Life in a Monastery of the Heart is meant to freshen the embers & stoke the fire of fidelity, to deepen our understanding of the great treasures we seek, to remind us of who we are & what we are meant to be, to bring new life in us again the sight of the road on which we have put our feet. Retreat time is the flagship piece of the year that sets the standard for a rhythm of life that moves seamlessly between contemplation & action between work & Sabbath, between a regular retreat and reflection days throughout the year. There is a temptation in religious life to play religious, to dress the part of the seeker, to look as the Gospels warn us, wan & worn out from fasting. What is more growthful, the Rule demonstrates, is to ask ourselves regularly about all the little ways we are tempted to cut the corners of the spiritual life: by ceasing to pray, by giving up on the study of the faith, by failing to grapple with the scriptures, by neglecting to go out of ourselves to meet the needs of others, to tell the world a Gospel truth, to give voice to the pain of the world, to put down the ambitions of the political, to take up the challenges of the prophets.
The Monastery of the Heart by Joan Chittister OSB.
Last Friday morning we held a Service of Remembrance when St Hilda’s & St Benedict’s Primary Schools came together to pray for those who lost their lives in the two World Wars and conflicts since then. The pupils from both schools shared in the Service which began in Our Lady & St Benedict’s after which the pupils, teachers & parents processed in silence through the Village to St Hilda’s Church for the reading of the names of the War Dead & the two minute Silence. The children were a credit to their teachers & parents in the way they contributed with prayerfulness & reverence to the moment. It is reassuring to know that our young people, the Church of the future, take to heart the sacrifice made by many in our families & Village to enable us to enjoy the freedoms to live & worship in peace. Please remember especially in your prayers this Remembrance Sunday Herbert Fox, who died earlier this year, & was a stalwart at attending our Village Remembrance Service each year, after his years of active service.
Just two weekends ago the Community moved out of the Monastery into our temporary quarters in Bolton House. It was a mammoth operation in which we received invaluable help form Julia Brooke (Fr Abbot’s PA) & the removal firm Duggleby’s of Scarborough, who did a first class job with helpful & sensitive workmen. I hope I speak for the rest of the Community in expressing both delight & gratitude for all we have received in a building which is fully fit for purpose as our prayer & community space for the next two years. Many of you who will read this have given us a generous contribution in prayer, spirit & finance, & be sure of our continued steady prayers in thanksgiving.