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Entering The Convent, The Orthodox Way


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[quote name='marigold' timestamp='1329780005' post='2390294']
I feel burned out after a year of high-stress work, and 2-3 years of moving around and changing situations before that. At the same time it's like I haven't really [i]done [/i]anything yet, and I'm waiting and waiting to get started with my real life, in the monastery. I need happy, normal people around me, and I need deep silence and loneliness to start getting back to the Lord. Need, need, need. Just a bag of needs at the moment.

What I [i]need[/i] is monastic life, I'm starting to see how literally harmonious and wholesome it is, a perfect balance of solitude with a safety net of sisters; very intense community life with periods of rest etc. [/quote]

Marigold:

First of all you have my prayers during this waiting period. I know how it can be tough.

You probably know this but I need to restate it ... you *know* religious life, even though it may seem from the outside to be "harmonious" a lot of times it is not. No monastery is perfect, and there will be sisters that aren't even considered to be "normal." You may even find one who really shouldn't be there, but by the Grace of God is.

I was going to suggest one thing -- focus on the now. On what you are doing day in and day out. That is an opportunity for sanctification and growth, if you allow it to be.

I've spent years working on the "future," on the possibility of being a religious. A lot has happened since the journey began, and now what I focus on is how to best live my life in Christ in the day-to-day. What service can I do in my parish? How can I help those in need? What can I do to grow in holiness today? What can I do to strengthen my relationship with the Beloved? How do I need to grow? etc. etc. etc.

Changing focus to today does help. You don't have to completely lose track of tomorrow -- but try to focus a bit more on now.

Hope this helps -- you've got my prayers.

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I was thinking about how to start this topic, and kept running into things that would need to be explained to a (mostly) Roman Catholic audience. And I thought that there was no way to cover all the d

Reason #193 why Mother is the best Abbess EVER: [i]Dear Marigold,[/i] [i]I feel as if there is a ghost in chapel these days -- I go in and it seems someone should be there only I don't see them

I can't find the words to thank you all individually, so THANK YOU and know that I'm praying for all of us here. Feeling a bit more human today. I slept for about 13hrs, woke up to an unexpected le

[quote name='brandelynmarie' timestamp='1329783696' post='2390318']
:console: That's what we are here for, chica. Sorry your day has smelled of elderberries. :( We are praying for you that you may you find His Peace this Lent.


[size=2]And G&T with lime works just as well. :secret: [/size]
[/quote]

Thank you sweetheart. Please keep 'em coming.

[size=1]You know what, we actually do have limes. I should probably wait till at least lunchtime though :hehe2: [/size]

Edited by marigold
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[quote name='cmariadiaz' timestamp='1329857387' post='2390764']
Marigold:

First of all you have my prayers during this waiting period. I know how it can be tough.

You probably know this but I need to restate it ... you *know* religious life, even though it may seem from the outside to be "harmonious" a lot of times it is not. No monastery is perfect, and there will be sisters that aren't even considered to be "normal." You may even find one who really shouldn't be there, but by the Grace of God is.

I was going to suggest one thing -- focus on the now. On what you are doing day in and day out. That is an opportunity for sanctification and growth, if you allow it to be.

I've spent years working on the "future," on the possibility of being a religious. A lot has happened since the journey began, and now what I focus on is how to best live my life in Christ in the day-to-day. What service can I do in my parish? How can I help those in need? What can I do to grow in holiness today? What can I do to strengthen my relationship with the Beloved? How do I need to grow? etc. etc. etc.

Changing focus to today does help. You don't have to completely lose track of tomorrow -- but try to focus a bit more on now.

Hope this helps -- you've got my prayers.
[/quote]

Cmaria, thank you! I did need to read this. It's a recurring issue, trying to see into the future or dwelling too much on the past. I sort of knew that's what I was doing, but I felt (still feel a bit) that I've had one put over on me - be ready to go and having given everything away, and then have to wait here in London, like a pork pie at a Jewish wedding, with nothing to do. I mean I'm sitting here in my postulant clothes! :paperbag:

I know monastic life isn't fantastic all the time. What I meant by 'harmonious' was that the structure of the life itself is so sound and healthy, in a kind of 'hey, this couldn't have been invented with just human minds' way. Yeah, there are sisters who drive me up the wall, and drive each other up the wall, and who I occasionally stooped to wondering why they were there. (Not a good idea to start sitting in judgment of those who are older and wiser than you in monastic life, as I'm sure you know...)

ANYWAY, it was good to get a reminder to stay with today and not get carried away by tomorrow. And your prayers are very much appreciated :blowkiss:

edited for spelling.

Edited by marigold
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  • 4 weeks later...

Things are slowly, slowly coming together. Mother sent me information about the health insurance plan they want me to have, and while it's costing a LOT more than I expected (nearly a thousand dollars for six months - no idea if this is standard?!) it means Father and I can finally get on with writing to everyone in the parish asking for donations. My quip for the past few months has been that it's expensive to live in London even when you don't go anywhere or do anything! Everything I saved from work is gone. It seems to be God's will that a lot of us enter with/after a lot of financial difficulties. It seems to be his will that I have nothing left of my own, financially. So the way it's working out is that I, God helping us, will enter supported totally by other people.

I feel very loved and happy and grateful. Especially because Mother added at the end of her email that she really wished I was there :love:

Ok, off to make lentils for dinner. Yay Lent!

Edited by marigold
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[quote name='AnneLine' timestamp='1331921014' post='2401886']
Dear Marigold, this has to be so hard. Truly 'leaving all to find Christ'. Praying....
[/quote]

AnneLine: yes, in some ways it is hard. But in another sense it is completely easy :)

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[quote name='marigold' timestamp='1332027094' post='2402456']
No, only that Mother has involved at least one Senator, 'to let Homeland Security know other parts of the government are watching what they do.' Eeep!
[/quote]

Senators can have some effect, so hopefully you will soon be on your way to the monastery!

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[quote name='marigold' timestamp='1332027094' post='2402456']
No, only that Mother has involved at least one Senator, 'to let Homeland Security know other parts of the government are watching what they do.' Eeep!
[/quote]
Where there is a will there is a way...

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Where there is God's Will, there's a way. :) Praying....

Ask St. Clare - it is her 800th 'elopement' anniversary. Perhaps she can obtain this grace for you... ;)

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[quote name='Lisa' timestamp='1332210104' post='2404304']
major props for this! Sounds like a wonderful superior!!!!
[/quote]

She is. :)

My grandma arrived from Sweden with one of my aunts this morning. They are at my parents' house now and I'm going over there in a couple of hours to have dinner. This is the grandma who wrote to me saying I'd broken her heart. I haven't seen her face-to-face in about 3 years and I am SO NERVOUS. I dropped my lunch plate earlier and I keep writing and re-writing long to-do lists.

We were so close (I know grandmas aren't supposed to have favourites but I think I am/was hers because we both write ... To put it in perspective, when I went through my police officer stage in my early teens she told me definitively that THAT would be a waste of my life and talents - so you can imagine the effect of deciding on monastic life) and I know that I have changed that. I still love and idolise her, but we both know that there is this other 'something' that has taken priority in my life and I wish wish wish it wasn't something that she is actively opposed to. I don't want to be a disappointment to her, but I know I already am and don't want to make it worse by messing up this dinner.

I've washed my hair and scrubbed my face and I'm wearing my cleanest, neatest clothes and there's nothing else I can do except be on time and remember all my Swedish.

Please say a prayer that it goes without drama.

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This was a wonderful series of posts and I wish you all the best. I am still trying to figure out the hyper sensitivity of Homeland Security towards the interstate/intercontinental transfer of postulants, but no doubt they believe they are protecting us. Remember you still have to get past the Transportation Authority at the airport.

May the holy Theotokos bless and protect you always. These is are for you. (I should start a thread of Orthodox videos on Youtube).

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AODHeTtWFxs&list=PL08D9A21D57ECBDF4&index=3&feature=plpp_video[/media]

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHnzHDmdqrQ&list=PL08D9A21D57ECBDF4&index=2&feature=plpp_video[/media]

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