There is a spiritual battle taking place in my heart--not a great war of good and evil, but one much like Jacob on the bank of the Jabbok river wrestling with God. The only outcome of this battle is "good". Deep in the shadows of the night I hear God inviting me to "let go," followed by Julian's gentle whispers, "all shall be well." I am on my way, in the in between, where I mourn the loss of what was and anticipate with great joy all that is to come. But hanging out here in "no-man's land" I feel a little lost--much like I imagine Jacob felt that night he spent wrestling with God.
Yesterday I began my transition into novitiate. Step one: sold my car--a little weird I must admit to be carless for the first time since I was sixteen. My every remaining possession, with the exception of a suit case for the week, has been moved into Canticle House where I will officially be a novice with the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia. There is great excitement over this, but the only way to get there is to move on from the goodness, the bounty, that this year has brought into my life through my local community at Corpus Christi.
My heart holds nothing but love, gratitude, and deep sisterhood for sisters Joan, Maureen, and Kathy. Words cannot express the bond that has been created. Relationships can be a funny thing, a year ago these women were not at all a part of my life, and here I stand today unable to imagine my life without them! I cannot think of our time together without shedding tears of joy for all they are to me--and all I hope they continue to be to me!
It's hard to let go of those you love, this is the battle of which I speak. But letting go will free me to love more deeply and will open my life to new relationships that I will look upon next year in the same light as I do my girls at Corpus Christi. And that my friends is a beautiful thing!
Thomas Merton writes in his book, The Ascent to Truth:
Our ordinary waking life is a bare existence in which, most of the time, we seem to be absent from ourselves and from reality because we are involved in the vain preoccupations which dog the steps of every living [person]. But there are times when we seem suddenly to awake and discover the full meaning of our own present reality. Such discoveries are not capable of being contained in formulas or definitions. They are a matter of personal experience, of uncommunicable intuition. In the light of such an experience it is easy to see the futility of all the trifles that occupy our minds. We recapture something of the calm and the balance that ought always to be ours, and we understand that life is far too great a gift to be squandered on anything less than perfection.
This year has been filled with these such "discoveries," and I am eternally grateful for having them.
And now I turn toward the year to come, filled with hope, excitement, and the newness of all that is to be . . . I will mourn my loss, but how beautiful a thing it is to arrive at the "next place" with someone waiting to be my shoulder--not to wipe away my tears but to give me the space to embrace them. This I am discovering is community!
And now for a continued note of thanks, to each of you who have supported me in my discernment, my writing, and my daily life. I hope that reading my reflections on my life and prayer has brought faith, hope, and love into your own life and prayer. As I prepare to fully transition into my novitiate experience I must push the pause button.
July 2006 I drove myself into Ohio, a quaint little state that has forever changed my life. As I drove across the border I read the sign, "Ohio: So Much to Discover." I have entitled my final (for now) post "Discoveries" because this is what fills my life. Every corner, every move, every moment brings us new discoveries. Discoveries that, as Merton expresses, aid us in "recapturing" the important things in life that open our eyes to the beauty that God has placed before us. All we have to do is be open to it!