Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I have two midterms tomorrow. I feel like I might fail....so I should probably study, but there is only so many facts about art and cults of the Roman Empire I can shove into my head. Classes abroad are just as difficult (if not more so) than the classes I take at home. The differences is that there is minimum effort put into these classes. This is to be excepted when there is so much more to see and do abroad than there is at home. But then exams come and there is no motivation to try and make up for all the effort that wasn't put into class in the first place.

Oh well, not much I can do now, SO might as well write. This is academic right???

Roma. My home for now, what can I say about thee? First of all, you're huge. And confusing to navigate. But Rome is beautiful and there is so much to explore. Today I wandered around in Trastevere, the suburb (or neighborhood or whatever) near where I am living. It has so many churches (like everywhere else in Rome) but most notably Santa Maria in Trastevere. It is, as the name suggests, dedicated to the Blessed Mother. I really like this church (or officially a minor basilica) because of this dedication. While in Rome I have met a group of Dominican sisters, whose order has a particular devotion to Mary. This also just happens to be the order I would like to join if I ever decide to become a sister. (Here is the website of the order if anyone is interested: https://www.sistersofmary.org/). There are some attitudes that this order holds towards abortion and some other controversial topics that I am not 100% on board about, but I like the devotion to Mary and the charism of Nova et Vetera. This means combing "New Evangelization, and the rich heritage of the “old”, the cherished tradition of the Order of Preachers". It seems like an order that is very in touch with modern times and very open to developing with the times, but they also are very focused on traditions of prayer and contemplation.

I could go on forever about this order. Really, I could. I like them so much and being able to meet some of the sisters has been one of the highlights of my time in Rome. Despite the strict order, discipline
, and dedication it takes to be a sister, these women are so normal. I feel strange saying it in this way, but when most people imagine nuns or priests, the picture someone in a different sector of society than the 'average' person. Perhaps they are to some extent, but they are just like anyone else, religious or nonreligious! I sat and talked with these sisters a few weeks ago, and it was like hanging out with my friends over a cup of coffee or something. They are funny, independent, smart, outgoing, and above all else, devoted women. And I so aspire to be like them.

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