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Change – Transition – Transformation – Oh my!

by Katie Anders - Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Change and transition are always part of what we are experiencing since life is never static. There are times, however, when the experience of change and transition happens in more profound ways. For the three of us who are novices in the ICCN this year, this was never truer than on August 21st when we arrived from different congregations and countries to share this part of our journey together.

Change and transition took the shape of saying good-bye to the familiar, settling into our new spaces, getting to know one another, learning the neighborhood, starting classes and meeting other novices from around the world at Catholic Theological Union, and discovering our unique places in the rhythm of life in the novitiate.

One of our first classes helped us to see the difference between change, transition, and transformation. Change and transformation are analogous to starting or endpoints and transition is the process that gets us from one to the other. When we are in transition there is no correct amount of time and no right or wrong emotions that “should” be experienced. Our transitions between change and transformation are as unique as we are. The same is also true for transformation. Each of us is on

the way to transformation, but it doesn’t happen automatically or uniformly. It is an internal process that we have to participate in as we open ourselves to the Spirit and pay attention to its movement in our lives. Our thoughts, words and actions all contribute to the transformation happening within.

The beautiful season of fall mirrors what we are experiencing day-to-day as we make our way through these first months of the novitiate…learning, growing, changing, transitioning, leaning into the wonderful possibility of transformation – oh my! It reminds me of a favorite quote from Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön:

“All you need to know is that the future is wide open, and you are about to create it

by what you do.”

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