Wednesday, September 22, 2010

the crescat asks...

... do nuns and monks get a day off, ever. This past weekend the wonderful little nuns at The Holy Convent of Undisclosed Location rose every morning at 5am. These wonderful woman were up before the sun praying, preparing the days meals, tending the farm, praying some more, preparing for the evening meals, herding 20+ cats [literally], feeding cows, praying some more, dinner, and praying once more before retiring for the evening at 9pm.

I tried to keep their schedule. That lasted one day.

I know of some communities that start their day at 3am! In fact you can go on any of their websites and look at the daily schedule for that particular community. There's nothing on there about getting at least one day a week off just to sleep in.

Too bad there's no order of Sisters of Perpetual Lay About...



I honestly don't know how they maintain the daily stamina.

15 comments:

Katy said...

I'm discerning a religious vocation and am looking into different religious communities. That is one thing I always look at - their schedule. So many start the day at 5am or earlier, put in a full day of work, and don't seem to have much leisure time! My favorites so far seem to be the Benedictines. And the order I am most interested in starts their day at 7am and get to sleep in on Saturdays! ;) Of course that's not the only reason I like them...

3puddytats said...

I spent a weekend retreat at a local Benedictine Sisters monastery a few years back....the good sisters all had jobs at the hospital or were retired...however every day started early...Saturday started a bit later, but not much. But Saturday was actually a heavy duty workday at the monastery to get caught up on the "housework" and yardworkjsince most of the sisters worked at the hospital during the week. Sunday was more a "day of rest", however that's when they were usually entertaining visitors or family members and preparing big Sunday dinner. The only really "days off" I would think is if you went on Annual Retreat but I would think that you are still expected to keep prayer time.

I am normally up at 5 am anyway since I have to be at work at 6:30, so yeah bedtime is no later that 9:30 or I'm suffering the next day. I don't sleep in much on weekends as I have pets that want their breakfast. And I have pretty much scheduled times for Morning, Evening prayer, Rosary, and Carmelite studies/reading. Yeah--you CAN fit it all in--at big part is allowing one hour recreation (no more), shutting off the TV and computer, and going to bed when you're SUPPOSED to, even if everything isn't done...it'll still be there tomorrow.

If you're on a farm the schedule never changes..especially if there are cows to milk..

Sara

Adoro said...

Nope, they don't get days off. They do usually get an annual retreat, but I'm not sure that involves sleeping in as they are still obligated to keep their hours of prayer.

After 7 days at one active community, I found that I was crashing hard. I finished that 10 days of discernment with a cloistered community and my first full day there I just CRASHED, much to my shock. In speaking with Sister about how tired I was, although the labor I had done wasn't that difficult, etc., she said that it was because I wasn't accustomed to the regulated schedule and therefore hadn't "made it my own". She explained that new postulants make it a couple weeks, max, and then one day at morning prayer...they are simply absent. She said it's expected...they just are too tire to wake up.

She also said that they can usually see the signs in a newbie and would tell them to sleep in the next day, which is also something that might be told to a Sister who is ill.

So...there ya have it.

Otherwise, except for when the body is so crying out for rest that it becomes patently obvious to everyone else, no days "off." They're hard-core all the time!
;-)

Thank God for that...they're holding up the Church!

s-p said...

I worked at a women's monastery for almost a year building their quarters. Some of them had an obedience to assist with the construction on top of their daily prayer rule and chores. I could not keep their daily schedule.

ALIcoop8608 said...

Perhaps you could found the female counterpart of the order I intend to start, "The Little Brothers of Perpetual Discernment."

G said...

LOL, the best comment was the last one!

I think a big part of it is that if God brings you to it, God brings you thru it. I mean, he gives you the grace to maintain the schedule. I know religious who don't understand how parents can keep up with newborns as well as their other kids 24/7!

Jamie said...

I was a postulant with the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist for a few months, and one Sunday a month is "Retreat Sunday". It's a day of solitude and complete silence that you can spend however you want (you're still required to pray the Office and other prayers, of course!). You're even allowed to nap!

J2 said...

I remember finding the website of a Bridgettine community...they had a coffee hour on their daily schedule...I could do that!

Smiley said...

I styaed 2 weeks with the Heralds of the Gospel in Sao Paulo. I could not keep up. And they dont get time off. The day starts at 6 and winds down at about 10. That is fine but every hour someone has an allotyed hour at the blessed sacrament (moanstic commmunity).
Quite tiring. I guess your either called for that life or its not your calling.
They dont get annual vacations they do have an annaul retreat but its not the same thing.
They dont mind it at all, but i could tell they were worried about me, and i would frequently doze off on drives from location A to location B and duriing the homily of the day.
But i geuss it is a love thing, we would do similar if not longer routines for our kids or when a loved one is sick.The hard part is to do it every day for the rest of your life.

Adoro said...

ALIcoop8608 ~ There's already a blog, albeit somewhat inactive, dedicated exactly to that - maybe you should check them out!

http://www.perpetualdiscernment.blogspot.com/

Dymphna said...

That painting (it is a painting isn't it?) is gorgeous! What is it?

margaret said...

In a Community you derive strength from your sisters and even if you are as weak as a thrice-dipped teabag yourself you are still strengthening someone else. Communities are amazing things.

Joseph M said...

A college buddy once suggested he'd join the the Order of the Holy Dormition - the theory being that it is only through death that we gain our final glory, and sleep is as close to death as can get in this vale of tears - so, he was ready to sign up to sleep his way to holiness.

Sadly, this concept seems to be always ahead of its time.

Piotrek said...

Dymphna, right-click on the image, then "Save image as", and you'll see the artist and title.

The Little Way said...

There must be something to the monastic lifestyle. Most of the sisters I've known have lived to be in their 80s or 90s. I always joke that if Jesus was my spouse instead of Jim, it would have added another 10 years to my life. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, I know....