The Blessing of Home

After nearly seven weeks of travelling up and down the A40 and staying with delightful friends in Oxford while I underwent treatment at various hospitals, I am home for a while. I’m very tired and sore, so home is, first of all, somewhere I can rest. For me, that means, once the daily duty of prayer and reading is fulfilled and I have done my share of domestic tasks such as cooking and account-keeping, I can, with a quiet conscience, do nothing in particular. Our culture values doing to such an extent that doing nothing is seen as ‘wasting’ time, ‘wasting’ talent β€” being, in some measure, selfish. In truth, it is nothing of the sort. Doing nothing silences mind and heart to make them more receptive, more supple, more genuinely creative. It should also make us capable of greater generosity. I don’t mean the kind of generosity that others expect of us. (Anyone telephoning the monastery at the moment or asking me to do things for them is likely to be met with a polite ‘no’: I haven’t any spare energy.) I mean the kind of generosity that goes back to the roots of the word itself: a nobleness, a largeness, that flourishes best when we are at peace; and we are never so much at peace as when we are at home.

It is a truism of Christianity that ‘we have not here an abiding city’ and, for monks and nuns especially, we travel light, owning nothing of our own, our gaze fixed (most of the time) on the City that is to come. That doesn’t mean, however, any misprizing of our earthly home. Indeed, the Benedictine vow of stability is often intertwined with stabilitas loci, a sense of place, of standing firm. The blessing of home is not the comfort or beauty it provides but the assurance that here we have a place, somewhere we stand firm. Let us pray today for those many millions who have no home and do not enjoy the blessing we may take for granted.

I haven’t been blogging for obvious reasons and will not be online much for the next couple of weeks or so. Please don’t assume that because I tap out the occasional post here everything is back to normal. It will take a while for energy levels to recover. Thank you.


20 thoughts on “The Blessing of Home”

  1. Thank you for your words of wisdom, inspiration and comfort whenever you’re able. I pray for a good recovery for you Sister, all blessings with you at this time and always.

  2. We’ll pray for you. Its nice to hear you won’t be online much because one really does need to rest a lot after illness. Go slowly and take your time, we’ll be here when you’re ready,
    blessings, Lynne

  3. It’s nice to have you home. Without your daily presence my stabilitas loci hasn’t been quite the same.

    Joining you in your prayer:

    Let us pray today for those many millions who have no home and do not enjoy the blessing we may take for granted.

    Hoping that they will all come to know the peace and stability of a good home.

    Amen >

  4. I have been thinking of you and praying for you. May you go from strength to strength! Can we also remember and pray for – as well as those without a home – those for whom their homs is not a place of blessing, reassurance and sanctuary.

  5. Glad that the travelling & daily treatment is over, Sister Catherine. Continuing to pray for you (all).
    Wednesday sees me in hospital for tolerance/toxicity testing for the new/experimental treatment … due to start fully on 16th July. It has been nice to have a break from hospitals, needles & nurses πŸ™‚

  6. It’s good to hear from you and know that the treatment is over for the present. Recovery, as I know from my own experience of similar treatment, can take much longer than you might expect. Be kind to yourself and let yourself heal.
    Prayers of course.

  7. Home is a blessed word and yes we pray for those without a place to be ‘at home’ in.
    Prayers for you to get your energy back bit by bit and to start feeling well.

  8. Glad you are home. Expect Brother Duncan and Quiet nun are pleased to have you back. Many prayers for you all for rest, recovery and inner peace.

  9. Lovely to hear from you again. I have been thinking of you and saying prayers for you too. Rest and recoup and be kind to yourself . love to Quiet nun and Bro Duncan too.

  10. Please take it very very slowly…your body has had a tremendous battering and needs a lot of time to recover… prayers are with you.

  11. Welcome back Sister. Rest in your safe place as your body does what it must. Your blog puts into words what goes on in my heart. God bless you and your Community

Comments are closed.