Sunday, August 30, 2009

Good Times

I had a fun day. After morning prayer, mass and breakfast, Sr. Pat taught Marie and I how to pray the Franciscan Crown. It is a seven decade rosary...we went on a "rosary walk" around the beautiful grounds of the convent. I loved having the seven decades because oftentimes by the time I finish five decades I am so peaceful that I don't want to stop the rosary.

I also spent some time today reading Robert Morneau's book Paths to Prayer. I have had the privilege of meeting him personally and listening to talks by him, so it is exciting that I get to study one of his books for my postulancy. What a wonderful person! He's a brilliant theologian, too. He's actually instructed some of the sisters in my community.

Once a month, all of the sisters in the motherhouse gather for recreation in the same room...that's a LOT of people. We played a trivia game about the community. Well, I participated on the sidelines this time...I'm still learning. But I had fun. I also had a chance to introduce myself. Against the advice of one of the sisters at my table, I announced my loyalty to the Detroit Lion's. :) Sr. Pamela Catherine and I have each other for support! I am becoming a Packer's fan...unless, of course they are playing the Lions!

We got to spend more time with the novices today! Their directress, Sr. Natalie, coached me in a game of Hand and first time playing. Apparently, learning how to play Hand and Foot the officially initiation into the community. I am glad I enjoy the game, because I'll be playing it for the rest of my life. Sr. Chiara and I won! :)

Time for bed. I need to start getting to bed earlier, since we wake up so early. I'm a night person, so I get tricked by how much energy I have at night. I have to be awake enough to remember to call the State of Michigan tomorrow. I need to get out of Jury Duty! Of all things...ok, I just put a sticky note on my monitor so I'll remember to call them tomorrow, because that's the last day I can call them before I get a court order. Sr. Myra Jean says she doesn't want me to go to jail.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I love recreational time

Yesterday, Marie and I tried out the tennis court. We had a lot of fun hitting the tennis ball back and forth (and running after it). Our plan is to continue to play while it's still nice out. Marie used one of the wooden tennis racquets from the convent...I used mine, with the intent of taking turns using the modern racquet. Surprisingly, the antique worked really well for Marie and she continued to play well with it! I am going to grab one of those next time we go out to play.

Sr. Pat showed us where the basketballs are and the gym. I am so excited that Marie loves to play basketball, too! We will get to continue to play in the gym during the winter which is nice.

We got to spend a lot of time with the novices yesterday and today, which has been wonderful! They are so delightful, and it is nice to talk with people who went through the same thing within the past couple of years. Joining a religious community is a big adjustment (I've never prayed this much in my life), and it's refreshing to have people to talk about it with.

Today, I showed them Invisible Children's most recent movie: The Rescue. It is a very important 36 minute video, and if you have not heard of the Invisible Children, I encourage you to watch it. It's not appropriate for children, and it might be difficult for veterans to watch as well. The Invisible Children are children who are forced to be soldiers. Joseph Kony is my generation's Adolf Hitler, and just like the Holocaust, very few people are aware of it.

It is a very sobering video, and we spent some time processing it. It is impossible to watch that film and not be motivated to do something. I have heard that one of the best things we can do is pray, because it is a spiritual war.

Before I joined this community, I attended protests for this cause. Even though I won't be as active as I was, I will still be committed to helping the children in anyway I can.

After we took time to process it, Sr. Natalie brought up a snack for us. Mmm...I love the homemade bread that the people who work in the convent's bakery make! We joked around for awhile. It was a lot of fun. I learned something interesting: it is an unwritten rule that we are to have "recreational time" every day. So I'm required to have fun every day...I think I can manage that! :)

I have now been at the convent for almost a week. We will hopefully start wearing our postulant habits on Monday! Marie and I cannot wait to begin wearing them, so we will feel more "official".

Oh yes, I almost forgot...I watched my first Packer's game last night! It was a lot of fun...very exciting game. It was a late game though, so we went to bed at half-time. I did hear that there were two loyal fans who stayed up for the whole game. I couldn't do that. I was tired today just from staying up until 11:30pm! Good for them, though.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Personal Prayer

I love the hour of personal prayer we have each day. I'm finding myself desiring and enjoying the individual attention of God. It's just like wanting individual attention of a close friend. I feel very privileged to have this vocation.

Today my directress is taking Marie and I to Cato Falls. We will have our personal prayer time there, in the midst of nature. Very Franciscan way of praying! :)

I am so grateful for this time of spiritual growth. It is so necessary before I begin my apostolate of teaching in three years. I cannot be an effective teacher for my students if I haven't grown in my faith for myself. It's just like what JP2 wrote in his encyclical. It's a wonderful document about how we must evangelize to ourselves first. We need to work on our own spiritual maturity before we can help others with their growth.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bring on the Rain!

I was feeling very homesick until yesterday afternoon, when it rained. The sound and sight of the rain reminded me of home. We've had a rainy summer in Grand Rapids, so much that rain of all things brought me comfort. I guess in Wisconsin they've had a very dry summer, so it was a blessing to have the rain!

I have been learning all about the postulancy, which is a time of discernment and to grow in prayer. It's also a time of preparation for my further stages of formation.

Last night was very fun. We got to go to a picnic put on by the Serrans, who pray for vocations and support those in formation and seminarians. They served us hamburgers and brats and lead us in a game of BINGO. I've never played BINGO with that many people before and it was a lot of fun. It reminded me of watching Noddea steal the show in BINGO the musical. Loved it. By the way, Noddea is the one who came up for the name for this blog. I had spent over an hour trying to come up with a title and she thought of one in two minutes! So clever!

I won some postage stamps. Sr. Pat is encouraging us to try out the lost art of "snail mail" so it was a perfect prize!

After the picnic, a bunch of us watched "America's Got Talent". So much fun to watch that show with a group of people!

I am getting used to and loving the new schedule. Every morning at 6:30am, I go to chapel to prepare for morning prayer. Morning prayer begins at 6:45am, and then we have mass.

We have an hour of personal prayer every day, and I like to pray the rosary during that time, plus another form of prayer (I'm experimenting with different ways to pray!)

We also pray evening prayer together.

Time to go!

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Days at the Convent

My postulant directress just allowed the other postulant, Marie, and I some time to check our emails. Yes! So much has been going on that I've been wanting to write in this blog...especially since I saw the movie "Julie & Julia" on Saturday...very cute!

I've been having a lot of fun with all these adventures!

Some how, even though I just about filled my Aunt Judy's SUV, I forgot a few important things, like pants. And to remove my hot pink nail polish. But all is well now.

Oops...time is just about up.

I am working really hard at living in the moment. While in chapel last night, I was looking around at all these sisters in their habits and thinking, "What am I doing here?" Yet, I felt as if God was telling me, "Slow down, Kara. Just enjoy the moment." I felt better.

I played a fun game called "Aggravation" last night with Marie, the novices, and our directresses. It's just like the game "Sorry!" only it is a choking hazard. The pieces look like gum balls.

Today, we registered for classes! I'm very excited for mine:

Ceramics II
Professional Roles and Responsibilities (Intro to Special Ed)
Philosophy of the Human Person
Catholic Beliefs and Practices
Cultural Diversity (and Wisconsin Native Americans)

Time for personal prayer. :)