Jump to content

Carmelite Live In


Recommended Posts

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Replies 74
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Strictlyinkblot

    18

  • AccountDeleted

    13

  • brandelynmarie

    9

  • faithcecelia

    6

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Hi, I'm just back. Wonderful, wonderful time. I was nearly crying leaving. Unlike last time I didn't find anything that difficult, a few niggles but nothing I couldn't handle. I'll post more once I go

Almost time for my live in in Quidenham. Can you tell I'm a little excited? Monday week I fly off. So, five more shifts. I just hope I'm going to be able to drag myself out of bed at 05:30. H

Hi, I'm just back. Wonderful, wonderful time. I was nearly crying leaving. Unlike last time I didn't find anything that difficult, a few niggles but nothing I couldn't handle. I'll post more once I go and get some milk so I can make tea.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant, brilliant week. I can't remember the last time I laughed so much. I actually had no problem getting up at 05:30. If my mum read this she'd faint with shock but it was alright. I was in the guest flat but it has a door directly into the enclosure, just beside what they call the bread office where you can make a cup of tea and you wash the dishes that don't go down to the main kitchen. I was directly across from the bell tower. For some strange reason the bell sounds every half an hour (or 15 mins, can't remember which) throughout the night. The NM gave me ear plugs but to be honest it was fine. It woke me up a few times the first night but I went straight back to sleep. After that I just didn't hear it.

The NM and Prioress met me as I was going in and brought me to the novitiate which I was glad of. Its hard to meet lots of new people at once when you're already nervous. After a chat and a cup of tea the NM brought me to the antechoir, a large room just down from the choir to say the Angelus. After that I was hugged and kissed repeatedly by the nuns. NM suggested that I take a break after tea instead of helping with the washing up. Just as well as I kept wanting to giggle.

Recreation was something of an eyeopener. I didn't expect the nuns to be up to date on Strictly Come Dancing, apparently the results were in the newspaper that they got. I honestly thought I'd burst something laughing. Possibly the funniest moment occurred when the nuns were asking me about the dance costumes that I wore and how they were made up. I was just explaining the body suit that's worn under the skirt and poppers (that you can open to use the ladies) when the NM walked by. I actually thought her veil was going to shoot off she looked so shocked. I think she might have misunderstood the conversation.

While I didn't stay in a cell I was shown several empty ones. They have the black cross on the wall without the body of Christ but no skulls which I was quite relieved about. I also got to see a habit being made and the Robier (prob not the right word, person responsible for the habits) explained the different parts that makes it up. The Robier is also an iconographer and she gave me several little prints of her icons. Gorgeous is the only word.

Work wise I had the job of cleaning the refractory after breakfast the Carmelite way. I quite enjoyed having a little job I was responsible for. They use a brush to sweep the crumbs off the tables. It works really well. Everyone washes their own dishes after breakfast but not at other meals. I helped dry the dishes after dinner and supper for the first few days in the big kitchen and then I was given the job of washing mugs and bowls (the ones that they put the bits they don't eat into) in the bread office. Bowls, mugs, small plates and cutlery don't go down to the kitchen. They stay in the bread office.

Some days I worked in the library. I covered books with special plastic stuff, dusted shelves, marked books as returned on the computer and cataloged books, not all in the one day. Other days I packed cards in the card office. I quite enjoyed that as it was very peaceful. I also did a lot of hoovering and dusting in various parts, from the antechoir right across to the area where they keep the papers (you'll know what I mean Faith) one day. Prayer isn't the easiest thing for me to talk about but it was wonderful (I'm overusing that word) to be able to tease out my thoughts with the NM.

Nothing was particularly hard. A few niggles, occasionally I longed for diet coke or got restless but it was easily dealt with. The funny thing is that everytime I thought about something I might like the NM or someone else would ask me if I wanted it. Honestly, one day I was just thinking I wanted an egg when one of them approached me and asked if I'd like one for my tea. And there is a gorgeous icon of Our Lady in the hall. I'd been thinking I'd like a print of it, then the Robier gave me not one, but two along with several others including my favourite angel, St. Michael (other than my Guardian angel of course).


The grounds are superb. You can walk for ages and not see anyone. I spent most of the siesta times either walking or reading in my room. In recreation apart from laughing hysterically I mainly folded cards, although I did cut paper into little bits that they use for notes. One night was games night and Monday night we had country dancing practice.

I think what I enjoyed most was the conferences. I find it difficult to talk about prayer and my faith but it was great to be able to talk about it with the NM and tease it out. And I really appreciated having the two hours of silent prayer. I thought I'd be restless but it was fine. The Office is lovely, One of the nuns was assigned to sit beside me and mark my book and generally look after me. I thought it wouldn't be too hard but its completely different to my own breviary. I especially liked Compline with the lights switched off except for candles around Our Lady's statue. And on Saturday after Vespers all the nuns hold candles and sing the Salve Regina. I received detailed instructions on how to hold my candle.

I sat beside the NM in the refractory and she made sure I knew what to do. Breakfast was what you'd expect, cereals and bread with different types of seeds and dried fruit to sprinkle on top if you want. You can have coffee, tea, strong tea or different herbal teas. Soya milk is there if anyone wants it beside the regular milk. I missed my skimmed milk as there was only semi-skimmed but that's a minor enough complaint.

The hardest thing for me to deal with was the food, not that it was bad in any way. My first full day was a feast day so we had veggie burger and chips for dinner with lots of chocolate and other nice things. My difficulty is that I'm not a fast eater and vegetables take me a long time to eat. Very embarrassing. You are served your main portion and then you can take what you want from the vegetables, salad and potatoes/rice. The beans at one dinner defeated me. I'd one spoonful left on my plate but I just couldn't eat it. The NM told me to cover it up and eat it at supper. As soon as she was gone one of the other nuns snuck up and told me to sneak it into the bucket they use for scrap food but I was a good girl and left it for supper. :saint2:

On Friday they fast but they have potatoes and vegetables at dinner with bread and coagulated milk and breakfast and supper as usual. The NM explained that while its up to the individual nun to decide how much they're going to fast they're not allowed to do the Medjugorian fast. Which makes sense as they're on a vegetarian diet with some fish. I'd imagine if you were fasting on bread and water twice a week it would cause problems.

I thought I was going to cry today as I left. It really felt like home. The plan is that I stay in touch for the moment and return for a stay in 18 months if I still feel like its the place for me. Obv if I get the loans paid back quicker I can return sooner but the NM and Prioress felt that to return sooner would only put pressure on me and hurt me. Which I understand although I'd rather go back sooner. The reality is I've got at least 3 years to go on my loans although I'm going to work as hard as I can to pay them off.

Any questions ask away.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you stay in the flat (through the Bread Office??)? Yes, the clock goes every 15mins 24hrs a day! I had the cell at the very top of the back stairs, diagonally opposite the bell tower, and the number of times I woke in the night and practically leapt out of bed thinking I had overslept and it was the Angelus when in fact it was only a quarter to whichever hour!

Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='faithcecelia' timestamp='1320783341' post='2333307']
Did you stay in the flat (through the Bread Office??)? Yes, the clock goes every 15mins 24hrs a day! I had the cell at the very top of the back stairs, diagonally opposite the bell tower, and the number of times I woke in the night and practically leapt out of bed thinking I had overslept and it was the Angelus when in fact it was only a quarter to whichever hour!
[/quote]

Yes, the NM thought it was better than staying in a cell for the first visit. I was a little disappointed at first but I appreciated being able to make a cup of tea without disturbing anyone and having my own bathroom.

I was so worried about not waking up I set the alarm on my phone for 05:25 and stuck it under my pillow. Yesterday I was in the card office down in the basement. I didn't hear the bell for sext (which is rung inside the house using a handbell) but I heard the bell tower signalling the half hour five or ten minutes later. I shot up the stairs. I could hear that they'd just started but I was so flustered I got wheezy and had to go back to my room for my inhaler. I then sat in the antechoir attempting to be discreet but of course one of the others saw me (the nuns who were on kitchen duty didn't go to sext) and got the NM. A little embarrassing.

Link to post
Share on other sites
FutureCarmeliteClaire

Oh my goodness, your summary of your stay just made the rest of my day. How amazing!!! I can't wait until I am allowed a live-in, my convent does not allow live-ins until you are 18 and graduated. :( Oh well, but the NM told me that the wait will make me stronger.
So, are all Carmelites vegetarians? I just found out that a bunch of them are the other day... I am not a huge meat person anyway, but I really had no idea until the other day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='FutureCarmeliteClaire' timestamp='1320784755' post='2333314']
Oh my goodness, your summary of your stay just made the rest of my day. How amazing!!! I can't wait until I am allowed a live-in, my convent does not allow live-ins until you are 18 and graduated. :( Oh well, but the NM told me that the wait will make me stronger.
So, are all Carmelites vegetarians? I just found out that a bunch of them are the other day... I am not a huge meat person anyway, but I really had no idea until the other day.
[/quote]

Generally speaking, yes. I think its in the rules that they refrain from meat except when travelling and if unwell. Having said that several Carmels now have meat occasionally as fish is now so expensive and the seas are being over fished. In the Malahide Carmel they made a decision to eat meat as so many of them were unwell it was impractical to cook two dinners.

Link to post
Share on other sites
FutureCarmeliteClaire

[quote name='Strictlyinkblot' timestamp='1320785101' post='2333318']

Generally speaking, yes. I think its in the rules that they refrain from meat except when travelling and if unwell. Having said that several Carmels now have meat occasionally as fish is now so expensive and the seas are being over fished. In the Malahide Carmel they made a decision to eat meat as so many of them were unwell it was impractical to cook two dinners.
[/quote]
Oh, okay. Thanks. I'm glad that you had such a great time!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Its really strange to be out. Everything is so noisy. I had 155 emails in my mail box, none of them important about 15 that I had any interest in. The Carmel could be made for me with its library, vast selection of books in the community room (they have Roald Dahl and just about every one of my favourite authors ex. Stephen King and Suzanne Collins but I hope to change that) and walks.

Its hard to have to wait to go back. :cry:

I'm going to have to up my prayer quota. All the nuns are praying for me.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



It costs about $850 a year for Phatmass.com to survive–and we barely make it. If you’d like to help keep the Phorum alive, please consider a monthly gift.



×
×
  • Create New...