March 7, 2011

In the rule of St. Benedict it prescribes that every monk receive a book for Lent and that they should read it straight through. We still do that. On Ash Wednesday we each receive a book picked out by the abbess. We are free to give her suggestions but sometimes we are surprised. We also have 'Lenten reading' which is a half-hour set aside each day during Lent to read this book, over and above our usual reading. We do this reading together, usually in the library and one other place for people who want to take notes. I think we all appreciate this time of reading together; it is a quiet and sacred time. Many of us suggest a book that we normally wouldn't just pick up and read but think we should read. This supplies the discipline to get through the book. I've done that and it is usually quite fruitful. In whatever book I receive I look for a special Lenten message in it for me. And yes, I do find it. I wonder what the message will be this year.

Sister Maggie