Last Friday was the half way mark of the noviciate, 6 months are gone by since the 14th of September, another 6 months now until the end of the noviciate.
The signs that it was coming up were already there a week earlier as I discovered that my mobile phone was not working anymore (as I didn’t top up for 6 months, so had to put new money in) and I realised that that was the day I went up to Limerick to start the retreat which is held before the start of the noviciate.
It is amazing how quick the time has gone by! I a way it seems like a long time since we started, and especially since I was home last, and I suppose 6 months is not nothing. On the other hand the time has really passed by very very quickly.
I now begin to appreciate what the noviciate is about, in my eyes, and what it could be. Slowly I begin to understand the importance of it, and begin to appreciate the advise from other Dominicans when they said to use “this special time, this once off opportunity” well. Such statements puzzled me a bit, and I decided from the start to really try and make the best out of it. However it is only now that I realise that it really is a year to learn to listen and to talk with God. A year to learn to be alone with God, to be alone in your room, to be alone in the church. Alone with yourself, and with God.
Now 6 months later I realise that I it is very easy to get distracted from this. I more and more begin to appreciate the importance of simplicity, of a simple life, of a life in which we are not dragged from one distraction into another. An example of this could be the internet or television but also other things one can flee to in order not to have to be alone in silence like going outside. The noviciate is a very blessed time in which we can try our vocation, and see if it is the way in which we want to live the rest of our lives. It is a time in which we have to discover if we are happy with this life, if we are happy with how it is now. How it is to be with God and if this is what we want to do, to see if we want to give everything to God, and trust on Him and be satisfied with living totally for Him.
It is very easy however to busy yourself with all kinds of things, and I probably very guilty of that. There are all kinds of things that seem important a good to do but which will prevent one from spending this time alone and to discover ourselves. I now realise that I have to make a bigger effort in trying to have more time for reading and silent prayer. The newness is now of the life, and I start to realise that there are aspects of the life in which I have to find my way. There are aspect of my personality I have to life and deal with, and areas where I have to undergo some painful, and sometimes indeed very painful, purification to I want to get any closer to being a saint (something we should all strive for).
It has been a very good experience however so far. Off course there have been times that you want to hit you head of the wall, and maybe more than a few times, but overall it has been a very blessed time, and I thank God and his Holy Mother for guiding me this far. Hopefully I will be able to focus a bit more on this year in the coming months. This year is the hopefully the foundation of the rest of my life, and I am determined to try and make it a foundation of rock and not of sand!
Well, I won't blab any longer, as I could probably write a whole book about this. I think however that atricles on a blog should be brief...