I am so glad that Michael reminds me of the most basic spirit of Benedictine before I visited them. I thought I would just sleep through all the prayers and go to lunch and then sleep through all the prayers in the afternoon and go to dinner and go to bed. That’s not true!!! you have to work.
I am a really light sleeper. When I get to a new place, normally, I could not sleep well for the first day. So it was not a problem to get up at 4:45, since I could not sleep, so why not just get up? Walked into church. Sisters were getting ready for Matins. During all 7 parts of divine offices, Matins is the longest one and really low spirit. since it is the first one in the morning.. it is toooo sleepy…After 10 minute break, it is the second, lauds, slightly better. hymn is really beautiful. After Lauds, sister went to ring the bell I am enchanted. 2o minute later. It seems to tell us the sun is rising.
Prime is followed which is also very beautiful, warmer than the lauds. Then sisters went out for the chapter. I was required to stay in the chapel. Michael told me that it might be the time for their internal correction which is the internal affair..lol.. Then it is breakfast time Finally!!!
Breakfast.. really simple… no meat…lol.. Bread + cereal..lalallala. and they stand there eat…OK….that’s too much fun.
After Breakfast, it is the time for working. The second day, I was assigned to work outside with Sister T who is a really strong lady. She brought me to the barn first to milk a cow!!! I did not know it would be really cold outside, since I checked the weather report. But it is on a farm, so it is slightly cold. Sisters lend me a heavy coat, so life was not that hard.
Two real cow standing inside.. er.. OK.. it is the first time in my life I am sooo close to a cow which provide milk and not black and white. Can a yellow cow provide milk too?
Sr. T asked me whether I have milk a cow before. I said, I have not really been that close to a cow before.. Sr. T said, OK. I will teach you steps by steps..
Milk a cow.
1) clean it…
2) wash it.
3) milk it…..
but.. wait.. why it is so easy to say but soo hard to do, no matter how hard I push.. milk did not come out……er….finally Sr. T finished milking it. For me? it is a nice try…lol… only 10% of all the milk in the bucket was milked by me!
( picture is from their website.. it is the mother cow.. hahaha)
Then we need to lead the cows ( mother and baby) to the pasture. I drag the mother, because sister said that the mother is more tender than the baby, but this definitely not apply to my situation. The mother does not listen to me. No matter how hard I drag, she still just wanted to eat the grass on the ground. Sr. T has to come and drag both of them.
After dragging the cow, we went to dig holes around tree to fertilize the trees. I am definitely not good at that. The same amount of time that I took to dig one hole, sister has already dug four holes….
The bell rang, it is the time for mental prayer, terrace and mass! I felt so glad that I get a chance to sit down..lol..Mental prayer,, I did feel sleepy and I did not know what I should pray about… Normally the task assigned by my spiritual director is reading the readings of the day, examination and make a resolution…but in the chapel, I was just too tired to do think about anything. The terrace is really really beautiful and warm.
Mass is low mass in Latin. Priest.. the first time in the house I see a guy… Before I came to Sisters’, I know that they make vestments for preist, so I paid extra attention to the vestment preist wear.. It is really gorgeous!
After mass, work for another half hour, came back for sext and rosary..
Then time for Dinner(which is lunch, but since the dinner is the most important meal..). Sisters take turn serve dinner. They read the rules of dinner serving before meal and reading the church history during the meal and read a piece about love after meal.
( picture is from their website, this si the dinner table..hahaha..serving the meal)
After meal, there is a half hour free time, Sister S. suggests me to take a nap. After nap, it is the recreation time.. Time for chatting. Finally, I can talk! Mother introduced me to all the sisters, and then we begin to chat. Sisters are really fun, totally not like the TV or books describe, only quiet girls become sisters. They are really really full of the energy and full. They read funny poem, talk about funny jokes. I gradually figure out all the Latin Mass lovers are in the group. They immediately asked me about Canon A, Canon W. . Fr. A… Hello. hahahahah! I immediately feel sooo close to all of them.
Sr. S. taught us how to do hide stitch during recreation time. After recreation, time for another warm prayer. None and chaplet.. I like None, Vesper and Chaplain better among all the divine office. They are just soo warm and gentle and beautiful…
After None and chaplet, it is the time for lectio, individual study. Sisters all go to read books. Then more work and class. Sr. S. gave a small class for the novices about what kinds of internal challenge they will have during formation.. a lot of internal struggles.
(picture is from their website.. it is in their library…which is really beauty.. )
Vesper, super ( no meat…)… work… Chaplain.. sleep…
finally I have a sleep, which is really sweet. After a whole day work and prayer, just feel I sleep without any strength to worries or frustrated….