I was ok with the food, believe it or not, as they gave cereal to me and eggs as needed, but not with the hours. No coffee breaks but one, and at the time set only; but the hours were simply too exhausting. If I got up and sang Nocturnes, by four in the afternoon, I was a zombie.
To get one's body into habits at a young age is the only way to do this.
However, God is merciful and has indicated that the lay life can lead to the same states of grace if one cooperates.
Our baptismal graces give us the tremendous gift of the Indwelling of the Trinity. We do not recognize the call or the graces which are there for all of us, no matter what our state in life.
This is the call of the laity-to be perfect, even as our Heavenly Father is perfect. And, only through humility and mortifications, chosen and sent by Him. Each one of us has an individual way. He chooses these, we do not. Having cancer has been one way for me. Being called to be a contemplative in the world is another cross. Being a failure in the eyes of those closest to me is another. No matter. None of this matters.
The other amazingly simple point, which I should have known, is that I am used to being alone and not with people all day. I actually felt claustrophobic, not because of the enclosure, but because of being with people most of the day.
However, I have seven books of notes for plenty of posts on perfection. But, I am simply, exhausted physically. I shall get back to you all soon.
In the meantime, get and read two books--Robert Hugh Benson's None Other Gods, and Lord of the World.
And a special note to Therese and Anita; everyday time we sang the blessings for our absence sisters, I prayed for you especially. God has a plan....