February 26, 2012

Today, the first Sunday of Lent, we follow an ancient practice from the Rule of St. Benedict found in Chapter 48 of the Rule, where it states that each monk or nun receives “a book from the library, and is to read the whole of it straight through. These books are to be distributed at the beginning of Lent.” We have a simple ceremony at Chapter time before Mass when, after our Abbess has given a short talk, the Lenten books are distributed to each sister, having been covered with a special cover and each sister’s name placed on the cover. At this time in our monastic history most sisters choose their own Lenten book but others prefer our Abbess to choose the book and find a surprise when they open it! This practice is born from St. Benedict’s wise advice that during Lent more time should be given to sacred reading. There is a discipline involved also, for so often when we read a book, from which we may not get much satisfaction, we either give it back to the library or just skip parts of it to bring it to a hasty end! The discipline of Lenten reading is that we are asked by St. Benedict to read it “from cover to cover” no matter how we find it. He believes that there will be a message for us somewhere within the mysterious pages before us which will lead us deeper into the journey of transformation which Lent calls us to year after year.

Sr. Gabriella

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer