One of the things I think Catholics do particularly well is to enjoy their religion. We do not put on a gloomy and sanctimonious face when we go to church, nor do we spend overmuch time listening to sermons. We have our fasts, but we like our feasts, too. The ‘twenty minute Mass’ beloved of race-goers of old probably does not exist any more, but we are very good at adapting the liturgy to suit our needs: slow, and with many a prayerful pause, at the conventual Mass; rather brisker at the parish 8.30 a.m. Mass over, off we go, without any silly scrupulosity, to enjoy the rest of the day, doing whatever we want, or nothing at all, as our fancy takes us. Is there anything wrong with that? I think not. Far too often Christianity is presented as a religion of negatives, one that prevents us doing what we want, or makes us feel guilty if we do. Granted, Christianity does urge us to be truthful, honest, kind, compassionate, etc, etc, but these are good things that any sane person would want to be, and prayer, though frequently derided by those with no experience of it, does open us up to the wonder and beauty of God. Sunday is our sabbath, our day of rest, our joy, our delight: the first day of the week that sets the tone for the rest. Here in the monastery we spend more time in prayer and reading than is possible on other days, but we also eat a better dinner and have a strict rule that no one is to correct (i.e. argue with/scold/berate) another for anything. That means that there are usually no arguments, no clashes, and everyone is free to be herself, as God intends her to be, and is grateful for the gifts that the day brings. Is there something here for everyone, monastic or not?