Caroline Farey

 

If I remember rightly I was one of those good little girls who was well instructed in the Catholic faith by the sisters at my primary school and I did all the things that little Catholic girls were encouraged to do, such as, have a little religious area in my bedroom  for my own statue of Our Lady at which I sometimes managed to put fresh flowers.  I loved all of this, it nurtured a friendship with the Lord, Our Lady and the angels all of whom I grew to love quite simply and strongly. Jesus was a king and I loved being able to talk personally to the king and queen of heaven and felt it a privilege, that made me rather haughty, that I had such access that others didn’t have or didn’t want.  

I always like being in Church and going to Mass; I never thought about being bored; it always felt a good place to be, where the rhythm of it all was thoroughly familiar and I was left quietly to ponder on things, and people were kind and generally friendly.

As a teenager, although I wondered often about a religious life, it was very difficult to actually meet any sisters and I was too involved in life and living to go out of my way to find any. If any had found and befriended me I would have walked straight in but it didn’t happen that way.  I had an uneasy sense of vocation that I didn’t know what to do with. 

After various meanderings, I became unemployed.  This went on for many months and I began to look at myself as utterly unwanted by society; I had studied, I even had a Master’s degree, I had worked, I was honest, keen, diligent and still seemed unemployable. Every day was a struggle in which I could see no sense of purpose. I got out of bed each morning for one sole reason, to go to mass and moan.  The wonderful group of octogenarians I met daily prayed for me, bought me coffee and encouraged me not to give up.  I came to know with a depth and clarity that never left me that although society had no purpose for me, and I seemed of no value or interest, I was not unloved by God, nor by members of his Church, and that this was the only thing that mattered. 

This has been greatly confirmed in my work for the Maryvale Institute.  Here I have found that everything that had seemed so purposeless was a piece in the jigsaw of experience, that would be of value for the work here.  Here, my vocation is confirmed in a life of intense joy and hard work, joy because I meet the loveliest people, joy because I am close to the shrine of the Sacred heart of Jesus where, there is no doubt, the burning love of God pours out in its own divine stream to all who come.