[Note: Under the label “An Ancient Spirit Lives” are blogs and web sites speaking directly about the most ancient monastic principles. These are blogs I hope I never forget and ones that directly shape my understanding of monastic life.]
One of Sr. Janet’s blog posts is “A Different Path” of August 20, 2008, telling much about the Poor Clares Colettine Community at Ty Mam Duw — located in Wales, Great Britain.
The Poor Clares Colettine Community is a praying community. They pray much of the day and late into the night. And they also know when to pray more. You might think that it is odd to make such a distinction — knowing when to pray more. But the Poor Clares are given a lamp unto their feet and a light unto their path that shines farther into the unknown — but this is typical of great praying communities and individuals.
Sr. Janet wrote in “A Different Path”:
“Yet speak to any of the Sisters and their sense of joy is real, their inner freedom tangible. There is no sense that the long hours spent in prayer are burdensome. The Sister I interviewed After all, these are the very moments when they can be close to the sick, the dying, those in any kind of need, as one story goes to show…
“Not long ago, late at night, the dog started to bark, without any obvious cause. There was a feeling that someone was dying and so the Sisters immediately sprang into action, praying throughout the night hours on that person’s behalf. The dog continued to bark into the early hours of the morning and then, suddenly, stopped, allowing the Sisters a few hours of sleep. Next morning, they learned that the moment of the dog’s silence was the very time at which the mother of a nearby camper, died. Thanks to the dog, the Sisters and a good dollop of Divine Inspiration, the old lady did not die alone… and they have many stories just like that, when they have somehow known that there was somebody in urgent need of their prayerful companionship at a crisis point in their life.”
Incline the ear — there is something worth listening to.