Journal

June 24, 2013 Dear Friends, We keep getting forecasts of rain. We even get congratulations on same. The only thing we don’t get is rain. I spent a week in Kentucky for a meeting, and the air was so humid you could wring it out. We do have a bit of humidity—monsoons are upon us—but it never coalesces into water. The meeting I attended, for directors of the Junior Professed, was exceptionally good, and we expect great things for our formation program. The new Regional Secretary of Formation is very well qualified and creative. The participants were open and inventive. Fr Carlos of the host house, Gethsemani, couldn’t have done more for us. It is always a privilege to participate...

June 8, 2013 Dear ones, We had the most wonderful community day for Cathy’s Profession. What we do in these circumstances is to descend upon the kitchen and pitch in together to prepare the meal for next day as far as we can ahead. So on the Profession Day we are free to concentrate on the Big Spiritual Event without getting caught up in the lunch. It’s a wee bit crowded but much fun. Actually, it’s hard to convey what this kind of day is like. It is so joyous, so fun, so human and deeply spiritual all at once. Of course, as our prioress stresses in her talks, it is in the ordinary and the daily that we find...

June 6, 2013 Dear Friends, It feels as if the monsoon has begun. They date it by the dew point, but one can feel the humidity, and the increasing heat. This does not mean we will get rain. We can hope, of course, and pray. It would be so nice to have rain. The grass panics at the first drops and shoot sup greenly, so that we look like Ireland. Well, almost. Speaking of which, we had a little part for Msgr. Cahalane before he went on his annual trip home. This is the fiftieth anniversary of his Ordination, so his well-beloved parish gave him a Big, Sacred Blow-out. We were invited, but being cloistered, and liking small gatherings, we...

May 16, 2013 Dear Friends, A couple of quail have taken up residence outside my window. There are few things cuter than quail. Our Iris season is almost gone. Great gratitude to the hybridizers. Think of it: huge white ones with orange beards; yellow with white falls edged with more yellow; velvety, deep wine; pale blue; very dark purple; multi-colored stripes —and when they stand there in all their majesty with the sun inside, what more could you ask. If you go by the tulip tree when it is in bloom, you might pass by the bloom. The flowers are green—yes green, with yellow and orange at the base. These also are at their best with the sun inside. We...

APRIL 19, 2013 All the news is from Boston, if it is not from Korea. Why do we hurt each other so? All the news pours into a monastery's heart and runs out as prayer. We try. What else can we do but keep trying to love, and keep trying to rest in the sacrificial heart of Christ? A friend sent the loveliest video study of Boston--Boston before the disaster. I suffered a major attack of nostalgia. A couple of cities have my heart and one of them is Boston. We have just got over a couple of windy weeks. The kind of wind that shrieks and whines without reason. Now the trees have stopped shivering, and the sun smiles...

March 19, 2013 Sisters who have been in town for appointments or shopping tell us that people they have never met stop them to ask what they think about the new pope. It seems kind of sad that we should be so happy about a man who is simple, loving, and gifted with a touch for the other. Very sad, because shouldn’t every pope be that? Shouldn’t we all be that? I realize that personalities get in the way and can’t be helped. We are just blessed that the cardinals shuffled through their choices and picked a man who isn’t young and doesn’t have two lungs--but who has an enormous capacity for embodying the reason for the Church—“Little Children, love...

March 14, 2013 Well, it was quite a day. I was wondering why we had had no black smoke after the fourth scrutiny. I guess it was all wrapped up by then. But what were they thinking to wait a whole hour after the announcement, with the poor, soaking faithful in the square, and us hanging feverishly before our computers. Wasn’t he dear standing there with his arms down, and the dry humor of his first words. His cassock seemed to fit nicely on his chubby little frame. And thank God he broke the tradition and took a non-papal name. Aside from “Linus, Cletus, Clement etc”, most papal names are loaded. If he wanted his to make a statement, this...

March 7, 2013 Dear Ones, I don’t know about you, but WE are having spring. The little potted Hawthorne is in bloom, and the ornamental pear in the garth is about to bloom. Its buds are fat and promising. The air is no longer slashing at our faces, but softly soothing them with balmy air. Yes, I am sure that some of you are still under the snow, or looking out at piles of  dirty snow, but take heart—Easter is just around the corner and can spring be far behind? We had a terrible accident at the entrance of our road last Saturday. We were on our way to Mass at St Therese’ when a Border Patrol officer stopped us...

February 27, 2013 Happy almost March. Next year we will have 29 days in February. This year we will have an early Easter. This winter has been something else. Snow, cold and wind. Well, what do you expect? It’s winter after all. So the pope emeritus will continue to be addressed as Your Holiness. Even though he will wear brown shoes. I wonder whether he realizes what it will mean to be retired after such a long active life. When you see the crowds and hear them, you know there is something emotional and mysterious in that bond. He looks so vulnerable and fragile; he was certainly right to resign. The world goes on, doesn’t it? Human life is so...

February 8, 2013 We are so sorry for the storm that is blasting its way across the country about to meet   the one that is barreling up the east coast. New York doesn’t need any more weather and New England doesn’t need any, period. We are in a bit of a pickle since our Altar Bread baker went down yesterday. (That sounds bad, doesn’t it? The baker in this case is the machine, not the person who bakes—who is also called the baker.) Today, our mechanic found the problem and Rita has emailed France to get the parts that had worn out. After all, it’s fourteen years old which is old for a machine. It has done us great service,...