Saturdays at Home in the Monastery

Most of us like to work on jigsaw puzzles, so we have several going throughout the house. Here's Sr. Jackie and me working on one in our living group.

Here I am at home today doing some of the usual weekend routines that I have always done – cleaning, doing laundry and preparing a little school work. As a Benedictine Sister, I also am doing some work that was not part of my usual Saturday morning routine – at least not before I turned 36!

That is, I went to Lauds at 9:00 a.m. (blessedly later than the 6:30 a.m. Lauds of the school week!), and after lunch I came to the liturgy office to work on a Liturgy of the Hours Book for the Office of the Dead. It is a big project and I have been working on it for almost a year.

I got up to take a break and walked down stairs to our dining room and to fetch a drink and a snack. As I was doing this I began to flash back on my life before entering the monastery. It funny how it just pops into my head sometimes … and interesting to ponder the journey God has led me on!

Back in Cedar Rapids, I lived in a small efficiency apartment. I was paying my bills, getting my credit score back into shape and thinking, It’s time to move into a bigger place. I wanted a nice 1-bedroom apartment with a balcony and a pet.

But God had other plans for me, and here I am today. I’m a member of a large, tight-knit family of women who have committed themselves to God and to one another. I live in a large house (my preschoolers think it’s very “cool!”). While I still do many of the things I did every Saturday as a teacher in Cedar Rapids, I’ve added a few new ones. Some are quiet, as when I get my first cup of coffee in the morning and run into Sr. Helen eating her breakfast. I give her a friendly smile and a nod of the head (because we keep silence until after Lauds). Other things are noisier, as when a bunch us get into a lively conversation over lunch. It’s wonderful to have someone to eat lunch with beside the T.V.! Today, I ran into Sr. Marlene getting my snack and had a nice chat.

Having family around is wonderful … and so different from my life in Cedar Rapids. It could get very lonely on a Saturday. I am blessed with and by the Sisters in my community. If you are interested in learning more about our way of life, contact me at smacdonald@smmsisters.org. I am always happy to share!!!! 🙂

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