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Friday, 17 May 2013

Letters from the Monastery Eight- "Seven times a day I praise you, for your righteous ordinances," (Psalm 119:164)

At the hour for the divine office, as soon as the bell has been heard, let them leave whatever they have in hand and hasten with all speed, though in orderly fashion… Indeed, nothing is to be preferred to the Opus Dei.”  - Rule of Benedict, Chapter 4

Oh dear, I have hurt my back in the Pantry after two weeks of bending, lifting and such, including prayer times. Mother General has ordered me to lie in until Mass and to skip Compline, but the Mother Novice Mistress thinks it is the bed. All actions have contributed, and I am upstairs in the Novitiate, which means six or seven flights of stairs. I lost count. I am humiliated by the need to get off my feet, but the pain is real and like knives in my lower and upper back, continuing around the side and under the arms. TMI.

I hope this goes away after some rest. I am thinking of the young student in 1940 who may have slept in this bed and what she was thinking of the future of Britain....I am begging Mother Marie Adele for a miracle of health for me to stay here. If I cannot keep up, I am going to be heartbroken....I love it here, but at Tyburn, there is no slacking, as we all must work for the common good. Mother General is so kind and loving and gives me attention. She is a true Mother.

We work so hard in order to praise God seven times a day. That is the reason we are here. I am studying the Rule and reading the life of the Foundress, who is an obvious saint. She lived a life of pain, but I am no saint and this recent problem is a debilitation I did not anticipate.

BTW, I love the silence and the reading at meals. Love it! It is easier to be good in gossip, no silly talk, no stupid interruptions of trivia. Praise God for monastic silence. The long silence if from after Vespers to after Mass, although we are quiet all day except for necessities. Sigh, I love it, but staying in my room and resting my back is tormenting me, as I want to be about the work of the community. There are so few, so mantra...