Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 5 – The Royal Cloister

What an eye-opening practice this is: to consider the life of Elizabeth II in light of our Cor Unum cloister, and to consider our Cor Unum lives as royal as hers!

Elizabeth wears what is given to her to wear in the morning; she chooses from a limited choice of meals, presented by her chef, and she eats sparingly. She is uncommonly thrifty. Once, when Prince Charles lost a dog lead on a hiking trek, she sent him back to find it saying, “Dog leads cost money!” There is no reason to doubt that she manages her own cloistered devotional life as well.

Wherever she is, she attends a local church and always has money with her for the offering. Sometimes one of her equerries must hand it to her (it probably is not a good thing for anyone to think the Queen is carrying a pocketbook full of cash,) but she is in the service as a worshiper. The Duke may be called upon to read the New Testament lesson.

Although her royal badges and “habit” are dripping with jewels at times, it is known that she much prefers the tweeds and woolens and brogues of country life. She can no more go about freely in London or on tour than can any cloistered nun.

She lives up to her calling just as must a new postulant or a professed nun. She must be at her best; she must serve the best interests of her nation; she must not let the palace become a prison, but it is no playground, either. Difficult, intricate, unending work is the rule of the house. Like a royal Abbess, she oversees all in some degree or another. We suspect that she employs prayer. Millions pray for her every day. A very Abbatial life . . . just like those which we are cultivating here in the Monastery of the Heart.

"Cloister, Cloisters Everywhere!"
photo by Kerry

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