OK...I have to say that I'm a bit homesick for the monastery today. Our Morning Prayer on Ash Wednesday is so beautiful and, for good reason, it's also a private liturgy. The prioress give us a Lenten Exhortation. That's a fancy way of saying she talks to us about the forty days. Then, the sisters day aloud the things that we are sorry for - the sins against community, really. This usually fills me with feeling because we are so honest, so vulnerable in this tender moment. We offer one another the same mercy GOD offers to each of us. This liturgy touches us all deeply. Then, we place our lenten resolutions in a basket. Sister takes them to her office and reads them carefully. The resolutions are returned to us within the day with Sister Cecilia's comments and blessings. It's an ancient monastic tradition that we continue to honor. I love it... Fortunately, for a 21st century Benedictine, there is e-mail! I heard from Sister Cecilia already. And, she attached the Exhortation which I have already read. It is one of her best. Sister encourages us to use these 40 days to hone the monastic practices, to give ourselves to them anew out of love for Christ. Her words always encourage me. Sister writes, "We have to live this life intentionally. We cannot just attend, or just be, we must BECOME." That's certainly why I came to the monastery - to keep becoming.
So, I wish each of you a joyful, holy Lent. May each morning bring new resolve to live the gospel with passion and courage. May we meet at the foot of the cross, ready to share the holiest of days. May we run on the path of GOD's commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love (Rule of Benedict, Prologue 49).
Blessings and love to you all...
- Sister Vicki