The third & final leg of my journey brought me to Hawthorne, NY. Rosary Hill Home to be more exact. I was back for my second visit. Much had changed & much had stayed the same since the nun run. Mother Edward is now Sr Edward & Sr Anne Marie is now Mother. Sr Alma is going to be taking over for Sr Teresa Marie as novice mistress & vocations director within the week. The noviciate got extended to 2 years. And most exciting, the Kenya mission passed, so we’re going to Kenya! Amy Q & Sr Catherine Marie were pretty much the same. The visit was wonderful & crazy, awesome & scarey, happy & sad, simple & confusing. There is way too much to discuss on this blog. Discerning a vocation is a tricky & tiring thing. But it’s also wonderful & filled with many graces & blessings. I was quite happy to be back. I was able to see many sisters & patients that I hadn’t seen since spring break.
It was especially wonderful to see Amy. For all of you who don’t know, she’s a postulate who graduated from Christendom the year before we got there. We were able to talk often during free time. I caught her up on what was happening at Christendom & she on the happenings at Hawthorne. We talked a lot about vocations, temptations, confusion, certitude, piano lessons, & chocolate.
Isn’t it just so that whenever you’re trying to make a good impression, you always end up doing something stupid? Well, as you can imagine, I did plenty. Most of them probably aren’t that bad, but I was so bent on being perfect, it seemed like the end of the world. One night I was washing dishes & Sr TM handed me a container that had held lemonade. I had just washed it the night before, but had forgotten how the top came off. After I struggled, pulling & yanking on it from various angles for about 5 or so minutes, Sr TM took it from me & simply unscrewed it. Oh. After lunch one time,I was washing dishes again & Sr CM handed me the same lemonade container. (No, I didn’t try to pull the cover off again!) This time it had a little lemonade left in it. Now the lemonade was very good & I thought it’d be a shame to waste it. So I unscrewed the cap & tried to drink it quickly, for I didn’t know if Sr TM would approve. Unfortunately I did so too hastily. Very little lemonade actually got into my mouth. I was practically swimming in the sticky liquid. Luckily I was wearing an apron & no one saw me. But it did remind me of the time I tried to stuff a whole spare rib in my mouth while putting food away on the nun run. One time on the floor, I was washing something out in a patient’s room & I reached for a paper towel & knocked a bottle of disinfecting spray onto the floor. The top came off &, well, the floor got really clean! Another time I ripped an attends in half while helping with patient care. While leaving chapel one day, I decided to put the kneeler up. The nun run girls may remember that the front of the first pew is about to fall over & the kneeler is crazy heavy, so putting the kneeler up is a fairly dangerous thing to do. Somehow I forgot this important fact. Now I didn’t knock the thing over, but there was a loud boom & a crack that echoed throughout the chapel. Sr TM was not impressed. When it was nice out, we ate lunch in the “summer house.” I liked it, but there were large, biting black ants there. On Sunday, one somehow managed to crawl halfway up the inside of my dress before I noticed it. I had finished eating, so I quickly excused myself to the bathroom, grabbed my tray & ran through the cloister. My now empty glasses clattered about on my tray & my silverware jingled. I’m sure I was a sight, for Sr R commented on the racket she heard during lunch. And of course there were all the horrible black marks left by my shoes every time I tripped over the floor.
“Religious decorum,” as it’s called, will, indeed, be a hard thing for me to grasp. I must say good-bye to skipping, running, jumping, sitting on grass, snorting loudly, and just being crazy. Think about what you normally see nuns do & what you normally see me do. The don’t quite match up, do they? Haha, that’s going to take some getting used to. But as hard as that’s going to be, there is something that is going to really put that in it’s place. I need to take a page out of Mary Beth’s blog about learning to be alone. It’s really a very important thing. It’s a lesson the Lord has been trying to teach me most of my life, but I’ve refused to learn it. Now it is of the utmost importance, and I’m playing catch-up. I’m watching the Fellowship of the Ring as I type this, so forgive the quote, but it seems pertinent.
“You are a ring bearer, Frodo. To bear a ring of power is to be alone.”
“. . .Then I know what I must do. It’s just, I’m afraid to do it.”
“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”
I know what you all are thinking, “So what now? What happens now?” Well, as one of our Holy Land “pilgrimage animators” would say, “The question to the answer is” wait. Normally, I would have to speak to Mother Anne Marie before I get an application, but she told Sr TM to just go ahead & send it to me. So as soon as I get that, I’ll fill it out & send it back. I also need to make an appointment with Alpha & Omega Inst for psychological testing. (Yes, we’ll find out once & for all if I’m sane!) Amy said that it’ll probably be at least December before I get in, though, because they’re really, uber busy. If (when?) I pass that, I have to have some really in-depth physical (oh joy.) Then if I pass that & they still want me, I’m in. So this may be awhile. Not 3 more years awhile, but probably 1 more.