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Monastic Life

Monastery Life

I arrived at the monastery on a sunny morning. By the time I had unpacked the car, it was raining. This is what you would call, "A bad day to hay." You cannot harvest hay when it rains. We get a lot of days like this. Retreatants enjoy the sunshine, and then they go inside to read or pray. Hay Ranchers like to pray and read too, but not when it is hay time. God can have early morning, nighttime and evenings for our prayer. Hay Ranchers wants the daytime, the long summer daytime with no rain, so as to harvest hay. God does not always cooperate. Maybe God has other plans? God made cows, and they want hay, so why does God not cooperate on a more timely fashion? Hay Ranching Monks need to do a lot of surrendering to God's will, and acceptance while spending all this predawn and evening time in meditation, singing psalms, and loving the God who is quite mysterious. The spiritual adept monk here is not one who has lots of wise sayings or is well read in mystic spirituality, or who looks caught up in a rapture of spiritual union. He is a guy in dirty jeans, who shrugs his shoulders when it rains, and just waits another day. His daytime prayer happens while he deals in grease and diesel fuel. So when you meditate, and think now you and God are on your plan for the day, or your life, and it does not work out as you planned, just get onto the next task. God is at work, but not on your schedule. I hear the distant thunder.

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