Monday, April 29, 2019

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

Although she has been helping out on dish teams, reading at prayer regularly, and working at a community ministry for more than a year, yesterday was a special day, indeed. The Erie Benedictine community welcomed Jackie Small as a postulant, the first part of the journey toward discerning a monastic vocation with our community.

The ceremony, which involves knocking on the door to the welcome and blessing of the women who create the community, is simple, yet touching. I still remember looking at the group of people in front of me when I knocked three and a half years ago and seeing those women who would teach, guide, listen, and accompany; it was a bit overwhelming and so full of gratitude

Whatever Jackie ends up discerning for herself, we are graced with her presence in the here and now, and we offer our prayers of support to her. Of course, I might be a bit biased, but I hope her journey with the community lasts and lasts and joy and more of it.

Jackie is a wise woman, a passionate voice, and a true seeker. Yay for us all!

This was the minute no one speaks of,
when she could still refuse.
A breath unbreathed,
She did not cry, “I cannot, I am not worthy,”
nor, “I have not the strength.”
She did not submit with gritted teeth,
raging, coerced.
Bravest of all humans,
consent illumined her.
The room filled with its light,
the lily glowed in it,
and the iridescent wings.
courage unparalleled,
opened her utterly.

(Consent, by Denise Levertov)

Let us walk in the holy presence.

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