The Last 47 Days...

47 days left of Novitiate. Some of us have eagerly been counting since the winter. This Memorial Day weekend made it even more apparent that our year is almost over; soon we return to our respective provinces to take First Vows.

So like most terms, there's a desire to "check out." In high school we called it "Senior-itis." The year's almost done; we're almost out of here; let's just coast the rest of the way.

But is that the best way to spend the most unique year of my life?

When I was a Postulant, I remember friars telling me: "There's no other year like being a Novice. Don't let it go to waste." But I remember finding it hard to enjoy the Novitiate at first because there was nothing to do! In reality there was nothing external to do, which is always a good distraction to not worry about what's going on inside.

Looking back at the year, I started to see the internal opportunities I've taken - things I've tried to change about myself: quitting smoking, more exercise, better use of silent prayer, discussing my feelings instead of bottling them up; new things I've started to do: waking up sooner, living in a communal setting, working with elderly in assisted-living; and things I have to accept about myself as an individual.

Someone who knew me 2 years ago might not recognize the person I've become, but I think that's for the better. And if I've accomplished so much in the time I have, perhaps there's a few more surprised in store for me during this last month and a half.

The end is in sight; my prayer is not to focus too much on the next leg of the journey until I've walked the rest of this road.

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