I finally have a small break in the action... This past Saturday, at dawn, was my dedication ceremony into the religious order that I had posted about previously. For the next few days, I worked on a term paper, the 'final' exam, so to speak, the topic of which was to write about the calling that drew me to seek to enter into a contemplative order such as this. I was to write about my thoughts, feelings, and experiences starting from when I first began to 'bump up against' the calling that I was hearing in my heart, and to describe all that took place along the path from that first time until I eventually underwent the dedication ceremony, including any thoughts, feelings, or insights that I experienced during, or after the ceremony. This, as you can imagine, was quite a long and arduous path, and therefore, the paper was quite the longest that I have been required to write so far.
In any case, I have done so, turned it in, and am now awaiting the final 'ratification' of my dedication from the superior of my order. Once this has taken place, I will be a full-fledged member of the order, though a novice member, naturally...
The down-and-dirty part of the work will then take place, both externally and internally, as I work towards both spiritual enlightenment and ordination... which are two major milestones along my chosen path, internal, and external, respectively.
I feel that the experience, short though it has been so far, has changed me in some ways... small ways, but, large changes begin with small ones, I suppose...
Since my order is an 'eremetic' order, meaning that do not live within the confines of a monastery, but live in the community and follow our path by virtue of our own self-disclipline, this also means that I must work in order to pay the bills. Time is a precious resource, and, as a result of the somewhat hectic schedule of study, meditation, prayer, work, family (we are able to marry... I would not be in this order otherwise... as my wife is at the very center of my life, spiritual, emotional, temporal and all else...), etc., I have, regrettably, not been able to string enough minutes together into a line to be able to sit down and blog.
Since I am in 'wait for grade' limbo, and have no pressing assignments, other than a few reading assignments, I am able to do so now!! I missed you guys!!
One of the projects that I worked on during this portion of my training, was to construct my own set of devotional prayer beads. They are made of semi-precious stones, and took a bit of work. I think they are beautiful, and wanted to share them with you;
Here is a photo of me. Newly dedicated, and on the first wobbly steps upon this path. (Elysia/Marcheline made the beautiful Prayer Stole for me by hand! Its gorgeous!)
I'm off to eat some food. Please keep coming back. I'll be blogging a bit more regularly, I promise!!
In Peace and Brotherhood,