Monday, April 19, 2010

April 20 – The Bread of Life

Every day in the monastery, in every way, the life of the community centers around the Eucharist . . . their communion with the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ.

Were we to talk about every imaginable aspect of cloistered life, all the disciplines and the vows and the silence and the meditation and the worship and the work and the prayer, if we left out this center-point, the Abbess would tell us we had missed the point.

Some in the Body of Christ “take” communion, and with great thanksgiving and rejoicing.

Monastics live the Eucharist. To them, it is the daily symbol and reality that we are not our own, but bought with a price. To them, it is the daily mystery of Christ within, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me.” (Galatians 2:20)

In one Poor Claire monastery, on one day during the worst season of flooding in remembrance, the priest was unable to reach the chapel to administer the sacrament. The Sisters were lost all day long, even while the Divine Office went on, as truly as though they had been torn from their moorings by the flooding. If we have begun to adopt habits of devotion, this is not too difficult to comprehend.

Certainly, it is easier in one regard not to develop ties to things that leave us unstrung when they are not in place. In our time, those who keep to a schedule or always know where to find the scissors can be lampooned for their “disorder,” rather than hearing praise for their orderliness!

Yet an increasing weight of evidence indicates that those things that “bind” us to some degree of habit, order, and discipline also set us free in untold ways. Let us keep our “conversatio” in place and ongoing. Let us be sure that we have chosen wisely as we have made small and permanent changes. Here in Cor Unum, if we turn for a day away from wisdom and sensible diligence, let us be thankful for the little disorientations that lead us back so they can lead us onward.

"The Bakeries Are Back!"
photo by Kerry

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