Here’s Part I in cased you missed it..
So… we left off after noon dishes.
1:15-1:45 PM Met with our cooks – this time of year we have employee evaluations. Brenda has been cooking for us for about 20 years and Rachel is for just a few months! They are both exceptionally good at their jobs and so evaluating them was a joy not a chore.
1:45-2:00 One of our sisters is a potter – she was excited about some new items that she had just taken out of the kiln so I stopped by the pottery to ooh and aah over her work. They were truly quite lovely – she had an assortment of mugs, bowls, vases, and small holy water jars. She will sell them in our gift shop.
2:00-3:00 – Back to my office. I spend more time with our chronicles and also getting some paperwork done.
3:00-4:00 Met with one of our women in formation. Every week I meet individually with each of our women in formation. This is a time for us to continue to discern how they are progressing in their spiritual journey with us, how they are adjusting to monastic life and to talk about any concerns, questions or issues they may have. It is a sacred time as we are treading on the holy ground of the soul. It is a tremendous responsibility that my community has entrusted to me. I am grateful for their confidence in me.
4:00-5:30 Office work and some personal prayer time. I am the most tired at this time of day. I try to walk or move around a bit – if I sit too long I will fall asleep!
5:30-6:00 Evening prayer with the community.
6:00 – 6:40 Supper – This is our lighter meal of the day. We usually have things out for sandwiches, perhaps some leftovers from the noon meal and always a big salad bar. Since we’ve been blessed with a lot of homegrown lettuce I have been enjoying salads in the evening. Another summer perk besides the fresh produce is the option to eat outside on our porch. We have a lovely long covered porch that runs the length of our refectory. These days before the full heat of summer hit are the best for dining al fresco!
7:00-7:15 Community gathering. Almost every night we have a brief meeting for any announcements that need to be made or if a sister wants to share anything with the whole community. It is in this space, too, that we offer apologies to the community if we have in anyway disturbed the peace of the house.
7:15 (or whenever we finish with Gathering) – Compline (Night Prayer) in chapel. This is our last prayer together for the day. It is my most favorite of all our prayer times. It is the same every night. We sing psalms 4, 91, and 134. We have a brief Scripture reading and then we sing the Canticle of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32). We end with a blessing and a Marian hymn. Since it doesn’t change from day to day most of us have it memorized so we sing it in the chapel in the dark. It is a lovely quiet way to end the day.
7:30-8:30 Wrap up the day – I went by the kitchen and make sure the stoves are off and the lights are out. I went back to my office and called my sister to wish her for her birthday.
8:30-9:00PM – Bedtime! I take time to do an “examen” – to look over my day with God and ask His forgiveness for ways I failed to do His will and for grace to do it better tomorrow. I take time to pray for my family and friends. I usually need a little “brainless” reading to fall asleep – usually a novel or something light to help me wind down. Then, lights out -I try really hard to turn the lights out by 9:30 because that alarm goes off pretty early!
So… that’s one day in my life. The community prayer schedule rarely varies, my morning and afternoon activities change a bit from day to day. For example, Thursday mornings I do the community grocery shopping, Tuesday afternoons we have longer community meetings, and Sundays have more leisure time. However, by and large, my life is fairly consistent and regular.
As I read over this post and my last, I thought… this sounds pretty boring. Happily, I don’t experience this life as boring. I am grateful for the gift of my vocation. I feel so blessed to able to have my day arranged and ordered around times of prayer and contemplation and to have the support of my community, my sisters in Christ, who encourage and help me to grow in holiness . I am so very thankful for the ability to pray for others… to continue this ministry that has been given us to pray for “all people, of all places, at all times.” May our lives continue to be a witness to the Kingdom of God and bring Him glory!.