Here i am again for another installment – to tell you the truth its going on more than i had planned. But i guess its turning out fun doing this. And realising just how much people appreciate this and knowing how its helping others also in the process, whatever their own circumstances, its great and has given me a boost.
Well, i left my job a month before i was due to enter colwich only to find myself on christmas eve that year having a bout of ‘flu’ and christmas day till about the 28/29th i was in bed knowing nothing around me. I had planned to enter on 1st Jan 1992, but what was i to do? Anyway i was determind to go (call it a stubborn streak if you like), so i went. I went to mass New Years’ Day with mum, then almost immediately after we went to the train station. I only had one suitcase so that wasn’t difficult, but i did have to say goodbye to my dad at the train station and that was real hard (he isn’t a catholic – even today). But mum came with me which i was really glad about, and she could see where i was going to and share in some of the monastic atmosphere. I had a hazy journey though due to weather conditions -which i’ll not mention except for the fact i arrived an hour late and the community wondered if i was really going to come (no mobile phone for me then). I did finally arrive and because i wasn’t feeling 100% i didn’t know what to do or where to show mum etc…..i plunged staight into it for vespers and my head was spinning. I think i saw mum for a bit then we went to compline and both of us were shown to our rooms – me to the novitiate and mum in the guest house. It was really hard for her and she and i were in tears. Well i guess we both slept well and woke up refreshed, but i was disappointed she couldn’t stay a bit longer but she had to go after mass and get back home (the journey took 5 hours by train). So through the many tears we said our goodbyes. Saying that though, i also felt at the same time that i had truly come home it was quite wierd to have two mixed feelings over my new life. People had said that i wouldn’t last a fortnight and i had proved them wrong! The emotions, expectations were running high in me and it couldn’t last. It was strange the first few months and sometimes i didn’t sleep, the wind was howling, rain banging against the window etc..etc…in the end i had to say, ‘Well Lord, if you really want me to stay here you’re just going to have to help me get some sleep sometime otherwise i’d be no good to anyone’. There were struggles, doubts, joys, ups and downs and everything else but that’s apart of it trying to find out if your called to a community, but i wasn’t going to give in easily. During my postulancy near my clothing, i remember there was a visitor and i had to go to the guest room and she had said something i have never forgotton. She said, ‘You know there is no rose without a thorn’, and that is a great symbol of religious life i thought , yes, the rewards are great and high but there is alot that costs dearly and demands great sacrifices at times. Then you don’t know how you’re going to get through, but get through you do with God’s grace. Writing this part also seems a bit ‘bitty’ but nonetheless – if you think you have a vocation the best thing is to follow it up and don’t let it slip through your fingers. After all, you don’t know until you try and sometimes i think it can be too late. Alot depends on the person, i was young, and wanted to go for it, if it didn’t work out well fine, i had, had a go and i wouldn’t have missed out on any thing. If anything i would have gained alot. But as it happened – i stayed (with God’s good grace) and i feel so privileged with this vocation. You go to a monastery and you take all your good/bad points with you, you take your gifts/talents and you find yourself developing others too and its great fun in the long hard process. The thing is never to give up – even if you feel like it. Keep loving, smiling and being generous to God and he is generous to you in ways that are truly unexpected!
So i guess this is it and i hope i have shared something with you in my journey which have helped and encouraged you!
(In addition – today 29th March)
It is my 23rd anniversay since i was received into the Catholic Church i can’t believe – time flies by so quickly! The many, many graces that have been gained are abundant (some of which i may be unaware of).
The 2nd planned vocations week had to be cancelled – but saying that please could i ask you to pray for 3 people who have enquired about our life here at colwich.
sr. d x.
(7th April ) – Just to say i was going to do domething for Holy Week but the computer was ‘down again’, we are not having much luck with them at the moment. This will be all for now until after easter so i wish you all a happy Triduum and a very happy and holy easter! But i will check emails up to holy thursday – God bless