Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Liberation and Perseverance

January 11 was the six month anniversary of my final profession as a sister in this community. It seemed like a time to take stock. If I have to sum up how it feels, I'd say that "liberation" and "perseverance" are the words that best capture my post-profession experience.
I could say, at one level, that not much has changed. I'd been living into the life for five years and I still follow the same schedule: pray, work, eat, take some recreation/study time. Of course, the fact that I changed jobs a couple of months after profession and became Communications Director for the monastery has had an impact, but that's simply a change in the work element of my life, not a change in the overall way that I'm living.

In fact, I've been surprised by how different it feels being perpetually professed. It's very liberating. I'm here. I've committed forever to this path to God. That's a good feeling. There is a sense of freedom in not having to think about choosing and, instead, concentrating on living out the choice I've made.

Yet, I'm also conscious that there's another strand to my experience. Profession had become this big event that I was working up to. Now I've crossed the divide and it's a bit of let down to find, well, that I'm still me, the same person I was before, with no greater insight into the mystery of life, death and the universe. This is where perseverance comes in: to keep on going, to keep seeking, when life seems fairly mundane.  I think I'm living what many monastics have told me: the life feels ordinary; flashes of spiritual fire are the exception, not the norm. The fact is that I have to keep my eye on the ultimate goal and purpose of my being here, which is seeking God, and live that search out through the ordinariness of every day.

Karen Rose, OSB

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