RB 55: Clothing and Footwear
07/December/2007 Filed in: Chapter Talks
Benedict's instructions regarding clothing and footwear are quite straightforward and, among nuns at least, are usually adhered to unless someone has some special need. So, each of us has two habits, one for summer and one for winter, a pair of shoes and a pair of sandals, with wellies for wet weather (Benedict did not live in Britain) and hiking boots for stomping the Downs. The difficulty comes with the socks and gloves and other little items that are "supplementary". It is dangerously easy to start amassing things we do not really need, but without which life would not be so comfortable. Life in a monastery is not meant to be comfortable; but we should be careful about how we judge the "comforts" of others. Be tender towards your sister's need, and realistic about your own. Better to ask for a hot water bottle o' nights than risk hypothermia — or the cold and unlovely pride which takes delight in its own renunciations.