Live-In: Part 2

As you may guess from the title, this is the second part of my live-in. My journalling became more sporadic towards the end of my stay as I got into the routine and so obviously had less to say about new things happenings. Most of my journals in this part are very mundane so some days I haven’t posted anything from my journal but have just written a little about. You might want to read Part 1 to make full sense of those post since it draws a lot from the first part.

20th July

Today I decided to take my lectio outside since it is a wonderfully sunny day. It seems St Swithun is delivering as promised! I chose mostly to walk as I read, though for a while I did stop at some benches near the gardens but I find I get restless so I walked back around. I passed Sr. MTo and [postulant] doing the same thing and one of the cats came up to me and MM walked past as I was pausing to stroke it. 

At Mass I got terrible confused during the Eucharistic prayer, I couldn’t understand what Father was saying very well and because it was EP1 there are pages of other stuff in the middle of the prayer and so for the first time I couldn’t find me way again so I just listened but I much prefer having the Missal. 

There was no lesson, so I had another talk with MM. She asked me a few things about my health and if I’d ever thought about other vocations and made sure I was still feeling happy here. We talked about the next stages of applying and MM told me I had to meet with Mother Abbess at some point but that so far she still thought I was doing very well and couldn’t foresee any problems.

22nd July

This morning I went to Vigils so I was up at 4.40 this morning! It seemed terribly early, the sun was still rising. Vigils is quite different from the other offices, and much longer. But I almost missed Prime and Terce! I was reading and I sort of acknowledged the bell but was so absorbed in my reading I forgot what it actually meant. Luckily Sr. MTe came to find me just as I realised my mistake. But I made it eventually if slightly late. 

I really liked Vigils. I wanted to go more often that I did, but I knew that even if I was willing I wouldn’t be able to cope. Even [postulant] doesn’t go every day, they’re very good at easing you into it.

I found it rather astonishing I was still very awake after evening recreation as we went to Compline, despite having been up for Vigils. I think being able to have a cup of tea before Vigils really helped. 

Since there is no lesson or work on Sundays, I often find myself at something of a lose. But today MM gave me some typing to do from one of MA’s conferences and I glued the frame together for the refectory decorations for MA’s feast day. My apron is also falling apart a bit so I offered to mend it and MM was very surprised. 

23rd July

St. Cecilia’s is right on the coast of the island and so from the grounds you can see the beach below, the abbey is on a hill and the beach is below. Apparently there is a café or something there and some nights it plays very loud music. When we went for a walk during evening recreation we could hear the music coming from the beach below. It was very strange because reggae music is one of the last things one expects to hear at a monastery! Luckily they stop the music about when we went to bed otherwise it might have been quite annoying, but as it was it was just quite funny.

24th July

Tomorrow after Mass I am meeting with MA! 

Luckily, MM only told me about this very late otherwise I might have been panicking. I was quite nervous, because obviously if it went badly it could end my chances there.

25th July

I didn’t write anything for this next day, I was using all my spare moments to finish a gift for [postulant]. And of course it had been my meeting with MA so I was still thinking about that.

26th July 

MM says that MA is pleased with my visit and wants me to make a second one. At first I was very upset, thinking this meant they thought I wasn’t suitable but MM assures me it is very normal and so it was in fact a good sign that they want me to come back! So I was very reassured by that and MM and I were able to talk and I hope I was able to clarify a few things she was concerned about. 

I have some weird food issues and I think MM was concerned I wasn’t eating healthily. I admit it’s something I need to work on but I think I was able to explain to MM that I really had been trying while I was there and that it was something that was improving over time.

And that’s where my journal comes to an end. I left a few days later. Leaving was very sad, but all the novitiate and MA came to say goodbye to me at the door which was lovely. I loved my time there, and I left wishing for the day when I can go back through those doors again.


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