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beatitude

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Sister Leticia

Do you know one of the sisters well enough to discuss this with her? - if not directly about the talkative sister, then a generalised question about "how do you sisters cope with living in such cramped space and minimal privacy if, eg someone is noisy when you need to be quiet...?" It might be a helpful discussion, not just for this situation, but there may be some nuggets you can remember in future situations. Or the sister might simply say that the talkative sister is only like that with new people/visitors, and is normally much calmer, or that with time, they've all got used to her and don't notice her chatter so much anymore. 

If you feel you can't even do that, then try and observe how they are when the sister is chattering - body language, facial expressions etc - and observe how she is. I suggest looking at how she is because her body language might show whether she is nervous, for example, and perhaps the constant talking is her way of dealing with this. 

But - and this advice is for all discerners, not just you, dear Beatitude - DO NOT regard this sort of thing as a "get out of jail card"! (Oh no, what if I enter and in 6 years' time I'm sent to this community...?) Otherwise you could end up what if-ing about every single uncongenial community you visit and talk yourself out of applying to enter, ever, "just in case"...!!

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TheresaThoma

Is there a Sister at the house that you could talk to about this? She might be able to give some insight into this Sister and how to relate to her. 

I will pray for more vocations, the community seems beautiful but it sounds like they are not well known.

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beatitude

The sister in question has quite a nervous temperament. That has become clear over the course of my stay. The others do their best to be patient with her and just accept that this is the way she is. She herself commented to me that part of community life is about learning to bear with one another's differences, and that "it smoothens us out." I can already see how that is. Today at Mass the priest was talking about how Christ is made manifest to us in other human beings and we need to see Him in each one without exception. That made me consciously focus on this sister's good qualities instead of how tough I find it to make so much small talk, and I was surprised by how much closer to her that one simple thing made me feel. It's true that God is not outdone in generosity - you make one little act of patience and he repays you a hundredfold. "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap."

For anyone considering their call in life, I recommend this prayer that was written by Blessed Charles de Foucauld, better known as Little Brother Charles of Jesus. The sisters recite it every evening at the close of Vespers. It's beautiful.

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TheresaThoma

This reminds me of a similar but different issue that I had with a Sister during my live-in. At first things were very stiff between us and I thought that I had offended her somehow. However I realized later that it simply was we  didn't share much in common in our backgrounds which made conversation hard. Once we found some common ground it went better. It was reminded me that the Sisters are still human, even the senior Sisters!

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beatitude

I arrived home from my travels this morning to find a homemade card waiting for me from the sisters of my home region. They had all met together for a retreat, had thought of me, and had put together a card with some coloured paper. Each sister in the region has written a message inside. Some of them have unusual handwriting, so I don't actually know what they're saying, but I'm sure it's nice. :P I'm very touched.

My parents are more anxious about my discernment than they were when I first told them. I think this is due to misapprehensions about religious life. I mentioned that one of the American sisters loves to dance, and my dad said in surprise, "Is she allowed?" I hope he can meet the sisters soon. I think it would reassure him to see that they don't spend all their time kneeling in chapel with occasional breaks for a basin of gruel. Please pray for them.

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beatitude

I'm going to meet with the regional on 16th November, as I want to have this conversation in person rather than by phone or e-mail. Please remember me in your prayers on that date. :)

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