Monday, September 18, 2006

Sunrise Till The End Of The Day

Saturday Dawn

I am back in my room after morning prayer, mass, and breakfast. Weekday masses are like Vigils, quiet and subdued. Breakfast was simple, a bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar. Soon I must attend a conference downstairs. After lunch I will have the rest of the day to do as I please. I will seek out opportunities for solitude.

Saturday Afternoon

I feel like Rip Van Winkle. I just woke up from a world class nap. It will probably take me forever to get to sleep tonight. Before I drifted off there was a gentle knock on the door of my room. It was Fr. Dennis asking me if I would like to go to dinner after Evening Prayer (Vespers). Since the evening meal at the monastery is very simple and sometimes leaves something to be desired, I accepted.

Now I sit here with a cup of coffee trying to wake up. I have an hour until vespers. The morning talks were very good and an interesting approach was taken on the topics. For each topic, a monk and a lay person gave their perspective. Each had the same topic but with different approaches and thoughts. For example, the topic of community means something different to a monk than to a person living in the world.

The early morning darkness and cool air have been replaced by bright light and warm sun. It has been a beautiful day.

My personal prayer is mostly silent. I am not one to use a lot of words. In most cases I just sit in the silence. When I use words, they are usually a mantra like the word “Abba” or a short scriptural phrase like “O God, come to my assistance, O Lord, make haste to help me”! Sometimes people ask me to pray for them. The world is also full of needs that cry out for prayer. How does one keep up with it all? No one can be conscious of every prayer request or need. I like to believe that every request or need, once I become aware of it, becomes part of what I hope is a ceaseless prayer of my heart. Of course, some people and situations are consciously noted and called to mind in prayer. Sometimes I do verbally refer to people and events and I intercede for them

It is nearly time for Vespers and soon the bells will ring. I need to get dressed and go sit in church. Since I am on retreat, Dennis and I will avoid the Bourbon Festival being held in town. (smile)

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