Saturday, September 8, 2007

A Day in the Life of the Poor Claires

At 5.30 each morning the sisters are summoned to consciousness by their alarm clocks. After a prayer and a wash we dress quickly and hurry to the chapel where the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is waiting for us. At a sign from Mother Abbess we begin the first part of the Divine Office. The day is given to us by God, so we ask Him to bless it that it may be entirely bright and holy. We join the whole creation in praising the Creator. The theme of joy and praise is strong in these morning prayers, echoing throughout the hymns, psalms and readings.

After breakfast, we prepare for Holy Mass with half an hour's silent prayer as this is the focal point of the day, for every time we celebrate Mass all the suffering and agony of mankind is present. Through that offering love, forgiveness and hope are in some way being given, not just to this community, but like the pebble cast into the pond, the ripples go on and on outwards. It is our earthly way of being involved in the great heavenly liturgy which is going on all the time. Morning Prayer and Terce follow, after which we go off to our appointed tasks remembering the words. "Go in the peace of Christ", which the priest bids us at the close of Mass.

Now the serious work begins, correspondance for the Mother Abbess, baking, cutting, packing and parcelling altar breads and cooking for the community, the chaplain and any guests who may be staying with us. Sister Portress is kept busy between door and telephone bells and Sister Procurator sees to the business affairs of the house and deals with unseen emergencies.

By 12 o'clock we are ready to send our next shaft of praise back up to heaven. Work is set aside as we gather to sing Midday Prayer. Then comes a short pause as we review the day so far and appraise our part in it by examining our consciences.

Dinner follows and we eat without speaking to each other while a sister reads aloud from a spiritual book. After dinner there is a semi-free time, a chance to write letters or do odd jobs for oneself. Many take the opportunity to go out and work in the large garden where we grow our own fruit, vegetables and flowers.

At 4 o'clock we return to the Chapel for meditation and the Rosary followed by the little Office of None. We then gather for a light supper and back to the Chapel again for Vespers or Even Song when we thank God for all His blessings. An hour's recreation is a happy time of relaxation together until 7.15 when the bell rings for night prayer when we ask God for protection and forgiveness at the end of the day. At 7.30 the Great Silence begins. Final tasks of the day are completed and at 9.30 all must be in their cells and lights are out by 10.30.

There is a certain pattern to each day yet they all differ from each other and every Sunday is something to celebrate for, "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and exult for it." Another week in our life with God is beginning, we do well to rejoice.


Lucy said...

But that can't possibly be true. When do the rapes by the priests happen? When is baby killing duty? When do they practise the extorting money from relatives of "little girls"?

(That article actually reminds me of p*rnography - targeted at respectable men who could read about the things in the alleged nun's testimony and pretend it was all for pious reasons.)

I don't actually think Candy means well. There is expressing caution about teachings you believe to be wrong and then there is what candy does.

Unknown said...

Which monastery's horarium is that? It is similar to but not exactly the same as the one I observed.