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Sister's surgery to remove the cancer is today (Monday). She is very anxious. Pleae pray for her.

The second part of the psych test went well, but wasn't without drama! My test was at 10am and I aimed to arrive about 15-10 minutes before. When I arrived at the clinic (it's run from an ordinary suburban house), all the doors were locked. I called the psychologist and left a message on her phone saying I was there. It got to 10am and still no one arrived. Finally she got there at 10:10. I was laughing with my sisters that they probably run that kind of scenario as another form of pscyh test, and have surveillance cameras outside watching what the person will do!

We have started organising our list of Christmas duties. Our superior put up a list of dishes that needed cooking and other things to prepare and those who can do it put their names there. Fun ensued when we saw that one sister had put her name down for the job of bringing Christmas wafers and putting them on the plates at table. She is sacristan for our shrine and has three Christmas cribs to build, so we understand, but it was still funny!

 

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Sister is still in the ICU/ED (whatever you call it), as far as I know. Please continue to pray for her and for our superior, who is travelling to be with her every day.

Today I worked in aged care and went to visit one of my regular residents. He had his eyes closed, and when I put my hand on his shoulder he kept saying "My girl...my darling..." I wasn't sure if he knew it was me, but when he saw who I was he just smiled. He is a real gentleman and quite affectionate (likes to hold my hand or hug). When I was leaving, he said "Goodnight". I asked him what he meant (as it was close to 3:30pm). He said that he wished it was night-time as he dreams about me. I don't know how many people visit him or spend time with him, and I try to stay aware of having boundaries, but clearly he needs to express affection physically and verbally. I am just trying to be available for him as he is very lonely.

Then I saw one lady who was saying how unhappy she was living in aged care. While we were talking, one of the nursing staff said that this lady had a call from a friend. Well, you should have seen her face! She kept saying, "Now I know I'm alive!" I saw her after the conversation and she just cried, saying that her friend calls her and visits her but her children never do. It's sad to see people in those sorts of situations, and they really do need prayer.

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I heard a story today which I thought was beautiful. The brother of a girl I went to school with recently committed suicide. The family are really working quite admirably spreading awareness of depression, and are using a butterfly as a symbol for the deceased young man.

His girlfriend shared that on their anniversary (yesterday) she poured some beer into the garden her boyfriend had had, and soon afterwards a butterfly flew over and sat on a flower. She put out her finger, it flew there and sat on her hand for ten minutes before flying onto another flower. Soon it came back onto her hand and sat there for three hours, even while she was moving around, eating, etc. When it was time for bed, she put the butterfly on a photo frame on her bedside table. When she woke up, the butterfly was still there. She said she had asked for a sign.

Some people don't put a lot of store in signs and things like this, but for the person who is grieving it can bring so much hope and reassurance that yes, the person they loved and who loved them in return is still with them.

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I'm struggling to understand some people. Lately I've seen a lot of internet memes going around with pictures of people with disabilities or disfigurements. Today my sister sent me a message asking me if I'd seen one of these memes. I opened it and saw it was a picture of my cousin, who has a disorder affecting her bones. She is such a kind and caring person. I can't understand what would go through someone's mind to make them spread something so hateful and cruel about someone they don't even know.

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One thing (of many) I love about Christmas in the convent is how we decorate. On Friday, we put up our tree - with four people, it took three hours, because we were having fun and because we have a million decorations. I also ended up with some lights to put in my room. We have wreaths and decorations in almost every room. I love it!

Last night one of my sisters called me outside. She had made a big star by screwing bits of plastic together and put a red light inside. It faces our aged care, so people there who see it will definitely know where the convent is!

I posted a prayer request a few days ago about test results. I had a feeling I was not well and others had mentioned to me that they thought the same. The test confirmed it. It's a treatable but serious problem. Please pray for me - for trust in God and for positivity and proactiveness on my part. It may take a while for me to get better. 

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May you have a refuah shelayma [a complete recovery].  If you wish, send me a PM with your first name, and your mother's first name, [i.e."Ann daughter of Carol"] and I'll be happy to put a "pitkele" [a written prayer request] in a crack of the Western Wall -- it's a Jewish custom.  No details required.

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2 hours ago, Antigonos said:

May you have a refuah shelayma [a complete recovery].  If you wish, send me a PM with your first name, and your mother's first name, [i.e."Ann daughter of Carol"] and I'll be happy to put a "pitkele" [a written prayer request] in a crack of the Western Wall -- it's a Jewish custom.  No details required.

Thank you. :) I will PM now.

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Last night I was talking with my mother and she asked me how I felt about entering the novitiate. I said I'm really excited, but there's the possibility I may not be accepted (my formator and I don't see any reason why, but it could happen). Immediately she said, very excitedly, "So you could come home?!"

I was a little sad hearing that. Her response shows me she's still struggling. Maybe she'll always struggle because she's my mum, I don't know. But I told her that it's hard for me sometimes too, and that I think of her often. I hope that in some small way it helped her to feel like she wasn't alone in whatever she's feeling. 

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If you were engaged or married, you'll probably speak about the joy of your relationship ("Mum I love you so much !"), but also the hardship ("'he's so annoying, mum..."). Maybe if you open up about your struggle with her, she will feel "closer" to you (I don't know if I'm clear)

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My friend's daughter has been in religious life for more than three years, and she still struggles.  I think it's just part of being a mom...her heart may ache, but she's proud of her daughter.  All your mom really wants is for you to be happy, whatever your vocation in life may be.  Continue to share your happiness with her...it will reassure her.

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22 hours ago, NadaTeTurbe said:

If you were engaged or married, you'll probably speak about the joy of your relationship ("Mum I love you so much !"), but also the hardship ("'he's so annoying, mum..."). Maybe if you open up about your struggle with her, she will feel "closer" to you (I don't know if I'm clear)

You're definitely right, and very clear. I have spoken to her before about the difficulties of religious life (before I entered, we spoke regularly about how I was feeling and how she felt, and even on some of my home visits we've discussed it). I could be more open about it, but I know she and my dad both want me to be happy and I don't want to make them think I'm not. 

22 hours ago, CountrySteve21 said:

I like Nada's advice. If you don't mind me asking, how knowledgeable is she of religious life and its purpose? Learning more about it could comfort her.  

That's fine! I'd say she doesn't know a lot about it. She had religious sisters teaching her at school who were apparently not very kind, and probably her closest sister (who is now deceased) entered a convent but left (not sure of the reason, and not my business to know really). She's told me that some people have given her a hard time after they found out that I had entered the convent, so I know she really does struggle and probably has it more difficult than I do. She and my dad have really been learning along with me, but I'm not really sure how I can help them better besides prayer.

21 hours ago, Pax17 said:

My friend's daughter has been in religious life for more than three years, and she still struggles.  I think it's just part of being a mom...her heart may ache, but she's proud of her daughter.  All your mom really wants is for you to be happy, whatever your vocation in life may be.  Continue to share your happiness with her...it will reassure her.

I like to share that I'm happy, and it's really not that hard to do because there is so much joy in my life. People (family mostly) have told me they notice that I have really become myself. I think my mum will struggle more and more if I am accepted to the novitiate because of the limited contact. I think she does understand why it needs to be that way (a lotof people don't, actually) but it doesn't really make it easier. My sisters have been really supportive of my family and I know that's been very helpful for them - my parents really love my sisters, and I know they can see I'm well looked-after and happy with them. 

Also, sister who is in hospital is recovering steadily but slowly (understandable considering her age and health). After she's discharged she will go to our aged care for respite. Please keep her in your prayers. 

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Hi Spem....an early Blessed Christmas to you, your Sisters, and your family. I'm not going to be around much for the next week or so, so it's now or never....either early or too late :))

Know you are in my prayers.  When will you find out about the decision to enter the novitiate?  I'm not sure about the timing of all your tests/interviews. All will be well.

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4 hours ago, Spem in alium said:

 

That's fine! I'd say she doesn't know a lot about it. She had religious sisters teaching her at school who were apparently not very kind, and probably her closest sister (who is now deceased) entered a convent but left (not sure of the reason, and not my business to know really). She's told me that some people have given her a hard time after they found out that I had entered the convent, so I know she really does struggle and probably has it more difficult than I do. She and my dad have really been learning along with me, but I'm not really sure how I can help them better besides prayer.

 

Would she be willing to watch a good documentary or read some books about the life? I think ultimately though, it will be the joy you express in living the life and your prayers that will convince her. You and your family will be in my prayers :)  

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21 hours ago, Francis Clare said:

Hi Spem....an early Blessed Christmas to you, your Sisters, and your family. I'm not going to be around much for the next week or so, so it's now or never....either early or too late :))

Know you are in my prayers.  When will you find out about the decision to enter the novitiate?  I'm not sure about the timing of all your tests/interviews. All will be well.

And to you, FC! I may not be around much here either - my last day of work is today, and then Thursday until Saturday is cleaning and Christmas prep!

Thank you so much for your prayers - I am praying for you and your family! I am still waiting on my psychological report to come through (there was a bit of a delay), which my formator needs to see before she can write her recommendation. I've written an evaluation of my year and the sisters with whom I live will do that too. I believe the council will meet in mid-January and so I hope to have a decision around that time, or at least before I go for my home visit at the end of January. It's very exciting and I'm filled with anticipation and hope -- but also, if I'm honest, some nervousness too!

20 hours ago, CountrySteve21 said:

Would she be willing to watch a good documentary or read some books about the life? I think ultimately though, it will be the joy you express in living the life and your prayers that will convince her. You and your family will be in my prayers :)  

She may be interested in that sort of thing. I can try and ask her, but in a way that's subtle. ;) My parents and those around me can see that I'm happy, and that makes me happy. At the beginning my dad would ask every time he saw me if I was happy. Now he doesn't ask anymore. I think it's because he can see that I am. :) Thank you for your prayers. You are in mine!

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