Just Another Lenten Saturday

Saturdays in Lent have a quality all their own: slightly bleak, especially if the weather is bad, and somehow not particularly memorable. A lot of life is like that, if we’re honest, but I find St Benedict’s call to live lives of ‘surpassing purity during this holy season’ and his emphasis on joy quite striking (RB 49). Like most nuns, I love the stripping away to essentials of both liturgy and daily life at this time. The chant is unaccompanied, the food very plain (we fast every day except Sunday), and we try, within the limits of our budget and personal talents, to give more to others than we are able to do at other times of year. It reminds me that most of our monastic life is hidden and both much more ordinary than many people assume and perhaps a little more extraordinary at the same time. It has something of the transforming quality of Holy Saturday/Easter Night about it. My favourite quotation from the Desert Fathers captures the essence of this transformation: ‘the monastic cell is like Easter Night, it sees Christ rising.’

That is our prayer for ourselves and for all who read this blog at any time of year.

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4 thoughts on “Just Another Lenten Saturday”

  1. Thank you for this lovely description of Saturdays in Lent. Yes, that ordinary/extraordinary balance is a mystery and often a joy. Today’s glimpse of bright yellow crocus for example. Perfectly ordinary garden sight in March, even on a grim March day. Yet no matter how many one has seen, it is still extraordinary.

  2. An inspiring insight into Lenten Saturdays. I like the mention of very plain food – this is something that we in the overfed side of the world tend to lose sight of…the beauty of the plain and simple and the great privilege of having enough on the table. It made me also think of the enormous mystery of the Eucharist where we are fed with the, apparently, simplest of things yet nourished into the eternal life of God. Thank you, Sister, for recalling my mind to things of real worth.

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