When I return to Our Lady of Grace, there are touchstones that let me know I am indeed home.
Sister Mary Luke always leaves a note in my room and some Texas memorabilia she has found on one of her thrift shop jaunts.
Calligraphy on the wall of my room that is a Word to ponder for the week.
The beauty of whatever season it is– it stops me in gobsmacked joy at each window I pass, and lures me outside for walks.
And then the prayers in the Chapel. The sisters invite us to join with them in the dance of the Hours, and it is a glimpse, for me, of worship in heaven.
When we sing and pray and chant the Psalms, we are invited to do so slowly and quietly. In doing so, my voice blends with those next to me and what we hear is one voice. This is always the most challenging for us women clergy. We are used to leading with our voices in worship. Here, “we who are many are one.”
The intercessory prayers in chapel are not a long list of rote individual prayers but a litany of those who are more often forgotten–children in foster care, those who have been abused by the Church, those without health care, those who will die alone, and on it goes–and always with great thankfulness for their benefactors.
And then there is the gracious hospitality. Who goes to a place where everyone is glad to see me? I am filled with the warm welcome and smiles and hugs. This is because Benedictines believe that all they meet are Christ. Jesus shows up every time someone comes through the door.
It so good to be in my Monastery home.