Benedictus Deus in donis Suis!

IMG_1000"Blessed be God in His gifts!" is an aspiration often heard around the monastery. It is usually exclaimed when a sister or the community receives something. So, for example, a benefactor stops by with a tray of leftover lasagna from a benefit dinner the night before. Sister Italia walks into the kitchen and sees Sr. Cucina putting it on the kitchen counter. She finds out that it was just donated. "Blessed be God in His gifts!" she exclaims....all the more so when she finds out that Sr. Cucina will serve it that day for dinner!

Or perhaps Sr. Lavabo leaves her dust mop near the door and another sister kindly went out into the freezing cold and shook it out for her. When she comes later to take care of the mop and saw it clean she might say, "Blessed be God in His gifts! Who did this generous deed for me?"

While today was a solemn day of fasting and prayer for the sanctity and dignity of life and in reparation for all the abortions committed, the sound of drills and saws all the day long were not an annoying invasion of our silence (it's a community retreat day) but a welcome sound! More than one sister's heart must have lifted to the Lord in gratitude. "Blessed be God in His gifts!"

Why, you are asking? Because today after 4 months our elevator, whose electrical system was fried in the power surge the night of Hurricane Sandy, is finally being rebuilt! Because our monastery has 3 floors and each of these floors are also different levels (yes, that is how it was built!) an elevator isn't a luxury but a necessity. And not just for the older sisters, either, but for the youngin's as well! The laundry sisters have so  perfected a system for getting all the laundry back to the different floors that they have almost forgotten what it was like to have an elevator! All guest meals have had to be carried on trays down steep flights of stairs. Christmas was a challenge as the sacristy storeroom is in the basement and there sure was a lot to bring up! Think St. Joseph, Bl. Mother, the 3 Kings, etc.! Baby Jesus, however, resides year-long in the sacristy proper!

The elevator is the door at the left. The stairs ahead have a more than usual steep pitch.

We're excited to see everything progressing! For years, our elevator gave us no end of trouble but to replace it was beyond what we could afford. We' re hoping that this rebuilt elevator will be more stable and maybe even just a little bit faster! It sure would be nice if it wouldn't stop between floors as well!

Benedictus Deus in donis Suis!