Thursday, February 4, 2010
February 4 – Take Off Your Coat and Stay Awhile
What must it be like, to remove the last vestiges of life in the world?
It cannot be just the shoes and stockings, the dress and petticoat. Imagine - you’ll not need a purse again, or the debit card inside. Ever.
There are the earrings Grandmother gave you for Christmas the year you turned sixteen; you can send them to your cousin. She always liked them.
Nail polish! No more, and never again. Make-up? You gave it to your niece to use when she plays “dress up.”
Even in the Abbey, some girls look better than others without their make-up! It's alright! The Novice Mistress has helped many a postulant over those hurdles. Happily, you can say goodbye to the trials of comparison, as well. One day, even the long tresses of hair will be gone.
Everywhere you look, everything that moves is a sea of black or brown, and in the case of the Poor Claires, it might be a sea of shadows, for they patch their habits with whatever dark scraps come their way. Even Abbey cats seem often to come in black and white! Nevertheless, within weeks the new arrival starts to realize how poorly the habit hides individuality. Sister Elizabeth’s sense of humor cannot be masked; Sister Lucia’s tender heart is more evident than were her tattoos when she entered.
More than “you are what you eat,” women become what they wear. If clothes make the man, they define the woman. In Cor Unum, we no longer wear what we think we are. We clothe ourselves instead in what we hope to become.
Here in the monastery of the heart, we clothe ourselves in the righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we feel BEAUTIFUL!
photo by Kerry