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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One thought on “Time

  1. I have had your Christmas card sitting on my kitchen table for 6 months now and I am still unable to translate your return address into something that will pass muster at any Post Office, here or there.
    Now that we are half way through 2017, I decided to communicate.
    Baby Henry will be one year old tomorrow, Monday, June 26. Henry, son of Katherine and Adam had a very eventful entrance into this world but by the grace of God, he is a beautiful, healthy and happy little boy, blond with very blue eyes. He is Katherine’s first, but our 14th and 7th boy. As I have been unable to send you a letter or Christmas card, you will miss out on photos, but your imagination is good, I am sure.
    o catch up on a bit of family news: In April, Mat and I celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary (in England with the only male in the wedding party that is still alive) — Praise Be!
    In June, Maura’s oldest, Sarah graduated from Notre Dame Academy, she will attend Mass College of Art and Design in the Fall (Mass Art to us older folk) Her sister Hannah will be a junior, also at NDA and Andrew and Leah will be in the 6th and 4th grades at St. Paul (got to keep up the tradition.)
    Kevin’s boys also went to St. Paul but moved to BC High in the 7th grade. Jed will be a senior and Porter will be in the 8th grade. in September.
    Speaking of St. Paul’s, Sister Marie is doing well although she must be in her later 80’2 by now — our birthdays are a day apart so I sent her a card and she returned the favor.

    I can go on and on, but will save for another time.
    It sounds as though you are doing well — If you will be in the states at all this summer or whenever, let me know, I can drive to the Cape. I have yet to see the Community’s church.
    Perhaps you can print out your address and I will sent an actual letter.

    Love,
    Mary Bell

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