05 June 2009

Getting on track

May 20th

I am still trying to get used to the schedule around here. Today I was an early-bird, even by Carthusian standards. But I was able to attend all of the “Hours” today. The manual labour today had two typically novitiate tasks. The morning job was folding the guest house linens with the novice. After folding the bed sheets in quarters, then in half; we placed them in to a giant airing cupboard with four roll-out sections: each 7 feet tall. There are 3 radiators in the cupboard that dry the sheets. After the Office of None I received my afternoon assignment. At first I thought the Novice Master asked me if I wanted to to some reading. Knowing that I could not get off that easily I asked, “Weeding?”. “Yes,” was the response. Well at least it was a beautiful spring afternoon for it.

I decided today that I will not even ask the Lord’s assistance in my decision-making process until next week. I still want to see the abbey at face-value. I was asked to day if the abbey was meeting my expectations. I told the elder monk that I deliberately held no expectations. I said I do not want to shape the abbey into a preconceived image, I want to experience it as it is, and let it shape me.

May 21st

Sleep is fairly on track now. I am actually surprised at my level of alertness at 3:30 in the morning. I went to the novitiate class room today. We watched a video on the 40th anniversary of Mount St. Bernard’s foundation in Cameroon. It was interesting to see “living” history. A couple of the founders had passed since this video was made 4 years ago. Then more weeding. And in keeping with the theme, I did some mowing in the afternoon with a mower that is quite a bit heavier than the one I have at home. I went along at the speed I mow at home. The result being I finished too early and I was sore. I guess there is a reason why the monastic pace seems slow, but is actually wise. Tim, the cat took pity on me today and made nice. Once I referred to this ginger tom as a “lion,” he came up to me with out fear. He was a little playful (and cheeky, too).

A nice hot bath after Compline, a bit of spiritual reading, and bed!

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