Good Zeal

Big events, quiet moments

We have three big events on the horizon and the entire monastery has been abuzz with activity and anticipation. On Sunday evening, our Novice, Sister Sara Aiden, will make First Monastic Profession. On Monday, our annual summer Community meetings will begin. These will last through the week. And then, next Saturday, Sister Brigid will celebrate her 25th Jubilee, a significant milestone in the life of a vowed religious.

It seems that everyone in the community has been doing something to prepare for one or the other of these events. Programs for the profession and jubilee have been printed and delivered. Parchment paper for handwritten profession documents has been taken from its special file. Committee reports have been prepared, or are nearing completion. The refrigerators are stocked for festive meals. Tables are arranged in the meeting and dining rooms. The LCD projector is at the ready. Guest lists are settled. Table cloths have been ironed. Music rehearsal has begun. Yes, we have been busy…

Yet within the busyness, a stillness remains. Last evening, in the moments before Vespers, silence filled the chapel. Everything, everyone was still. It was the kind of emptiness that is paradoxically rich, an absence of sound that felt like the fullness of presence, like a single flower that fills the eye with color in an otherwise empty room. It was the kind of stillness that reminds one of what the motion is all about.

This time of year can be particularly heavy with activity. Yet even in the midst of big events we are always called back to prayer, back to the silence of our hearts, back to stillness before the God who is, who was, and who will be. Back to the One who calls us to prayer and work, to stillness and motion, to silence and celebration within this monastic community.

Postscript: For photos of these events, check our Community News web page from time to time over the next week or so.

Afternoon Addendum… Sr. Therese, who has been working with tables and tablecloths for much of the day along with finishing up a report for community meetings, just went outside with the camera and found Sr. Mary Adrian down at the creek gathering greenery. Here she is with some of the bounty that will grace our tables for tomorrow’s celebration…

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