Friday, July 13, 2012

Bakery Day!


This morning I was giving the chance to fill-in for our Sister Baker and was quickly reminded that the best way to get your Sisters to visit you at work is to bake cookies! Sister Baker met me in the bakery and to remind me about where the necessities are and to be ready for a few guests during the morning. As I dipped out pan after pan of dough, Sisters dropped in for a 'sample' of dough or a 'quick bite' of a cookie fresh from the oven. My Novice Director (now retired) preferred the fresh cookies while our Sister who coordinates maintenance and housekeeping likes the dough better.

The bakery warmed up quickly as the morning wore on, but by 11 o'clock the cookies were packed away, the dishes done, and the stainless steel counters polished up!

96 Ginger Snap Cookies
96 Sugar Cookies
96 Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Feast of Saint Benedict

Saint Benedict blessing all who pass by
his shrine near our cemetery.

Benedictine communities are well known for their communal lives of prayer and work.  Today, I continued in that tradition during our summer celebration of Saint Benedict. 

We started this morning with a full chanted Lauds followed by our celebration of the Eucharist.  Very nice.  My favorite part was our Communion meditation "Seek God".  One of our Sister Professors adds to the simply beauty of the song with a clarinet solo...some of the notes seem to hang in the air of chapel.  After a very dignified recession from Chapel, the Gardening Sisters and I dashed up to our rooms to change into work clothes.

Once in the gardens, there was plenty to do in our shortened work time.  We started up in an apple tree!  The summer apples all green tart and sharp were ready to be picked.  The tree looked hopefully short which made the apples easy to reach, but we soon realized it was so leafy and low that it was more difficult to pick than some of the taller trees.  Soon enough, we had filled five boxes that will soon be made into pies, sauces, and jelly.

"O holy Father, Benedict, in pray'r and work without cease, in your untiring search for God, you found Christ's joy and peace."
Vespers Antiphon.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ordinary Daze


Living these Ordinary Days have left my in an unordinary daze!  Summer at the monastery is always filled with a variety of prayer, work, and play that can leave a sister spinning if she doesn't write it all down (well, at least this sister anyhow).  I have been blessed with house ministries that keep me working with a variety of sisters throughout the house...

First, the garden, poor thing, has been receiving all due attention with weeding, watering, and loving care.  However, the lack of rain in our area has driven the rabbits, gofers, and a whole variety of critters into our fair acre and so very little of our beans, peas, and other lovey veggies have grown very far without being nibbled back down to nubs. However, Saint Benedict predicted that a monastery would never be without guests and it continues to ring true today.  Another of my works for the house is to assist the sister who cleans our guest rooms.  It is easy to forget how many people come to visit when we spend our days on the 'cloister' side of the house, but the mix of friends, travelers, and the curious continue to amaze me!  There are also the little works of the monastery are simply called 'charges'.  The house charges are the many little things that need to be done to help care for the daily needs of our family home.  I have Chapel cleaning on Fridays as well as supper and lunch dishes.

Framing all this is our rhythm of prayer.  Admittedly, this is my favorite part of being home for the summer.  Being with the whole community, the whole family for prayer and Eucharist.  A chance to look around Chapel and pray for each as we pray together.  A chance to fall back into the heartbeat of our pace in prayer...each house seems to have its own pace and spacing and it's nice to be home in our rhythm for awhile so as to carry it back to the convent apartment this Fall.