Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 8 – “Why Should Nuns Have All the Fun?”

We have already mentioned here how nice it would be to have someone tell us, “Go, read your Bible for half an hour!” or “Go to your room and don’t come out until you’ve spent an hour in the Presence of the Lord!”

If youth is wasted on the young, salvation seems wasted on Christians! (Except, of course, for the hope of eternal life and the escape from hell!)

Keeping in mind that the Very King of Kings has promised to make His abode with us, the Most High God receives us before the Throne of Grace, and Jesus Christ, Savior of the World, has deposited within us the selfsame love He has for the Father . . . but we are, all too often, about OUR fathers’ business.

Honesty compels us to say that our fathers’ business has been all too often a flight from the Presence of the Lord. In work and play, in relationships and solitude, the Kingdom of Heaven has not always been our first choice, the object of our seeking.

Nor was it the nuns' of Regina Laudis Abbey, or any other monastery . . . until it was.

Here is the monastic difference: when a nun sees the gaping chasm between what she has and what she might have, she takes steps to obtain. For those that are cloistered, a world of built-in, everlasting, enforced worship and thanksgiving and holy stillness and intercession is formed and waiting for them, and it continues as long as they continue in the “house.” That's what they want, above all else, and postulants enter hoping never again to leave.

Is it fun? From everything the Abbess has ever read, it is grueling sometimes, but laughter is never very far away. It would seem that a cloistered life would tear a soul in two, but for those who give it a try, most seem to end up whole. Nuns are notoriously long-lived, and contemplative nuns are some of the funniest and “funnest” women you would ever want to meet. We suspect that their senses of humor must be cutting-edge sharp, for they only have opportunity to be witty twice a day, and only for an hour, and then, everyone has to have a turn to speak. Speech and wit must be incisive.

What might we, here in Cor Unum, have in our marriages, what might we have in the workplace, what might we have in solitude, if the Presence of God should become the one thing we seek? Would we be holier than thou harridans with very small opinions of others? Of course not; heaven is not like that. Would we be unfit for employment and untouchable in church? Well, was Jesus? He is the Master and His is the image we hope to bear.

Let us consider today, and respond affirmatively: David said this of that place that made him great: “Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy Presence is fullness of joy, and at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore!” Beloved Father and God, we step through the door of that cloister this day!

"Therese of Lisieux"
("Ora et Labora" - Prayer and Work)
Public Domain

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