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nunsense

Our Lady Of The Rock Benedictine Monastery

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PhuturePriest
[quote name='nunsense' timestamp='1334890866' post='2421113']
Soon, FP, soon but thank you. I am in the pre-postulancy stage. I suppose the Carmelites would call it a live-in but Benedictines have different terminology and way of doing things. I am in a limbo-land, not of the monastery yet and not of the guest world either. I live above the priest's house (well, it's a priest's house when we have a priest in residence, which God willing will happen in July when our Easter priest comes back for a year's sabbatical from his SOLT duties) but I can take my meals with the guests or by myself if I want. Since I have been sick, I have been taking them alone, but today I went down to the guest house for lunch. They have me live here so that I don't get into too much socializing with the guests and Interns and oblates who come. Sometimes the guest house gets very full of people and there is a lot of talking and busy-ness. I also take care of the cat who lives at the house - he is a real sweetie. In another eight weeks or so, I will move into a cabin within the monastery enclosure with one of the Professed nuns and take my meals at the monastery and join them for recreation. Things are done slowly here, a little bit at a time, which is good for me this time around. I won't post too much here though, because I am going to put things on my blog now, and anyone who is interested can check there for updates. But thank you to everyone for all the kind words.
[/quote]

Oh, I see. Will you be allowed to use the computer once you officially enter the Community?

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BarbaraTherese
Very nice blog, nunsense.
Good to see you getting back onto your feet and the pics of the monastery grounds look beautiful! Peaceful!

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nunsense
[quote name='FuturePriest387' timestamp='1334965413' post='2421463']
Oh, I see. Will you be allowed to use the computer once you officially enter the Community?
[/quote]

Good question but I can't really answer it yet. I assume yes, but the amount of time online will probably depend on a number of factors. Benedictines are not into denying one's abilities so much as using then for the good of the community and since my Master's degree is in Information Technology Education it is likely to suppose that they will want to take advantage of this skill, especially as it is one of the few skills I do possess. I am only a mediocre singer, a poor cook, and an incredibly bad hand-sewer, although I am not too deadly with a sewing machine if I have a pattern and instructions! :P The good news is that they already have an expert musician and some really good singers here, and others who have the skills I lack. And Mother H did say to me that they were glad I had the computer skills since none of them really do, and they have to rely on help from their oblates to get things online.

For me, the danger is in getting too involved with computers, as they are very much a part of me, but having spent those years in Carmel, I know that I can do without them, and I can ration myself as needed. And since hospitality is a big part of the Benedictine charism, I suppose having online hospitality makes sense as well. :)

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nunsense
[quote name='BarbaraTherese' timestamp='1334966866' post='2421473']
Very nice blog, nunsense.
Good to see you getting back onto your feet and the pics of the monastery grounds look beautiful! Peaceful!
[/quote]

Beautiful yes, but not always peaceful externally -- lots of guests pass through and every day has its adventures. Today an elderly couple came to visit the chapel and they got their car stuck in the mud trying to avoid another car going down the hill while they were going up. It took three hours and a local farmer to help them get unstuck... but they were very good natured about it all - so maybe the peace of the place had already sunk into them? :)

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BarbaraTherese
Three hours maintaining Peace and therefore Patience while one's car is stuck is exemplary! :)
There is that Peace, Quiet and Aloneness even in a crowd of people and much comings and goings, huh! I am going to register on your blog if you will have me as soon as soon as I can. I noticed there was a facility to have email advice of new entries. You not only have computer skills but writing also - an easy flow and an eye for detail and communicating it. Thomas Merton wrote that contemplatives should share the fruits of their contemplation in the parlour. And in the 21st century a computer can be 'the parlour' open to the whole wide world - that is if your superior is happy with such and if so, and it is thus an obedience, nothing to fear.

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nunsense
[quote name='BarbaraTherese' timestamp='1335061957' post='2421789']
Three hours maintaining Peace and therefore Patience while one's car is stuck is exemplary! :)
There is that Peace, Quiet and Aloneness even in a crowd of people and much comings and goings, huh! I am going to register on your blog if you will have me as soon as soon as I can. I noticed there was a facility to have email advice of new entries. You not only have computer skills but writing also - an easy flow and an eye for detail and communicating it. Thomas Merton wrote that contemplatives should share the fruits of their contemplation in the parlour. And in the 21st century a computer can be 'the parlour' open to the whole wide world - that is if your superior is happy with such and if so, and it is thus an obedience, nothing to fear.
[/quote]

I have set up comments so that one shouldn't have to register, unless they want to, and yes, email notification is set-up as well, so whatever way you want to stay in touch is fine.

Contemplative life just seems to be like a compost pile for writers, doesn't it - it takes a load of manure and rubbish and turns it into something useful? :P I find that writing helps me when I don't have anyone else to talk to - sort of a release valve.

As for obedience, it isn't a question at the moment because I have been told to continue my work online and to basically continue to live my own life while living here. Once I move into the monastery, as I wrote to FP, I will just have to see if the situation changes or not. I am fine with whatever decision is made and just hope I can be useful to the community in some way.

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BarbaraTherese
I understand completely - writing is a release and often a catharsis for me as well. My Bipolar condition has taken me on a fascinating (now anyway I can say this!) and quite colourful journey and from the depths of continual serious psychotic mental illness (and simply 'not on this planet') to a state of as good as wellness and mental stability today (while the implications of my condition is constantly with me as potential - remote, but potential nonethless). I have mountains of much manure and rubbish!!! I have been asked by my betters to write about it all but at this point I can't as I get to points where there is just too much pain to recall and write. I leave it and try to go back much later, but its too much for such as I. Maybe one day before I leave this world I will. I have kept diaries for many years now and much of it I think is probably in these.
Since I am quite stubborn :pinch: about your having a vocation to the life, I know you will be of great use to your community whichever decision is made. I also know that where God's Will is, there you will be - as stubborn as I am. I am really looking forward to following your journey in OLR and my hope and prayer is that I will still be following you up to final profession,and I will be including in my prayers that your superior will see things my way :saint2: and encourage you to write and be a continuing encouragement to us all especially discerners for religious life !!!

PS A suggestion - link to your blog in your signature? Edited by BarbaraTherese

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nunsense
[quote name='BarbaraTherese' timestamp='1335074175' post='2421828']
I understand completely - writing is a release and often a catharsis for me as well. My Bipolar condition has taken me on a fascinating (now anyway I can say this!) and quite colourful journey and from the depths of continual serious psychotic mental illness (and simply 'not on this planet') to a state of as good as wellness and mental stability today (while the implications of my condition is constantly with me as potential - remote, but potential nonethless). I have mountains of much manure and rubbish!!! I have been asked by my betters to write about it all but at this point I can't as I get to points where there is just too much pain to recall and write. I leave it and try to go back much later, but its too much for such as I. Maybe one day before I leave this world I will. I have kept diaries for many years now and much of it I think is probably in these.
Since I am quite stubborn about your having a vocation to the life, I know you will be of great use to your community whichever decision is made. I also know that where God's Will is, there you will be - as stubborn as I am. I am really looking forward to following your journey in OLR and my hope and prayer is that I will still be following you up to final profession,and I will be including in my prayers that your superior will see things my way and encourage you to write and be a continuing encouragement to us all especially discerners for religious life !!!

PS A suggestion - link to your blog in your signature?
[/quote]
Thanks for the suggestion Barb - it never occured to me! One way to deal with pain in writing is to fictionalize it. That's why I wrote my book in 2010 - because I had to deal with the pain of being kicked out of Carmel. It started out as a semi-autobiographical and quickly became a fiction story, and then into all kinds of realities. Maybe if you can't write your true story, you could about someone else who experiences similar things to what you have, but as you go along, make changes to help deal with the pain. It worked for me. Now, I would never even read that book I wrote, let alone allowing others to do so - it embarrasses the heck out of me just thinking about it. But at the time, it did what I needed it to do. Go for it!

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BarbaraTherese
Thank you very much for that suggestion - it just might work for me too. And writing a book will keep me out of mischief! :hehe2: One of the problems I did come across was that I had no desire to point any fingers at anyone since far more often, the finger was pointing at myself. This could be totally overcome with writing what I call fictional fact (fiction drawing on facts)wherein I can disguise all identites. The idea had occured to me before (to write a fiction/fact novel) but it had absolutely no appeal whatsoever until I read your post above and something dropped into place - whatever it was. God is Good and all things in His Time. It only occured to me today that God had been waiting for me to make a very painful decision before stable mental health would begin. If I can indeed get into it, I might write a few novels - goodness knows I know many sufferers' stories and in a novel identities can be hidden and a story draw on a few stories. Statements re journeying with mental illness (for one) can be conveyed. It could be a total and absolute work of fiction drawing on facts from all over the place and many stories and buried in it all somewhere my own story. This way, I can now see, I can project any pain onto a fictional character in a story and thus distance from myself personally. My head is filling with ideas! Thank you again! Bob Dylan wrote "a head full of ideas driving me insane" ........ but I shall avoid that one God Willing! :) Edited by BarbaraTherese

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nunsense
Barb - writing is very therapeutic so I hope you do start writing your stories, fictionalized or not. I think writing has kept me sane over the years! If I can be called sane, that is :P

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nunsense
I finally got around to posting Part 2 of the Discernment blog. For some reason the daily blog about the monastery seems to be easier to write than the weekly one about discernment, perhaps because the second one goes a bit deeper than just the things I did today and the photos but deals more with my feelings.

Our Prioress left today to go to Regina Laudis Abbey to celebrate her Golden Jubilee (for the second time) with the Abbess there. They both entered at the same time and the feast of St Scholastica was the anniversary, but the Abbess at RL wanted to make it easier for those guests who wanted to come, so she postponed her actual ceremony until the weather got a bit better, and she invited our Prioress to share her celebration with her as well. We all felt the loss of our Prioress at Terce and the Communion Service this morning. She did come to Lauds before she left, but she almost sneaked out without anyone seeing her. As we left the chapel after Communion, we saw her (and the nun who was taking her to the airport) driving away. We ran out and waved goodbye. She had said her goodbyes inside and didn't want to make a big deal out of it but we still had to wave and shout out anyway. Even the loss of one member of the community is hard and we currently have one nun in the hospital and now Mother Prioress has gone away so that leaves five nuns to do everything. We are blessed in having very good interns though, who do so much work, and both of them attend the Office as well, so that helps. I wish I could help out more but I am sort of in the no-man's land (or should that be no-woman's land?) of not being either an intern or a nun. I do have chores and I have my own income work and of course, I attend the Office, but I still wish I could take on more to help them when they are so short-handed. I have to trust in God though, that He knows their needs and will take care of everyone. I ask for prayers for the nuns, safe travel for Mother Prioress, a return to health for Mother F and grace for everyone to do what is necessary at this time for the community. Please pray also for our interns as one is leaving in just over a week and there is another new one arriving soon, so the two new ones will need God's help as they settle into their life and work here for the next year.

Thank you and know that I remember you all in my prayers too.

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BarbaraTherese
If anyone has not caught up with nunsense's blogs "Monastery Musing" (about OLR and her current entrance there) and "At Any Age" (story of her very person journeys in religious life) - do yourself a really big favour and catch up with them. One can register one's email and every entry with pics can be read in your email inbox. The links are in nunsense's signature. She has a real eye for detail and insight into her own selfhood and writes beautifully with a very easy flow of words.

Nunsense, if you read this, I haven't given thought really too to writing 'fictional fact' drawn also from my own journey. I have been assured that it would be most theraputic for me (and thank you for further encouragement), but I get the internal jitters even thinking about writing even fictional fact. Once I get through that block, when and if I do, I will start to write. Time really isn't on my side just now either.
I am a prolific writer, mainly in my diaries, and..........nunsense me luv..............it didn't keep me sane, I can assure you fer sure! LOL

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