Urgent prayers, please, for Dana and Ian, a very messy custody
hearing tomorrow, and for all their family. Thanks so much! God's
will be done. NRN JL
March 30, July 30, November 29
Chapter 48: On the Daily Manual Labor
On Sundays, let all occupy themselves in reading,
except those who have been appointed to various duties.
But if anyone should be so negligent and shiftless
that she will not or cannot study or read,
let her be given some work to do
so that she will not be idle.
Weak or sickly sisters should be assigned a task or craft
of such a nature as to keep them from idleness
and at the same time not to overburden them or drive them away
with excessive toil.
Their weakness must be taken into consideration by the Abbess.
Sunday is very different in monasteries. The liturgy is longer, the
schedule may vary and most people have no assigned work for the
day. "Apostolic meditation" (cf. Matt. 26:40, "Jesus found them
sleeping...")or "resting in the Lord" can often find their expression
in a welcome afternoon nap. It is a delightful Sabbath of rest.
But this should be true for all Christians, not just in monasteries.
Those of us in the world are obliged to make Sundays different,
better somehow, on our own. That may call forth some creativity, or,
if one has kids who have grown up in a world where Sunday is just
another day off, a bit of courage!
Even in very unusual situations, one can carve a bit of difference
out. When I was in high school, Great-aunt Levilla came to live with
us. I loved her, even though I had not previously known her that
well. She was obviously a guest in someone else's home and trust me,
she didn't arrive calling all the shots her way, but there were non-
intrusive, quiet ways she remained her own woman.
One of them was Sunday. We were a church-going family, but she was
not Roman Catholic. I never recall her asking to go to her own
church, I am not even sure she wanted to, but she had her Sunday
mornings inviolate. She would take out her late husband's Book of
Common Prayer and do Morning Prayer, perhaps more that I am not aware
of. It was her time. She always left her door open during it and
never made a fuss, but one soon learned that anything one had to say
could wait till Aunt Levilla had closed Uncle Tom's prayerbook!
Aunt Levilla had no real clout, other than the dignity of her age,
but she made space for her own Day of the Lord and we respected that.
She was a timid and frail woman, sweet and not at all pushy. All that
leads me to think that many of us, in many different situations might
be better able to find a way to make our Sundays holy than we think.
If you're wondering how, I have the deepest faith and hope that Aunt
Levilla has been with God for quite some years now. I'm sure if you
asked her she'd be delighted to help!
Love and prayers,
Jerome, OSB jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery