As I reflect on the concluding stages of my initial formation in the novitiate, I can’t help but think of how God always manages to surprise us. “Why not have everyone in the world share this experience of novitiate with you, even if it is just for some months?” During this time of self-isolation from our day to day activities, I would like to share my experience and reflections in this, and hopefully share my positive outlook during this “world-wide time out.”
When I first started my novitiate, I was pretty overwhelmed by the amount of time I could sit in the silence and how long it seemed, I remember that one single day would feel like two. Housework and personal hobbies kept me busy. Having a proper diet and developing an exercise routine certainly helped pass the time. However, as much as we would like to fill our day with an endless combination of housework and hobbies, let us not forget, this opens up a window to elevate our prayer life and to be thankful. Through my experience, I have grown to admire and respect those who willingly choose this isolated way of life.
My hope for myself and others is when we feel hopeless and gloominess that can radiate from our day to day let us look toward the tree of life, the one that created it all and admit that we are afraid. Let us make this reality our own Gethsemane, going to God in our distress for fear of what would happen but openness to the Father’s will.