Today we’re “in chapter” in Cor Unum Abbey. That isn’t the library, it’s the council room, the place where the senior nuns, the “staff,” gather to discuss common difficulties, weighty problems, and future plans, all of which always have to fit inside the unbending rigors of the Divine Office.
We are looking at a prospectus for the year. Theirs is built-in! The nuns at Regina Laudis went through months of interviews and studies, weighing the challenges of a full-blown life of spiritual dedication. The nuns in Cor Unum just clicked on the link!
We are, nun-the-less, taking part in true monastic living within these cyber walls. Let’s take a look at the things we have explored so far this year. We have looked into:
· The summing up of all things in Christ
· The hope that we may see those around us delivered from destruction
· The honors of life in Christ
· The essential part that diligence plays
· The practice of “Conversatio,” the commitment to Christlikeness
· The “Lectio Divina” study of the Word of God, with God
· The effects of good nutrition and proper rest of our endeavor
· The elements and reality of voluntary reverence
It’s likely that the Abbess and the professed nuns at Regina Laudis would agree, “That’s a lot!” Indeed, it is. They, however, seeking out life in an enclosed order, are required beforehand to study and consider these things before they enter, knowing that all this and more will be worked into the fabric of their souls in time. No less do we!
When a young woman comes to the doors of a traditional Benedictine or Carmelite or Franciscan (Poor Clare) monastery or convent, she knows that within the hour her street clothes will be exchanged for a habit. She will be wearing the short veil of the new postulant. She knows she will not at all be expected to “keep up” or perfectly fit into the intricacies of monastic life, but she believes that she will belong.
We, too, know that we belong here, and that spiritual diligence will pay off. We know that study and prayer together, with a careful and watchful persistence in obedience to the Word makes a difference in our souls. We know that there have been seasons of prayer in our lives that changed things, and there have been times when we followed our flesh around, led like a bull with a ring in its nose!
We have also seen that tiny steps in a right direction have redirected our entire life and hope.
Just as we know that almost any diet will work, if we stick to it, we have seen that Marketplace Monasticism can be for us the training of which Paul spoke. All the runners run, but only one receives the prize. In Christ, it is always the one who finishes in His image. That is why we came to these doors, and that is why we stay.
White House staff meeting