27/January/2009 Filed in: Jottings
Heard a couple of deer barking in the stand of woodland just over the way and thought how privileged we are to be surrounded by natural sounds at night rather than the rush and roar of traffic. People often remark how quiet the monastery is. We tend not to notice. Even when the monastery is empty of visitors, there is always someone whose letter/email/telephone call requires urgent attention. It is part of the asceticism of monastic life, but one is often left with a profound sense of failure because we cannot give each individual the amount of attention he/she needs (or demands) and sometimes give replies which are plainly not the ones sought or hoped for. Perhaps that is itself another form of asceticism: to do one's best yet disappoint. Fortunately, God is more concerned with our motivation than our success or failure.