Week of October 6-12
Elisabeth Meadows, OSB, Sacred Heart Monastery, Cullman, AL
Today my hands were filled with many types of work. At various times during the day my hands held a laptop, a chalice, a pitchfork, skeleton keys, dirty dishes, notes for a meeting, a draft brochure, a liturgical vestment catalog, a jump drive, and of course, my prayer books… All in a days work here at the monastery.
Most of us have a variety of roles within the community. My responsibilities range from hospitality to liturgical music to computers to sacristy to household chores. My full-time ministry is in our Retreat Center, which means that I work at home and thus am able to help with many other day-to-day needs within the monastery. My hands stay full and busy as I move hither and yon about the house tending to the varied responsibilities the community has asked of me. I put down keys and pick up a chalice. I put down the chalice and pick up a flute. I put down the flute and pull a jump drive out of my pocket. I put down the jump drive and pick up my prayer book. All in a days work and prayer…
Late today, my hands at last were quiet and empty. At the edge of evening I stood at the edge of the woods. The first fireflies of the season were lighting up the night. I watched them skip hither and yon amongst the trees in a delicate, ethereal dance - silent, unobtrusive, impossibly light-winged.
Whether we have one role or many, it is easy to become lead-footed and heavy-handed as we move about with full and busy hands. Tonight, fireflies at the edge of evening reminded me to move lightly and unobtrusively, to hold my work delicately, and perhaps even occasionally, to glow.
Sister Elisabeth Meadows is a Benedictine Sister at Sacred Heart Monastery in Cullman, AL. She directs the community's retreat center, serves in several other roles within the community, and finds great joy in the 'everyday' of monastic life and in the great gift of sharing life with her sisters in monastic community.