Our monastic household has been in seemingly constant motion for months now as we’ve prepared Ottilia Hall for its upcoming renovation. The activity has been especially marked in the past few weeks as the final bedrooms and offices have been cleared and the last preparations made for our upcoming yard sale.
Yet the motion has not been constant. The spinning wheels do come to a halt. In the midst of transition, some things remain fixed in their constancy. A bell sounds, and we rise to intone the first notes of the Divine Office. Candles are lit, our chaplain enters, and Mass begins. A blessing is said, and together we share our meal at the common table. After dinner, another bell, and the first lines of Compline are intoned. We are the same people, the same Sisters, engaged in the same monastic routines and all of our usual ministries. Retreatants arrive and depart. Our Sisters who teach leave for school. The usual prayer and work of the monastery goes on.
Offices are in transition. Those who have moved may still be unsettled. The rattle of wagon wheels has become as normal as bells. Familiar equipment is in unfamiliar spots. Yet despite all the transition and change, the stability that is the hallmark the monastic rhythm is ever-present, ever-central, always calling us to park the wagons, put down the boxes, and turn to God in prayer.