Monday, March 5, 2012

March 5 – Recreation!

We are touring our “virtual” monastery, looking to see where the quarters and corridors of Cor Unum Abbey are founded in our hearts. We have been with the new postulants at the door, where she asks to be admitted, receives the Abbatial welcome, and prays her first in-house prayer, “Passion of Christ, comfort me!”

We have stepped inside “our cell,” the sparse bedroom which will be a private sanctuary for her, meant for sleep, study, and meditation, and we have seen that each of us needs a place where we may meet with the Lord, a place where He may expectantly await us, knowing we will come. We have “put on” our habits, the clothes that mark us as part of the community, letting our identities be formed in Christ from now on, for us, the humility of His Spirit.

Let us go with the newcomer to her first “Recreation.” This is where Mother Catherine Thomas first took us in her book, My Beloved.

On this all monastics agree, there is not to be found a “Happy Hour” to compare with theirs. Most traditional houses allow at least one, and often two, hours of “Recreation” each day. This is not ping-pong and sitcoms . . . this is the hour during which the nuns may speak, tell each other little anecdotes, and each enquire into the activities of the others, how Sister Mary Agnes is coming with the canning when the green beans are plump and ready, or how Sister Michael Mary is progressing on her translation of the Scripture into a Chinese dialect.

One feels a little intrusive, gazing into these sanctified hours, reading the depiction of joys multiplied and sorrows shared. Their laughter is so pure: they are bubbling over with the joy of fellowship, savoring its splendors and pleasures. They can laugh at themselves and with one another because whatever one has done, it can only make the others love her better. They MUST love one another better and better, for they will never part. Imagine how liberating this would be! All our faults and fumbles could be laughed away, for no one can get fired and no one wants anyone else to leave … unless, perhaps, one comes among them who doesn’t love well and cannot learn to laugh. She might be a trial, but all are bound to love her all the more! Wouldn’t we all love to be loved even more when we are at our worst?

Welcome to Cor Unum Abbey!

"You Make Me Smile!"
Abbatial Photo

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