When the earth trembles, is there someone to hold her hand? When she shivers with cold, does the firmament drape a warm wind across her shaking shoulders? When her hidden springs well up into a torrent of tears, do the heavenly hosts comfort her with a lullaby?
On these cold, cold days, when the earth seems to need a blanket as much as we do, I pray for those who tremble in the cold – whether from the icy blast of an arctic storm or the icy isolation of loneliness or fear, because we don’t need just physical warmth. We need the love of others.
Life in the monastery is filled not just with sisterly camaraderie but with mutual love. St. Benedict and the Gospel call us to no less.
The “monos” of “monastery” means “single” or “one.” It means not that we live alone, but that we seek God with a single-hearted devotion, and that our entire life is oriented toward God alone. For those who are called to monastic life, this takes place within the community in which we make our monastic commitment. Here in this community we experience our own times of trembling and times of tears, and we learn to walk with others through their own times of suffering.
So as the earth shivers along with us, I think not just about the physical cold, but about the loneliness and fear that are part of every human life, and I pray for all who tremble in the cold, no matter its nature. I pray, too, that I can learn to sing with the comforting warmth of a winter lullaby.