The novitiate lasts about two years. This is the time to lay deep foundations for a contemplative journey that will last a whole lifetime. We learn that our vocation is completely centred on a relationship with Jesus, who sets us free to love as he has taught us. We find out how to look beyond our own needs to the needs of the Church, the community and the needs of all humanity. We deepen our knowledge of Scripture, Carmelite life – its saints and spirituality, our knowledge and love of the mystery of God through worship and study.
Looking to Mary, our mother and sister, we ponder the scriptures as she leads us to ‘Do whatever he, (Jesus) tells you’. Study of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience, and the demands and freedom they offer us, is vital before entering the next stage of formation. The rhythm of the daily life is also part of formation, as is life in the community.