This seemingly simple and laughable saying spoke deeply to an experience I have been living this past week and a half. For the first time since my first reflection I have failed in my commitment to write at least once a week. This was in part intentional. I write about what I experience. As a writer I commit to speaking the truth in honesty and love; I could do neither for the past week and so I chose to keep silent. But now, on the other side of contemplative prayer and with a deep desire to make sense of the circumstances, I am ready to share--in truth and in love.
There is a deep desire in my heart to continue on this path toward becoming a religious sister. And deep down I rest in certainty that I am exactly where God is calling me to be--but with any call there is a sense of being stripped. In the calling we are gently persuaded by God to return to the garden, to do so, however, we must be stripped. And this is never easy.
Last week I had a formation meeting in preparation for the transition from Candidacy to Novitiate. Novitiate is like this big unknown foggy cloud lying before me. I can theologically and canonically define novitiate, but as many sisters have shared it is something of which I must experience to really begin to understand it's true meaning and even then it may take years to fully make sense of it all.
Last week it was shared with me that during my time in the novitiate I will not be permitted to blog. This was difficult to hear. While in honesty I must share that I do not fully understand the reasoning behind this decision, I must also share that I have a deep openness to discovering it. As I sat last Wednesday soaking in what had just been said to me I could only feel the impending loss, looming over me like doomsday. I felt like my voice was being taken away.
That all said I have come to a place of understanding, not of the decision made, but of my life and the decision I am making to follow this path of more radical commitment to Christ and to living the Gospel message. To get back to that garden I have to be stripped. Last week I only saw loss, last week I misplaced my excitement of novitiate. I have not fully regained that excitement, but I do have it in sight. It will be different than the previous excitement and rightly so, I am a different person than I was two weeks ago.
I share this tonight in truth and love and assured that there is hope in this experience. And so, in the next few weeks I will continue to share my experiences as my time as a Candidate with the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia comes to an end and I transition into the novitiate.
The omnipotent "they" say that when a person loses one sense another is enhanced. I am excited to see what will change in me through not blogging this coming year. I will still write, an enthusiast of the word can never give that up. But it will be different. There is a whole big world out there to discover and a thousand, bazillion ways to discover it AND share it! I am in search of the intimate place where I can be naked with God--and maybe I just can't have an audience for that.