Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Finding that quiet place - St Clare

Douai Abbey June 2012

I've been busy relating the alarms and excursions of last weekend to a fellow tertiary who missed our local area retreat . In all fairness, these only made up a tiny part of what I found a refreshing and challenging time out learning about the prayer  of St Clare of Assisi: she who exemplifies the more  contemplative strand of Franciscan spirituality and who, IMO tends to stay very much in the shadow of Francis. She's certainly challenging me  several years after my profession into TSSF, and at a time when my own rule of life is becoming, shall we say...slightly 'motheaten,' to look, pray, and ponder once again how I can ground my way of being.  Her life and actions really were congruent with what she believed. 

Any old way - to get back to the alarums: namely the fire alarm going off twice during the wee smalls of Sunday morning; all this against a soundscape din of some nearby 'do,' which rumbled on until dawn despite phonecalls from the monks and intervention by the police: As I lay there fuming, (hearing the dawn chorus being drowned out was particularly galling!), I  pondered again the necessity of being able to find a quiet place within myself regardless of the distractions coming at me from all sides. I didn't find that space just then, of course. If anybody has any handy hints do say. I'm sure many many have succeeded in finding peace amidst chaos; Saints all, I guess, which I very definitely am not!

Grotty as we all felt though, pity the poor monks who had to be up and doing at silly o'clock for the first office of the day.  A real gathering of Saints!


  1. What a beautiful and grand abbey.

    And what a break to your retreat with the alarms. Being most unsaintly in the distraction department I can offer no advice; may God grant that we both find peace and calm amid turmoil.

  2. I hope so. We all survived the experience, thankfully. And it'll be a tale to tell for years to come when we look back on that particular retreat.


Welcome to my blog. I always love receiving comments; do feel free. If you're visiting from the A-Z challenge (or even if you're not!) could I thank you for your patience in using the dreaded captcha verification thingy. It's a pain, I know, but I've had problems with spam in the past and would rather keep Greenpatches as a junk-free zone.