Sisters in Training

Anyone who has prepared for an athletic competition knows discipline, patience, rigorous training, and flexibility are all required.  It turns out these are all crucial parts to the CDN training plan also.  Let’s take a look.

Discipline: A typical week includes morning and evening prayer; shared household responsibilities; one-on-one meetings with a novice director; the InterCommunity Novitiate; online classes at Catholic Theological Union; in-house study; meals together; a day of reflection; and Mass.  To experience each of these things well, a level of discipline is needed to be truly present without letting things fall through the cracks.

Patience: Patience with ourselves, and each other, is needed as we build our community, especially as we find a balance of community responsibilities, class requirements, and personal needs.  Zoom fatigue is also very real, for some (I’m kindly calling myself out here) more than others, so patience is needed here as well.

Rigorous Training: I’ll just let this picture do the talking.  😀  Don’t forget the PDFs, videos, reflection and integration conversations, spiritual direction, monthly panel discussions, personal prayer, and unknown opportunities that will come up throughout the year. 

Flexibility: When you live on your own, or with roommates who tend to have their own schedule, your time is very much your own.  To live well in community, this cannot be the case.  Flexibility is required to ensure everyone’s needs are being met and we are all truly living together, not simply as 5 people under the same roof.  This means regularly being open to a spontaneous game of Crokinole or to dropping what you’re doing to help with supper, fix a fridge, or mow the lawn.

Have you ever seen such a fancy lawn mower!?

The reality is the novitiate is about being sisters in training with our relationship with God at the center of this training.  As we train, we can’t forget part of discernment is about remaining open to the fact God may have other plans for us.  To discern well, we need to be open to both the formation process and to what God wants to do with its fruits, even if it ends up not being what we expect.  This year, we are being called to say “No” to sprinting to an assumed finish line and say “Yes” to a slow, sometimes intense, run through the woods towards a finish line only He can fully see.  One thing is guaranteed though: the training process will be a beautiful adventure.