Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Beginning the Monastic Journey

Susan being welcomed as a
Postulant by our Prioress,
Sr. Juliann Babcock
Our new postulant, Susan Rakers sends out an email (postcard) every so often letting her friends know about her life as a postulant at Our Lady of Grace.  I was particularly struck by this one and so we thought we'd share it with you.

For this reason prayer ought to be short and pure, unless, perhaps it is lengthened by the inspiration of divine grace. At the community exercises, however, let the prayer always be short, and the sign having been given by the Superior, let all rise together.
(RB 20)
As I got ready for bed this Monday night, I was a little bit sore. I had been physically active during the last few days. I helped setup and take down a benefit fashion show and luncheon to support the retreat center, Benedict Inn. I went to clean the house that I have up for sale in Fishers, IN. On Monday morning, I was gathering and doing laundry for housekeeping.

Just as I have been physically active, I have been exercising some new and rusty spiritual muscles.  As I mention in my previous postcard, Postulancy is like being at base camp for a long mountain climbing expedition. One focus at base camp is physical training. For me and my fellow climbers (the Sisters), it is Cross training, spiritual exercising or prayer.

Daily, as a community, we have Morning and Evening prayer (Lauds and Vespers) along with Mass. There is also Mid-Day prayer on weekdays and Saturday before lunch. They are scheduled team practices where we support each other by our presence and praying in one voice.  Everyone also does private weight lifting training.  I do night prayer (Compline) on my own which includes an exam of conscience.  Individually (but sometimes as a group ), we do Lectio Divina or reflective Scripture reading.  That is a postcard in itself.  I also take some time to reflect each morning and night in my room or cell.

As we are strengthening our relationship with God, we are also praying for our benefactors, family, friends and the cares of the world.  Prayer builds that faith and trust in God or those anchors and lines that I mention in my first postcard.


Postulant Susan Rakers


Wednesday, I had my baptism of flour from the industrial size mixer in the kitchen as I was trying to making a large batch of Snickerdoodle cookies.  I learned not to try mixing in 22 cups of flour all at once. It took me a half of an hour to clean up the mess.