I'm in that weird end-of-summer place, trying to pull things together so that by Labor Day I feel I am really starting out freshly organized, my goals clear, my ways well-defined. That means I have another week to plow through the odds and ends that I really hoped to have plowed by summer, even though my summers typically include over a month in Boston (and the odds and ends are typically in stacks in my office in Chicago). This week I didn't make as much progress as I had hoped: our nightly visits from "Louie" (more about him in the future, when things will have hopefully been resolved) took a real toll on my sleep, leaving me barely able to function. So for the present, I'm camping out in a downstairs room, away from the rooftop activities. (Say a prayer for Louie's conversion in the meantime.)
Meanwhile, this week brings with it a real blessing to the community as three young women enter our postulancy program in St. Louis. Postulancy is a kind of transition program, a halfway house between an ordinary self-regulated "life in the world" and the life in community for mission lived in apostolic religious life. It can mean taking on a new "culture," the culture of the particular community, as well as conforming to a different sort of discipline in life and prayer. Some people find that their prayer life takes a real hit when they enter the convent, of all things. Not that they are praying less or even praying worse, but that enough is different (communities also have their own "flavor" of prayer) that the "felt," devotional dimension of prayer gives way to something less immediately reassuring. You can imagine what a trial that would be for someone who has just left her job, her car, her apartment--and suddenly finds that she must also, in some way, leave behind "her" prayer! The "official" entrance day for our new postulants is August 31; how about a special prayer for each of them, for their companions in the postulancy, and the director? Thanks.