There is something special about Sundays in the monastery. It is not easy to define but I think one can find a clue in a chapter of "A New Song for the Lord" by Cardinal Ratzinger. He says that, "The Sabbath is the day of God's freedom and the day of human participation in God's freedom." This is fact is what Sunday should be for every Christian yet for many this is not so. Sunday has become a day like any other of the week. Even if one is faithful to Mass on Sunday, still often, the rest of the day is filled with sports, errands and "things to do" that must be done before the new work week begins.
There is no "weekend" in the monastery. The idea just doesn't exist and this is hard for young women at first. But there is Sunday! It is a day full of sacredness and joy and much loved by each sister. It's not exactly a "retreat day" but very similiar. It is a day focused on the Beloved in joy and in silence. Except for the sisters in the kitchen (and we rotate the Sunday kitchen schedule) there is time to read, take a nap, go for walks on our property and extra time to pray whether in the Choir or in one's cell or outdoors. It is a day simply "to be". Meals are simple but special and what seems to be the universal law of monasteries there is always ice cream on Sunday nights--even in Lent!
Today the beautiful colors on the trees glowed even though it was cloudy. Soon the maple tree in the courtyard will be flaming red. The sun shining through causes the red to reflect off the walls of the sisters cells creating a warm pink hue. Especially after morning Mass the Professed dormitory is all aglow with a pinkish light. With the sun coming through the stained glass windows off the chapel the dorm is awash with color and light.