Well, time is starting to fly by. My last official day at SJA is this Thursday though I will probably be filling in after that when I am needed. I have to admit that that shall be in itself a major adjustment. I have been working there for about five years now (my five year anniversary was the day before Saint Aloysius’ Day … to this day, I credit my getting this job to good Saint Aloysius’ intercession) and though I have been but a lowly office assistant, I have become one of the pastoral staff.
I have also gotten a great deal of experience in the parish setting. In fact, I just pinch-hit for Monsignor on Thursday because he was not going to make it to close adoration so I went in and led it. And no, I did not vest up and play priest (women will NEVER become priests … it’s a non-issue in the Church’s eyes). I would have to say that my a Capella singing of “Tantum Ergo” and “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” was pretty good. My voice was shaky but it worked. Monsignor said exactly what I did was what I could do. He was all “You should have vested in an alb and cincture,” I was all “but you are 6’7″, I am ‘fun-sized.’ Your hems would be all bedraggled and of course, I would be the one to fix it.” Though I have to admit the image of me in one of his uber-long albs does amuse me.
My getting closer and closer to entrance day brings about many thoughts: what I am going to miss. What I am going to experience. The whole mystery of it all. What I need to do before I can enter.
There are many things I shall miss but as Monsignor reminds me, it’s just that I am moving onto a new step in my discernment. And, of course, great joy often comes at the price of some degree of sacrifice, some more than others. No doubt it shall be an adjustment but moving away to college was also an adjustment and though I cried my eyes out on a certain priest’s expensive green chasuble at Mass before leaving for orientation freshmen year, I survived and thrived. Through all the homesickness. Through all the late nights (I never pulled a single all-nighter) working on papers and studying. Through all the early mornings spent walking through the thick Grand Rapids snow and AQ’s sand slicks (they did not use salt … makes Mother Gaia cry).
In college, I also had many great experiences I would not have had otherwise. I met new people. Many different people from different backgrounds. I played late-night rounds of Guitar Hero in between periods of Red Wings hockey. I wandered around downtown Grand Rapids with friends. I found my parish home away from home at Saint Isidore’s. The friends I made in college I love dearly and I treasure dearly. Some of my friends from college I have known from my days in grade school. I treasure the memories of silent study parties in the library having long conversations with people sitting across from me over AIM.
I am going to miss family. They may get under my skin (and God knows I get under theirs at times) but I still love them. I am going to miss SJA, my second home. I am going to miss the people of SJA. I am going to miss the feeling I get when I walk into the church or chapel. I am going to miss the unmistakeable scent of Myrrh Rose and Damascus Rose incense that envelopes me whenever I walk into church. I am going to miss a great many things.
But what are these things compared to what God has in store for me? It is just going to be a particular adjustment because I am a creature of habit. I thrive on ritual. I thrive on having a set schedule and way of doing things. That would probably explain my love of liturgy and theology. lol
And even when Old Goat Legs (aka the Evil One) gets into my head, I can feel my guardian angel whacking him away and reminding me of the joy of that which is to come. And I am convinced with all my heart that this is where I am to go. I feel with human certainty that this is where God wants me and where my true joy is going to be found.
I have a lot to do as well.
I have to get my license. Yeah, I am 23 years old and I don’t have my license. I never saw a need before. Besides, car insurance for a person my age is redonkulous and I had more pressing expenses I needed to cover. But I have been driving lately and I hope and pray I do well on my road test and written exam. Pray God’s will on this. This is my biggest thing to be accomplished.
I have to write out my will. I know? What do I own? I don’t have that many clothes. I don’t own more than three or four pairs of shoes. My most expensive possessions are my laptop (and the software installed on it) and my iPod. I have to get a back up battery for Aloysius and I have to get a new battery for Caecelia. Though I probably do have a rather sizable theology library, at least for a fledgling theologian. Lots of Ratzinger. And my collection of antique prayer books and rosaries. But those things are more of sentimental value. That will be interesting.
I also figure that while I am writing out my temporal will, I may as well plan my funeral. God knows I know how to do that. Been assisting at those for years now. I have my celebrants picked out. I ain’t going to be cremated. I just have to figure out whether the Felicians are buried in certain cemeteries or whether I could be buried with my family. I will do whatever the sisters say. I have an idea of what readings I want. Music-wise … pretty traditional without needing mothballs. And there will be copious amounts of incense. I love the symbolism and the scent. lol
I have to fill out a medical history and get a physical. The medical history will be interesting. I have to put down my hearing loss though I can be quite self-conscious about it. It only rears its ugly head particularly when I am really sick or when the weather changes dramatically.
I have to get my postulant jumpers altered. One of the soon-to-be novices has graciously given me a few more of hers that I shall get when I move to Pittsburgh so when all is said and done, I shall have about seven … I am very lucky. I have three with me and those I shall have altered because they are a bit long.
And, I have to pack. I am going to be receiving a letter soon from the postulant director about what I am to pack and probably other things I need to know for when I move in in early September and for what to expect in formation.
Yeah, I have quite a lot to do. But God will provide. He always does. If you could pray for me, I would appreciate it much. Prayer is very powerful.
My experience of postulancy will have the added bit of interesting-ness because I will be the only one entering this year. But, God clearly has a plan. Who am I or anyone else to judge His plans? Providence always suffices to a greater degree than we can imagine.
Here is the basic timeline for what is coming up in the near future:
28/29 July: My last day working at SJA (though I will be filling in when needed)
6-8 August: Going to a vocation conference with one of the Sisters from Livonia
13-14 August: Spending the weekend in Livonia for the Mass of Thanksgiving for two of the new novices
5-7 September: Move-in at the postulancy in Pittsburgh
8 September: Entrance
I will be posting again soon. I just wanted to prove to you all that I am still alive. Some of my SJA people want me to keep this up while I am in formation so they can keep in touch. I cannot guarantee yes or no but I can hope that I shall be able to update it every once in a while at least. Oh, and I am looking forward to the Skype chats. But the Lord knows that I shall be busy with pesky postulant stuff.
Have a blessed Sunday!