Friday, August 10, 2012

This is My Life

It was suggested to me by a friend (Paula Binsol) to write a blog about my daily activities.  An excellent idea, dear Paula!  I will also mention, as suggested, my favorite prayers and/or ways to praise God.  This is for all the men and women out there discerning their vocation!
Our schedule is basically the same Monday through Friday with a few variations here and there, so I will share what a typical day is like:
• 5:15 a.m. -- (Not a requirement)  I go for an hour walk with any Sister who wishes to join me
• 6:40 a.m. -- The Sisters gather together in Chapel for 40 minutes of silent meditation
• 7:20 a.m. -- We pray Morning Prayer from the Franciscan Office together
• 8:00 a.m. -- Mass at a nearby Parish
• 8:45 a.m. -- Breakfast together, my favorite meal :)
• 9:45 a.m. -- Class with one of the Professed Sisters in the house
• 11:40 a.m. -- Common Rosary (on Mondays and Wednesdays)
• 12:00 p.m. -- Lunch together
• 1:00-2:00 p.m. -- Adoration in half-hour shifts  (on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays)
• If you are scheduled to cook, somewhere in here would be your prep time
• 3:00 p.m. -- Second class of the day
• 4:45 p.m. -- We pray Evening Prayer together from the Franciscan Office
• 5:00 p.m. -- Dinner together
7:00 p.m. -- Recreation (on Tuesdays and Sundays)
• Times may vary due to individual sleeping habits J -- Private Night Prayer

Sister Bridget hammin' it up for the kiddos!
That is our basic schedule, although as I said it does change from time to time.  For example, Tuesdays are our outreach days, so we do not have classes or Adoration.  When I say "outreach" I mean it is the day we go out for ministry.  Our ministries vary from spending time with children to visiting our older Sisters who live next door.  We also help tutor adults who are learning English and entertain our neighbors at the Adult Day Care.  In the fall and spring we also attend a Scripture class through the Archdiocese, which has been a wonderful source of wisdom and friendships.

As for the weekend, Saturday is usually a day of relaxation, so Morning and Evening Prayer is private.  Sometimes there are special events to attend, or we novices go shopping together for our monthly outing.  On Saturdays we are also given the option to attend 11 o'clock Mass with the Little Sisters of the Poor (Sleep in?  Oh yeah.), and on Sundays we spend time with our Sisters in the central convent.  We have breakfast with them as well as Morning Prayer and Mass, and then one Sunday a month we help at a local soup kitchen where the Sisters provide a hot meal for the guests.
At the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center
On occasion the novices and their directors go on outings together, or educational trips.  One such trip was a visit to the Pequot Tribe Museum; another was accompanying our Sisters to the Aquarium in Mystic; there were also a couple of trips to the water; even some trips to Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.  I have found that both our daily routine and the special events are equally exciting.  What we learn during our time at home seems to enhance our time outside of the house.  Due to what I learn through our novitiate classes, I am able to laugh with strangers, share myself with others and give from what I have received.  Although this year has not been easy, it has been a blessing.  I have struggled with confusion and frustration, but in the midst of it, God has taught me patience and communication.

A large part of our lives is prayer.  Beyond the prayer we experience together in Chapel, we are also encouraged to spend time in prayer on our own throughout the day.  Here are my favorite ways to praise God and to converse with Him:

• making rosaries
• praying outside, whether with a book, an Office (Divine Office, Franciscan Office, or Office of the Passion), or simply by enjoying the outdoors
• walking
• talking with my Sisters... and sometimes with plants, such as Joseph my tree
• journaling -- I love to write!
• making candles
• dancing
• drawing
• painting

Yup, I made that candle and those Rosaries!
When it comes to praying on my own, I have discovered that there are a multitude of ways to enjoy my time of reflection or meditation.  The type of environment I need to create for myself shifts from day to day, or even by the hour.  Sometimes I enjoy listening to music (Danielle Rose mostly) and sometimes I prefer silence.  Sunny weather and rainy days are both great for me; each have their own ways to inspire!  When I pray at night I usually enjoy a dark room with candles lit to remind myself of the mystery of God.  I consider sleep a prayer, too!  I love to sleep: it is the only time when all my senses have been quieted and I can be 100% open to the Lord.  I take my dreams very seriously and they usually end up becoming a large part of my prayer life as well.  Prayer is not always exciting or instantly gratifying, but faithfulness to prayer produces an abundance of grace which may not always be recognized or felt.  It took me a while to learn this, but I think I finally caught on ;)
I hope I was able to answer some questions or satisfy some curiosity, but if any questions remain, do not hesitate to post them in the comment box below!

~May God continue to bless and keep you~

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"Behold, I make all things new"... Even websites!

Pax et Bonum my blogging family!

I just wanted to share the new website for the Felician Sisters in North America. It is so well done! On the site you will see tons of inspiring photographs, learn a little more about us, be able to send prayer requests, and watch some videos. The videos are each about 2 to 3 minutes long and feature individual Sisters who share a brief summary of their vocation stories. Just in case you were wondering, one of the videos may feature someone you know... Hint hint ;) To access the videos, go to the dropdown menu that says "Become a Felician Sister" and it is under "Vocation Stories". Don't stop there, though, there is much more to enjoy!

Thank you for journeying with us!