Thursday, July 10, 2008

Yearly Reflections #1

Well, It's coming up on one year in the convent, summer is upon us and it's been quiet around here as of late. So I've been doing some reflecting, as you can probably imagine. This will be the first in a series of posts on my reflections of the past year. One thing that has been surprising is how many misconceptions I had concerning spiritual growth. I had thought that this process would be more measurable, more tangible. Instead, I'm often left wondering if I'm progressing at all. Take for instance peace of mind, how how easy it is to lose it. You see, one day you're going along just fine, feeling pretty holy and then BAM! You catch yourself being caught up in some relentless interior chatter concerning things like "Why can't we just have some silence, this IS supposed to be a house of prayer!" or "I don't think I can take another day of Sister's enthusiasm!", and so on, Blah, Blah, Blah! You think your moving past all the pettiness and then it comes rushing back, flooding your mind and washing away any sense of peace you've fooled yourself into thinking was your new state of being. It's been a very humbling experience, let me tell you. In fact, one learns that humility is a major lesson to learn if you are to grow at all, and in fact if you're not grappling with it you're probably going nowhere. I really thought I was a pretty humble person, but I think I had it confused with considerate. I wasn't taking into account how fast I can size people up, or how little patience I really do have. But the good news is, it does get better with prayer, practice and the realization that I probably drive people nuts as well! The miracle is that we do make it in community, and with the Lord's grace we come to love each other, warts and all. That is the difference between a community who's focus is on their relationship with God, and a group of people just trying to live together.