While reminiscing on my first experiences in the Novitiate House as a Postulant, I still felt wonder at the grace given to myself and my fellow Postulants and Novices. The fifteen days I lived with the Novices, already at the end of their Canonical Year, helped to gradually and informally introduce us to the lifestyle of a Novice so that by the time 08 December, the official starting date, came it found us not only acquainted with one another but also very much at home with the aim of our new Formation Program, the schedule and the whole structure of the Novitiate Life. Even the eight days of retreat, made together with the Novices, became more meaningful because we felt helped and challenged by the presence and example of our prayerful Novices.
God was so gracious in giving us the precious time to be with Him intimately for eight days; for myself and other Postulants, it was the first experience. We were so anxious indeed but Fr Thomas and Sr Licia guided us so generously with their sharings, availability and support. They helped us to interiorise and feel God’s love, as well as to see how to respond to His love in the very ordinary experiences of life.
The most awaited time arrived, on the Feast Day of our beloved Mama Mary on 08 December. It was for us an important event when at the beginning of the Eucharist Celebration, we pronounced our “YES” to the challenge of the call of our loving Jesus, even though still in a private way. I felt a great joy within, especially when Mother Gilda accepted our desire to be a Daughter of Divine Zeal, entrusting us to our Sister Formator who would help, guide and form us as true followers of Jesus, incarnating His compassionate love for the abandoned and vast harvest.
With grateful hearts, we continue to offer ourselves to the Lord, for this special gift of our call, the gift of our families and the congregation while making us a gift to the Church.
Mixed feelings flowed in our hearts then; we cannot describe these but to say that they are like the experience of a person who falls in love… We felt great. We felt everything. And we still do. Praise the Lord!
Image source: Daughters of Divine Zeal Italy