This week has been very full already. Sunday was my birthday--26 years old! I got more birthday cards and phone calls than I knew what to do with. I think maybe the people back home were extra aware that I was somewhere new, as were the people here, so it was double what I could have expected. We spent the evening here at a wonderful Mexican restaurant, then came home to play Rummikub and eat some cake and ice cream. Liz asked if I wanted a certain kind of ice cream. Growing up we used to get the off brand chocolate chip in the big tub. Is there anything better?! (Picture detail... Sr. Liz with whom I live is in the front left. Sr. Roseanne who lives in a little apartment attached to our house is in the back left. Myself front right. And Sr. Mary Clare, the other sister with whom I live, is in the back right.)
The last two days have been spent at a workshop with Fr. Ray Carey on the skills needed to live a consecrated celibate life. Two (sometimes three) CSJs there with about 25 Jesuit novices. It was kind of fun to hear how the presentation was given recognizing that Father Ray's audience was primarily male. The presentation was given from the perspective of God as Shalom. Shalom is popularly translated as "peace," but we were given a more in-depth description: wholeness, balance, integration, harmony, the Gospel perfection we CSJs speak about in our maxims. From that framework, Fr. Ray, a self-described behaviorist, gave intimacy skills needed to live life as celibate lovers. His presentation was assuming a high inner locus of control, and, thus, left it up to each of us to develop and practice the skills he presented. Yes, maybe we are each called to be there as novices, but what we do with that call is highly personal within the context of our particular congregation. I'll have plenty to pray with tomorrow on my prayer day.
At Sarah's I'm trying to learn more of the ins and outs of our U.S. immigration policy. Looking at the policies in regards to the women's experiences with whom I am in contact as well as the stories daily in the paper here, I know there is lots to learn.
I suppose that is where I am currently--lots to learn.