Monday 1st. Overcast morning twilight is now highlighted by security lighting out front; the trees look splendid. I thought the racoons would shy away from this light but they seem to enjoy extended hours of grazing. On the side of the monastery, the new lighting is just above eye-level, giving a Hogan’s Heroes-esque feel to a step outside.
Tuesday 2nd. Brother Henry went in for foot care today, in Moncton, and for once the foot experts were expert. Brother Stephan has cleaned up the parking lot under the row of trees which was trimmed dramatically recently. The smell of cut wood is lovely, but the real test in the monastery is, how will the old guys react.
Wednesday 3rd. A Priest retreatant recently went out for a walk and decided to cut some of our rhubarb for us. He was nice. As another Priest retreatant settled in for a stay, rhubarb crisp was served him with zeal by our Simone.
Thursday 4th. An evangelical Christian has been by for a few days’ retreat. It is always striking to have someone like him here with us as we pray the Psalms for example: often mysterious, often edifying, you wonder for starters how well we know ourselves as Catholics, and how open are we.
Friday 5th. Our Lariat wonder-truck went in for some work on the tires and exhaust system, at the friendly garage just heading out of town. We got rain, but not the type of rain the land needs. It has heated up considerably, yet Bede manages three miles by bike of an afternoon.
Saturday 6th. More truck troubles were discerned for the Lariat. Keep on truckin’, as we said in the 70’s. The guesthouse has entered a period of zero guests, most noticeable when we are praying the hours. Does the alternance between receiving people and greater solitude make us better hosts, the moment arrived? Hard to say.
Sunday 7th. Some air conditioners went in to select guesthouse rooms this week, not sure to what degree they have been tried out yet.
Monday 8th. Maurice our cook stepped into our sweet-smelling greenhouse this morning to look for fresh ingredients for us. Dom Innocent visited the lakeside hermitage. Brother Stephan set into whipper snipping some of the many corners of the lawn.
Tuesday 9th. Dom Innocent is putting together a new list of the monks’ present tasks and community positions. Brother Leo has nearly finished reading a tome by Garrrigou-Lagrange which would have put off fainter hearts.
Wednesday 10th. Bede is making headway in the production of the new Gradual book for Mass, including all that we sing at Mass. For this he finds binders, page holders and whatever other material he needs, sold as office supplies. In this case, the binder will be a small one. This evening, a family was down at the grotto and out of view one could hear children’s happy exclamations, as over the lake the eagle flew and we heard eagles’ cry.
Thursday 11th. Today was the feast of Saint Benedict, one of two monastic summer solemnities for us. Each July offers a new chance to understand Saint Benedict; and the day’s offices built around his legacy in a simple enough manner give a sense of what could be our home.
Friday 12th. Our Sisters’ new monastery is being put together fairly quickly. Unlike some construction projects, this one has not drawn many onlookers. They will certainly be in before the snow flies.
Saturday 13th. To help fill in the yard to the north of the monastery (where a cloister would have existed, had a separate Church building been built here) Steve transplanted a little green ash tree from down the hill. At one point in the past, a former monk developed a strong interest in arboriculture, and brought in types of trees that were new for us, hence the green ash.
Sunday 14th. At Mass Offertory, Steve played some Ennio Morricone, from the film score of ‘the Mission.’