Spirit Days are a monastic invention, usually enjoyed after Pentecost since we are no longer allowed a liturgical octave in which to savour the fruits of the Holy Spirit. This year, however, we are keeping them before and during Pentecost, beginning today: three whole days of otium negotissimum, very busy leisure — a mini-retreat, if you like. The computer will be switched off, the answerphone switched on, and only the doorbell will be allowed to intrude on the silence (which we devoutly hope it won’t).
Like most monastic inventions (e.g. champagne, private confession) Spirit Days are capable of being very slightly subversive. The rationale behind them is beautifully simple. If we can’t have a proper liturgical octave, we can at least have some days of profound and joyous meditation on the Holy Spirit. Since we must follow the promptings of the Spirit in everything (or they would not be ‘Spirit’ Days), we are free to garden, make music, scribble poetry, knit, play with the dog or whatever (within reason) takes our fancy. This is liberty of spirit (small ‘s’) in action. As Fr Baker would often remind the nuns of Cambrai, ‘Follow your call, that’s all in all,’ and we are Bakerites to a nun. The only limitations are that we must pray, read, eat and sleep — exactly what is asked of the novice, whose fervour is legendary, if not always measured.
So, from today until Sunday evening, we shall be young again and simply rejoice in the Lord. Join us in spirit (small ‘s’) if you can.
Tweets, blog posts, etc have been pre-scheduled as we are not online. Comments will have to wait until after Pentecost for moderation.