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Sunday, December 02, 2007


Laudetur Ihesus Christus!

Sorry... a friend of mine used to write 'CIX' and it took me a while to realise he didn't mean 109. Greetings all. I am returnèd unto this sceptred isle (Jersey) for the not-exactly-joyful occasion of my grandfather's funeral. For those who may wonder, there has been email access in France on account of a wonderful local library (free interweb) but no access to blogger, hence no posts.

So, after two months of... umm... 'playing at nuns'... I am in deep cultural shock at being turfed out into the world, albeit temporarily. I can only sympathise with our dear seminarians, who presumably get this every year and not least when they are finally elevated to the diaconate and then sent out to far-flung corners of the world. Anyway, it gives my an opportunity to update my dear readers on the last few months, which is a blessing (assuming you're reading this of your own free will...???).

So... two months into our little experiment. What is there to tell? Actually, it's about as exciting as doing-the-same-thing-every-day tends to be. Wake up in the morning. Pray. Eat food. Wash and iron clothes (my job). Wash and iron napkins. Iron altar linen. Courses on la vie spirituelle, la vie de prière, la vie en commun. Latin class for those who need it. Sounds incredibly boring, really. EXCEPT...

1) The Holy Spirit is blatently working His metaphorical socks off in the midst of all of this. I now have a probably-blasphemous image in my head of the Holy Spirit as a dove wearing big wooly bedsocks. This may need to be confessed... But you get the idea. It may just be illusion, but there have been huge clarifications already for me and I can already see the little beginnings of progress in myself and, more clearly, in the others. Part of this is slightly sad, in that we've already lost two of the original seven from the house - but let us rejoice rather that they have followed His will.

2) His work is being made considerably easier by several factors:
a) The fact that although we are all relatively young, not used to regular life at all and... umm... are suffering from all the problems to be expected from first-years without a balancing contingent (ahem) we all actually have something in common with all of the others, including for example me being able to share my passion for music with several. There have been no huge falling outs. As far as I can tell, we all actually like each other, which makes fraternal charity a lot easier!
b) We have been blessed with the presence of Fr. V, whose reputation is undeniably borne out IRL. I probably don't have to worry about him reading this, but still should not elaborate. At any rate, let us say that when the Good Lord presents one with a guide who is half the Curé d'Ars and half the Little Flower, with a good, sound Thomism thrown in for balance, one is exceptionally grateful.
c) The opportunity to confess to someone else. Sanctity freaks me out.
d) The presence of the Blessed Sacrament in the house most of the time. Even when the chapel was in a corridor, causing the joyous necessity of finding a mantilla in order to visit the bathroom.

There has, of course, been the blessing of Sunday Mass in the parish, daily Adoration and all on top of this. And various trips out (very local so far), usually on Sunday afternoons. I have seen my first incorrupt body (not St. Bernadette, though we're hopeful!). Further afield, next Monday we appear to be headed off to Spain to visit a real (ahem) community for the week. This will hopefully do us some good :D

It's actually really hard to write, because nothing particularly exciting has been going on, in mundane terms at any rate. Inside... ahem... that's between Him and me, mainly... but in brief I am learning to listen, learning to be free. Learning quite slowly, admittedly! Blessed be God, for that He has given me this opportunity to learn. Please pray for the Fraternity and all the kind benefactors who have helped to render it possible.

Julie Michelle

PS There are some photos of the slightly less pious moments available at if I've got the link right...

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