Friday, May 21, 2010

May 21 – It Can Be Done - We Can Do It!

Surely one of the greatest differences between life inside and outside of the monastery is this: those who knock on the Abbey doors immediately find that they are no longer wishing they had a disciplined devotional life, planning to spend more time in prayer and worship, regretting that they so seldom kept their spiritual trysts with God . . . the Abbey has become the “closet” where they meet with God continually.

When the garden needs to be planted in spring and apples need to be picked in the fall, those tasks must be accomplished between the hours of devotion.

In heat and cold, when the body is bone tired and when the larks are singing and inviting the entire community to come out into the fresh air, Matins are sung on time and Terce and Sext stay in place and the community arrives in the chapel on time for Vespers. Life is devotion; work, sleep, meals and recreation must fit into it.

This we cannot duplicated in Cor Unum. Most of us a “servantless Americans,” much less accompanied by a contingency of extern nuns!

We will be reminded again and again throughout the year . . . ours is the more difficult endeavor! So say monastics everywhere, but “oh well, never mind” will not suffice for us.

We may have to start very small, and as we have seen, the small start which never looks back is always better than the grand plan that never materializes. We may have to settle for very short intervals of devotion most of the time, with a few longer periods of study and prayer, but this we know we can do, just as the Scripture admonishes: we can “stay” our minds and hearts upon God, and find His peace and Presence there. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee. . . ” (Isaiah 26:3)

"Beauty in the Bud"
photo by Kerry

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