Early this morning, already at prayer long before coming to the chapel for Lauds, one of our Sisters happened to fall back asleep in her room while praying the rosary. “I was on the 4th or 5th mystery,” she later said.
A 6th mystery had been unintentionally created by this Sister herself when she wasn’t in chapel in her usual 20-30 minutes early time frame, a puzzling absence.
An empty spot in the monastic choir truly leaves a sense of emptiness among us, and there is a sense of rightness when the empty spot is filled again with the person who belongs there, a glorious mystery amongst thirty-something other glorious mysteries, each singing glory to God with her voice and through fidelity to her call.
If the monastic call, or any vocation, is rooted in the mystery of God’s action within the heart of a person, our fidelity to that call is rooted in the mystery of an individual heart seeking union with God’s heart. It is indeed a glorious gift to watch each of my Sisters, day in and day out, live this mystery – even when, and perhaps especially when, we stumble, fall, or even occasionally fall asleep with rosary beads in hand.
A desire for God so strong that it defies the discouragement that comes from falling is a glorious and gracious gift, one that we can treasure as the priceless gift that it is, and one that we can nurture, and contemplate with gratitude, in one another.
Postscript: If you are unfamiliar with the Mysteries of the Rosary, here are a couple of links. The Glorious Mysteries are typically prayed on Wednesdays.