduation, I began submitting my resume to local Catholic colleges and universities, and unfortunately, letters of rejection came quickly. I soon realized there were few openings for teaching positions in theology and liturgy at the undergrad level, and those that had these positions, were not leaving them. I was bewildered and frustrated. What should I do? I had no answer. So I waited, and waited. Two years later, God decided to move into action once again.
Saturday mornings at my house are rather routine. Unless I’m working, I clean the house and my husband does his weekly errands. On a particular Saturday morning years ago, we broke from routine. On that day, Joe asked me if I wanted to go out for breakfast. While I was in the middle of cleaning, and I wasn’t really hungry, something made me say yes. So I got dressed to go out.
As we were walking out the door, my husband got a phone call on our house phone, so while I was waiting for him to finish his conversation, I decided to pick up the newspaper that was sitting on the top of the trash pile. It was the Explorer, a weekly publication by the Diocese of Joliet. Still waiting for my husband to finish his call, I opened the newspaper and surprisingly my eyes fell upon the classified ads page, and there I saw God’s invitation to me: Mayslake Ministries was seeking a new Executive Director.
As I read the requirements for this position, I felt the fire of the Spirit consume me, and I knew what I had to do. I immediately went upstairs to my computer and sent my resume by email. Within days, I was called in for a series of personal interviews, and the rest is history.
This month I am celebrating my ninth anniversary as Executive Director of Mayslake Ministries. It is an amazing journey filled with countless candy kisses from God, and I couldn’t be more blessed. I know it was God who nudged me back to school, and I know it was God who led me to Mayslake Ministries. I had a choice in all of this; fortunately I chose to listen to the promptings of the Spirit. God is working in all of our lives. All we have to do is listen and respond. God is definitely writing the novel of my life, and I couldn’t ask for a better author. Let’s wait and see what unfolds in the next chapter!