Monday, August 28, 2006

"No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." ~ Matthew 6:24

"If it does not please you to serve the LORD,decide today whom you will serve..." Jeremiah 24:15a

This afternoon, I think of these quotes. Today I give up autonomous control of "my own" finances. Hallelujah! Yes, I know, it seems counter-intuitive that I would be happy about that. But as much as I hate balancing my check book, paying bills and sorting through the legal verbage of contracts (cell phone etc) - I give up that autonomy happily.

Okay... seriously...

Perhaps I should explain a little more. Last year as a pre-novice, I was living in community and participating in community without living as if I had taken the vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability... Don't worry. As I get closer to vows, I'll explain those vows to the best of my ability. Now, however, as a novice I am now going to live as if vows had been taken... with all the "rights and responsibilities" that carries. Therefore, I will be on a budget, just like every other sister. Not everyone has the same budget as everyone has different needs, but everyone lives a life of simplicity and detachment to material things. Therefore, before going off to buy something I will now have to more seriously consider 1) the cost, 2) need or necessity?, and 3) motivation (with motivation being key).

Because I have yet to take vows, however, "my money" stays separate from the community money. After vows everything I earn and all cash given to me will go into the general community account. And no matter how much my paycheck says or how much cash people give me, I will still be on a budget (as are all the sisters). Everyone receives what she needs, but it's not dependant on how much she brings in or getting everything she wants. All assets are shared. This is part of what it means to live in true community.

"They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need." Acts 2:42-45
I hope that makes sense to all those who read this. If not, feel free to send me any questions. However, you can compare it to a married couple having joint accounts... well, in some ways it's the same.

I should be going now. There are many books awaiting me... and much to pray for/about. I hope all of you are well and I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to write anytime.

With many blessings!
Sr. Nicole