Tomorrow, I will be at home in the Monastery for Ash Wednesday and the beginning of our Lenten celebration. After being at school or university for the past many celebrations of this day, I am excited to be home as we settle into our Lenten observances. Yes, excited to be home for Wednesday soup night, morning silence, and the sisterly support of additional prayer and reflection. I'll even be home in time for the Mass we share with the college students and the Vesper's collection of the sisters personal observances for Lent.
Benedict had encouraged his monks to live their whole monastic life as a Lent; however, if it cannot be done, the monk was to consult with the Abbott about special offerings during this season of preparation. Reflection on chapter 49 from the Rule has lead me to ponder on my own "offering to God with the Joy of the Holy Spirit something of the measure required..." I have come to some conclusions of offerings of heart that I will pray will help me offer better service to God. When I return home to my convent apartment, I pray that we can discern some community Lenten observances to bring from the Monastery to convent to help each other continue to live this offering in the spirit of Benedict.