Time

ClockTime is a paradox in a monastery…both of little importance and of vital importance. There is time to think, time to pray, time to work, and time to be with God. “For every thing there is a season.” The round of seasons are very important here at the monastery, from spring with the daffodils in the courtyard, to the heat of summer and mounting numbers of tourists of all nationalities, to the closing days of autumn with the leaves gently dropping to blanket the courtyard in colors of brown, yellow, orange and red, to the silvery flakes of snow in the darkened and silent courtyard as we cross bundled for Compline in the dead of a chilly, cold winter. Daily Offices are times that punctuate the day to renew the spirit of the earthy pilgrim. Lauds at 7:15 wakens the church and opens the day. Eucharist and Midday prayers at noon raise the heart in the heat of the workday. Vespers ends the daily work and Compline puts the church and us to bed asking for a restful night to awaken again to greet the new day given by God. “This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it.” So the days/times of a monastic are structured but there is always time to pray and to talk with God’s people. No work is so important but time for God is vitally important. Now how do we nuns arrive at these places, church, meals, recreation ON TIME? Bells ring to call us to prayers. One nun even has an alarm on her phone to call her to prayers. Modern technology! A tiny clock is strategically placed in the hall where we all must pass. We can set our watches by it; I have seen more than one nun check it on her way by. There is even a stray little alarm clock near the chapel where a passing nun can check. Also in the hall stands a lovely old grandfather clock whose movement I think no longer works but may have at one time called nuns to their prayers. Each evening a sister passes and pulls the weights but I have never actually seen it keep accurate time. I will have to ask about this! The tiny clock though keeps us all ON TIME so we can move together as a sisterhood to pray and praise God.

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