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Spem in alium

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Jennifer

I so glad everything is working out well for you  organising a capable psychologist and also your well known Novice Mistress.  You are in my prayers as you continue your journey. 

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Spem in alium
4 hours ago, Francis Clare said:

Prayers, of course!  I was wondering about your application as you sounded a bit iffy in one of your previous posts.  I'm glad you've made your decision and have found a psychologist familiar with exams for religious.  Full steam ahead :))

Thank you so much! I haven't officially applied yet (will do that in December). I'm trying to stay as open as I can -- even though I feel soooo much a part of this congregation, and even though by all accounts my sisters want me here and see me as suitable for the novitiate, things could change. Maybe something could happen and I won't apply, or the leadership team will want me to stay longer in the postulancy, or refuse me admission to the novitiate. Even my formator, who is really planning very much for me to be in the novitiate, made a comment along the lines of that - that sometimes things can change very quickly. Some of these things seem very unlikely to happen, but I'm still seeing them as possibilities and so trying to not get ahead of myself and think that it's already a done deal. It's hard though, because my sisters are already asking me when I'll begin novitiate! Pesky sisters (but I also love them, haha)!

3 hours ago, Jennifer said:

I so glad everything is working out well for you  organising a capable psychologist and also your well known Novice Mistress.  You are in my prayers as you continue your journey. 

Thank you! It took ages to organise this psychologist. The first one I called was on annual leave but told me we could organise something for November when she returned to the office. Then when I spoke to her again, she said the earliest availability was December 19! As it takes a couple of weeks to grade the results, that was too late for us, as the leadership team will make their decision about me in January. It was a bit of a scramble to find another psychologist who would be able to fit me in earlier than that. God is good, all the time!

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If all goes well and there's no last-minute bungle, tomorrow I will be submitting my thesis for its first review. Honestly can't believe I'm at this point. I can truly say it's only through God's mercy and through the generosity of many, many people, some of whom I will never be able to thank properly.

 

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Day has been made. One of my dream thesis examiners will examine my thesis. Even more amazing, I submitted it about five minutes ago for its first review!

My thesis is an art historical study of St Joseph. He's definitely helped me so much.

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Yesterday I was reading one of my favourite books ever, by one of my heroes (He Leadeth Me, by Fr Walter J. Ciszek, S.J.). In this book, Fr Walter says some beautiful things about the Lord's Prayer, about how it contains everything ever know about the human relationship with God, and how even if we took and examined every line on its own, we wouldn't be able to understand the prayer in all its richness. I decided to do some meditation and so spent yesterday and this morning meditating on the two words, "Our Father".

This morning as I was going to Mass I decided to read from a book of daily meditations I keep on my bedside table. I'm very lazy with reading them but for some reason opened the book today. When I got to today's date I saw that the meditation was on a line from the Lord's Prayer, and that every day of the next week or so is taking its own line to reflect upon. I was really very moved to see it - almost like God was saying, 'Hi! Keep going!'

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The first decision re. my thesis will be made on Thursday at a research committee meeting. I'm actually a member of the committee (I'm student rep) so I have to be at the meeting (but will not be there when they discuss my work, of course). It was seriously unreal to see my name as an item on the agenda!

I also found out today that my second thesis examiner will be a priest whose research is the foundation of my own. I now have two powerhouses in St Joseph research examining my work. It seriously doesn't seem real!

 

 

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Francis Clare

I'm in the process of writing a chapter on miracles for a reflection/information/spiritual guide booklet the Order of Malta is producing for our trip to Lourdes. Although you thesis doesn't quite fit into my 2 categories of miracles, it is a miracle none the less.  God is indeed gracious and knows what's best for us in His own timing and for His purposes. As the expression goes (kind of)  your ducks are lining themselves up....and I have no doubt they will waddle and quack their way to a very happy ending for your thesis and on to the novitiate and beyond.  For all the naysayers....prayers ARE granted!  Deo Gratias

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11 hours ago, Francis Clare said:

I'm in the process of writing a chapter on miracles for a reflection/information/spiritual guide booklet the Order of Malta is producing for our trip to Lourdes. Although you thesis doesn't quite fit into my 2 categories of miracles, it is a miracle none the less.  God is indeed gracious and knows what's best for us in His own timing and for His purposes. As the expression goes (kind of)  your ducks are lining themselves up....and I have no doubt they will waddle and quack their way to a very happy ending for your thesis and on to the novitiate and beyond.  For all the naysayers....prayers ARE granted!  Deo Gratias

It is a miracle for sure, FC! Thank you for your words. The reflection guide you're writing sounds wonderful. Wishing it every success, as well as your trip to Lourdes. When I was involved with the Order more actively (now my involvement is prayer) I always wished to go to Lourdes. Who knows what is in store though!

My formator and I very spontaneously booked a retreat for me this weekend. Pretty much every weekend between now and Christmas is filled with things for me, and we weren't sure they'd have a place left. It's at a place I've never been to but which is apparently very beautiful, and the retreat topic just happens to be one close to my heart: the Holy Name of Jesus/the Name of God.

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Spem in alium

A while ago I wrote about a man I visit in aged care who has an advanced dementia and who has been described to me as "non-communicative". Today I went to see him, said hello and used his name. He had his hands resting on his blanket and I put my hand on top of his hand. He immediately started moving his hand so I let go, and he quickly put his hand on top of my hand. He let me hold his hand today too. At one moment I put my hand on his knee and he looked right at me. When I was leaving him he held my hand tighter. I don't really talk to him at all, which is actually challenging for me. He's teaching me a lot about silence and communication through touch. People might say he's too sick to connect,  but today I really felt more than ever that he knew me and knew I was there.

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Antigonos

One of the very first things we learned in nursing school was the great importance of non-verbal communication.  I'm sure the connection, however tenuous or brief, was of value to him.

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16 hours ago, Antigonos said:

One of the very first things we learned in nursing school was the great importance of non-verbal communication.  I'm sure the connection, however tenuous or brief, was of value to him.

Thank you! That's reassuring for me. I try to be as aware as I can be of his comfort, and what sort of things make him uncomfortable. Maybe me putting my hand on top of his was something he didn't like (I don't usually do that with residents; I learned to let them take your hand rather than you take theirs, as it gives them more freedom to let go if they want to), or maybe he just wanted to be the one holding my hand. ;) 

I feel more and more drawn to being with residents who cannot consciously offer me something, who can't thank me. I see it as a way of challenging my pride and of becoming more aware of how often I want to be appreciated. When you do something for someone who can't show appreciation or who can never repay you I think that brings true joy. As much as I love all the residents I visit, I find so much meaning in visiting people like this man, whom my instinct would tell me *not* to visit because he can't speak.

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Antigonos

He may actually need touch and other signs of being recognized as "being there" more than others who can verbally communicate their needs and desires.  He may well feel abandoned in his isolation.  You can never know.  You might try reading to him, something short and pleasant, like a poem, or tell him about some pleasant thing that's happened recently.  He may not be capable of responding, but he may hear you.  People who have emerged from vegetative states have reported hearing everything said around them when "comatose".

Edited by Antigonos

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Spem in alium
12 hours ago, Antigonos said:

He may actually need touch and other signs of being recognized as "being there" more than others who can verbally communicate their needs and desires.  He may well feel abandoned in his isolation.  You can never know.  You might try reading to him, something short and pleasant, like a poem, or tell him about some pleasant thing that's happened recently.  He may not be capable of responding, but he may hear you.  People who have emerged from vegetative states have reported hearing everything said around them when "comatose".

Those are great ideas. It's really easy to assure that he can't understand or comprehend because he can't communicate verbally. Sometimes I've told him what I've been doing but I wonder if that's really interesting for him! :hehe2: All I really know about him is that he was a doctor and that a lady used to visit him - I'm not too sure what happened. He does have some nice photos of his family and a big picture of Our Lady of Fatima. Maybe I could read something about her.

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Spem in alium

My retreat was marvellous. The experience of God which I had was incredibly powerful. It was certainly one of the best experiences of my life. 

And now back to work and regular schedule! We are having a Thanksgiving celebration in our house because two of our sisters are American-born and one lived in America for a time. Turkey is on the menu! Will be thinking of all of you who celebrate too. :) 

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So, my life story (health-related, but with a small segment on my journey with the sisters) was published in a national newspaper yesterday. It was a huge surprise actually (I knew it would be published, but not when) --- even more amazing has been the response.

 

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