Choices

Work in the monastery is almost always assigned tasks and most of the tasks follow a regular pattern with only small variations. This may sound dull and unrewarding, but it is not. Each task, each pattern, each small variation is offered to the Community — and through the Community to God — and, amazingly, is rarely every boring. Of course, there are "off days" when one grits one's teeth, but those are far and few between.

What can cause unrest — or bring to light the unrest already in oneself — is the introduction of choice into the pattern: "shall I do this or that? now or later? what if...? why doesn't..." and so on. Then you can add to the mix other people's choices. Although this small Community offers its own life-style to visitors, it still has to take into consideration the choices which visitors make. And — very, very rarely — the Community will ask for choices to be made. How amazing it is that so many variations can creep into what seemed to be a straightforward choice! One should, of course, find this interesting rather than exhausting; but at any rate, it can provide a good lesson to ruminate on: am I set in my ways? do I actively care about other people? am I being lazy? and so on. First-rate grist for the mill of conversion.

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