Every novice receives a new religious name, by which she will henceforth be known, and whose mystery becomes her own in a gradually deepening sense. Because a life of prayer and penance is a life which generates that joy and peace which the world cannot give or take away, the day that a postulant becomes a novice is a day of special rejoicing in the monastery.
The Noviceship of approximately two years is a time of deeper evaluation and formation. Now the life of prayer and penance is embraced in fuller detail. The young Poor Clare novice, eager to give herself to God and to spend herself for souls, learns the enduring paradoxes of religious life: how freedom means letting go of her own will and choosing to obey Another’s; how poverty means she will always have something else to give to God; how her conversion must begin anew every day; how she must lose her life to find it; how the Spouse more fair than all the sons of men is the disfigured Man upon the cross.
Noviceship is a time of preparation and expectation, of looking to the day when she may publicly proclaim these values to be her own by professing temporary vows, within the context of the sacrifice of the Mass.