10.08.2006

who's in charge?

I know that many of you come here hoping to learn what this Novitiate thing is really like. And I want to share some of the experiences with you, but it's hard. Unlike everyday life, Novitiate life is not about what you do and where you go and who you see. It's about the internal work. Which is hard to externalize, if you know what I mean.

I've been reading a new-to-me blog of a Novice in another community, Sr. Nicole of The Life of a New Sister. She's got a post up right now that pretty much explains where I'm at as well. Hope she doesn't mind me quoting her, but she put in words what I've been unable to, which I suppose reminds me that this is a natural part of the Novitiate experience. It's important, but it's messy:

Right now, I just shake my head. It's not by my work. I have to be open and be receptive to the Spirit who is already at work in my life. It's not a matter of "doing all the right things" and reading all the books I can possibly get my hands on about growing in my spirituality. It's about total abandon to God... and being responsive to God's gentle guidance.

Of course, me being who I am, these are difficult realizations with which to live (from a practical standpoint). I still ask myself (almost daily), "What, exactly, does it mean to abandon myself to God?" And, of course, I ask "How do I know if I'm doing it right?" How ridiculous! There is no "right way." This is not exactly a precise science where everyone can follow the same method to get to a desired outcome. Oh, how much easier for me if the spiritual life was a science...


Nicole says that her spiritual director told her the other day, "Nicole... relax... just be." That's what I find Jesus telling me, everytime I try to "do" my way into this experience. That's not what it's about. As Nicole says it's not about doing all the right things. It's about being open to God's gentle guidance. After all, who's in charge? Who was it that got me to this point? God, that's who.

3 comments:

Sister Nicole said...

Hi...
It's really nice to know that I'm not alone in the sentiments expressed in my blog. Maybe this is a common novice experience? Who knows...
Thanks for your comment on my blog... and for what you've written on yours. Mutual support through the internet - who knew that could happen.
Blessings!
Sr. Nicole

Sister Nicole said...

Oh... one more thing... I just read in one of your previous posts that you go to intercommunity novitiate classes. So do I. At some point, I'd love to hear what yours are like. Feel free to e-mail ntrahan@gmail.com.
Thanks!

Christine said...

Whooo - boy does that bring back memories. Me not being in charge? And all these other people who are... and God being so cryptic. I eventually found that it was mostly my eyes that were wearing cryptic glasses. Doing what I'm doing now is a lot like the novitiate in that I'm learning again how to let go and, yes, let God.