The holiness of the "ordinary"
Posting has been rather sparce lately because there is nothing much to post. This doesn't mean that life at the "Rosary Shrine" is currently "boring". Have you ever met a bored monk or nun?
One of the joys of monastic life is that basically it is a very ordinary life but a life filled with Christ! If He were not in our midst and the reason for which each Sister is here than it would be a boring existence! But the truth is that He fills our days, no matter if we are chanting the Divine Office, in our cells in prayer, studying, or taking a walk or taking out the garbage! And He gives us joy because He is joy Itself. One of our favorite quotes from our Constitutions is, "By their hidden life they proclaim prophetically that in Christ alone is true happiness to be found, here by grace and afterward in glory."
You can't take pictures of this reality and yet it is more real than anything else! It is something that must be experienced; it can't really be described. This is the common experience of those who come inside the enclosure for the Aspirancy. No matter how much we describe our life it is only when they actually live it that they understand. Our recent aspirant, Emily, who returned home yesterday after her 3 week aspirancy said basically the same thing the other day.
Last week the novitiate was ensconced in the library helping the Sister Librarian (who is also the infirmarian) make a dent in the backlog of books that need processing. All the books by Benedict XVI and scattered throughout the library in their respective categories needed new call numbers, cards, etc. for his new shelf! We made a lot of headway but wouldn't you know--at the same time our workmen were giving the professed dormitory (which is off of the library and where the library also extends) a much needed paint job. That Sr. Mary Catharine didn't get white paint on her black veil or that one of us didn't go flying down the stairs covered with a drop cloth is probably a small miracle!
We are often asked how we take our meals. We eat in silence listening to a taped lecture or reading unless it is a feast day and then we eat in the community room so that we can talk. Currently at the main meal we are listening to lecture by Peter Kreeft . There are some great freebies you can download on his website. At the evening meal we are throughly enjoying Bernadette Speaks by Rene Laurentin.