By worldly standards, the days at the Béguinage are not filled with activity, and success is not measured in productivity; this life of the sisters might even be termed useless. Yes there are guests fed and cared for, bills are paid and dishes done, but the focus of the life here is on the inner journey to God, the Divine Office, praise and contemplation of the Divine as He is worthy. In the interim , there is prayer, spiritual reading and quiet. Life here, as in most contemplative convents and monasteries, would be considered (I suspect) useless to the world. The emphasis is on `being` rather than doing which comes hard to this busily active nun. (I will make a list of things to do if there is not one given to me.)
The sisters offer a guest house where the weary from the world can find time for peace and recollection. It is not a hotel as I have been told more than once, so if there are 3 people, no people or 30 people, it matters not! God will bring whom he will; there is no advertisement and only word of mouth passes the secret of the Béguinage. I personally have used my mouth to tell any and all who are looking, seeking quiet or a deeper relationship with God; the Béguinage is a good place to start. The immense Béguinage doors enclosing the courtyard and opening onto the charming town of Bruges are only open from 6:30am in the morning to 6:30pm at night. If you are looking for night life this is not the place….but there is peace, tarrying in the guest house gardens or in the cozy salon in the deep overstuffed chairs. There is a chance to just `be` and seek God; time to be with Him with no activity required. One will never know until heaven reached just how `useless` this life was, how many lives were touched, political decisions affected or wars averted. Useless or fruitful?