Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Monastary Living

Whenever one lives in community, it's like a family, and it becomes one quickly. We formed our little community somewhat haphazardly, yet realizing that this was what God was calling us to do. As you can see, it's not all perfection and holiness and sweetness!

Please allow me to explain our surroundings and some of our lifestyle!

Firstly, Father and I have known each other for years, and he can tell that story. I've spoken enough of myself. Father can explain how our monastery came into being because, it really happened at his behest.

About the monastery; the Archdiocese happened to be "sitting" on an old convent on a plot of land somewhat near the chancery. It's a building that is listed on the Minnesota Historical Registry, so they were trying to figure out what to do with it. It's consecrated, it's in decent shape, and the sisters that used to inhabit it actually discerned themselves into paganism and out of existance. The last Sisters left for the nursing home maybe a year ago. It's a beautiful facility, if a bit old. We have a main entrance and a sitting room for receiving guests, and then our common area.

We have a common area for all of us; Brothers, Sisters, Father and I, things to share such as the refrectory where we take our meals together. And of course, we have one chapel. Currently, we do not have the Blessed Sacrament exposed at all times simply because the four of us cannot cover 24 daily hours of Adoration. But Jesus is present and currently, Sister Caprice is our assigned sacristan (although I'm removing her from that duty for the time being and Brother Brit will be handling that along with his altar service duties.)

It's a beautiful chapel, but in unfortunate need of more decoration. Proper decoration!

Each day we rise at 5:00 am for morning prayer and Mass, and then both Brother and Sister are off to their jobs. As this is a monastery for perpetual discerners, they are working in regular secular employment. When they return at the end of their work day, we have Vespers and then share in the responsibility of cooking dinner. (Father is a FABULOUS cook, although he's too humble to say so. Brother Brit has a few things to learn about Cooking 101. Sister Caprice learned from her Grandmother, and I...well...I'm a Mother. What do YOU think?)

After cleanup, we have recreation, spiritual reading, study, etc and while we don't have 'Grand Silence" we do enforce a certain curfew after Night Prayer.

Our Monastery has two separate "cloisters", branching from the community room. Father and Brother Brit share one wing, and Sister Caprice and I share another. So although both men and women share space, we maintain strict separation, including separate community rooms in the event that it's necessary. Truly, this is a beautiful space.

And it has the most wonderful architectural design as the entire Monastery has at its center the chapel reserving the Blessed Sacrament!

Yet it's not idyllic. We all have personalities, we all have our struggles and our histories, and as you see, we often clash. It's sometimes a difficult life, but one that, if we do it right, can prepare a soul for their true Vocation.

One of these days I'll explain part of my vision for this Monastery. It has to do with the necessity of some to experience family life. Too many of our young people don't recognize the call because they don't understand the love of the Father.

But that's for another day.

We are looking for "postulants" for our community. Please email I or Sister for an interview and formal invitation!

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