The Novitiate is a time for novices to be able to “taste God”. Throughout a typical week are many opportunities for prayer and reflection.
Every day at the novitiate a time is set aside for meditation, morning and evening Prayer of the Church and Mass. On Mondays and Wednesdays Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is held during the time of meditation, and on Fridays the meditation has a more penitential focus, with reflections on the Stations of the Cross, or similar.
Thursday mornings is a time for scripture sharing, typically a Lectio Divina style of sharing on the following Sunday’s Gospel and how it relates to our lives, and on Sunday evenings, after Sunday ministries, the Gospel is re-read and we share something that has happened during the week or during our time of ministry that has impacted our faith.
From time to time we also come together to learn and experience different styles of prayer, which we may not have been exposed to before.
Outside of these community prayer times, we still try to maintain a spirit of prayer throughout the day. After dinner is a quite time where we have time for personal prayer, writing in our journals, spiritual reading, or even just going for a contemplative walk.
“The best and most wonderful thing that can happen to you in this life is that you should be silent and let God work and speak.” Dag Hammerskold
During the week classes are held on Marist Spirituality and Marist History, looking at the Constitutions of the Society of Mary and the early founders, and also on Prayer and the Spiritual Life, which looks at some history of prayer including the Desert Fathers and some practical aspects of prayer, and Religious Life, which looks mainly at the Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata on the consecrated life and its mission in the church and in the world.
An important part of the novitiate is to have time for Spiritual Direction where each novice can individually share their spiritual life, their concerns and joys, with someone who will be able to gently guide them on their journey. The novitiate is a time where Spiritual Direction can be available as often as necessary to help the novice grow in their spirituality.