Novitiate Reception of Erica Seago and Jodi Hart

27 July 2013

 

Novitiate Reception 1

Sister Anne Shepard (center) offers a prayer for the new
novices Erica Seago (left) and Jodi Hart. 

 Novitiate Reception 2

Novice Erica Seago gets a hug of congratulations from Sister Cecilia Olson, Novice Director,
while Novice Jodi Hart looks on.

Novitiate Reception 3

Reflection by Sister Anne Shepard, Prioress

When I first read the gospel for tonight I smiled.  How perfect the selection on the weekend when our two postulants take the leap of entering the novitiate. The message that Jesus is sending is very simple and very apropos.  

"How do I pray?"

"Simple... say the Our Father."

But wait there is more. "And I tell you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be open to you.  For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."

Erica and Jodi, you will enter a year that has prayer as the primary focus.  You have the luxury of having a year to concentrate on who you are before God and with God.  The sacrifices you are making  are real.  So are the benefits of ridding your self of some distractions. Rely on the words you just heard.  Note the extremes.  Jesus doesn't say sometimes if you ask I'll answer, or sometimes if you seek you will find, or sometimes if you knock I'll open a door. No, Jesus is saying that this promise applies to everyone.   If the prayer of petition and the responses are daily, if they are regular, the benefits are promised always.  

Sisters and guests, friends and family members, the best gift that we can give to these two is a promise that we will strengthen our own prayer lives, our own fidelity to a discipline of quiet in the presence of God.  

Erica and Jodi, thank you for agreeing to continue your monastic journey with us.  Count on our prayers and the outpouring of grace by our generous God.