This has been an interesting time for me. I have just six short week left before my canonical year of novitiate ends and I move out. Some days this seems less real than others, but today it feels very real and very near as I helped to welcome the new group of novices to the novitiate. I am surprised at how nostalgic I feel as I experience these welcomings from a new perspective. In addition to the new arrivals we also welcomed a new candidate to the community yesterday. Witnessing and participating in the entrance ceremony was an amazing experience for me. In the Mercy community we have a tradition of blessing individuals with a sung triple Amen of affirmation; I have been the recipient of this blessing many times. Now, being able to offer it to another woman stepping out on her journey in Mercy made me feel as if I had come full circle from my own entrance four years ago to this next big step in my life as I finish my novitiate year.
Another special moment for me as I witnessed this ceremony was the second reading (Song of Songs 2:10-13) which just happens to be one of my favorites. I was so struck by this reading because this passage describes spring when it is safe and easy to travel and when figs are easy to pick along the way so there is always enough to eat. This is a beautiful reading for an entrance ceremony and it fits my own experience as I prepare to leave and continue on my own journey deeper into mercy. I was so grateful to be reminded that now is the acceptable time for me, and that there will always be enough for the journey no matter where my life in Mercy takes me.