About three weeks ago I went to a monastery in Chicago for a day. I'm confident that it's not my calling in life (that noise you heard was my parents cheering).
The days weaved in and out of the daily offices and meals. Across from their living quarters and church I stayed in a guest apartment. Really, I don't have much to say about my time, which is quite fitting because no more than 50 words escaped my mouth that day. They live by the rule of weighing their words considerably and in turn speaking very little. I talk a lot, so that was hard. Surprisingly the solitude wasn't as difficult. One of my last classes here at Northern is on the Spiritual disciplines so these practices are becoming more and more comfortable. Silence and solitude.
One of the biggest impressions made on me was by a brother named Ignatius (that is a sweet name). As he escorted me to the apartment I thanked him for taking me in. He paused and said, "We are so blessed, so blessed to get to serve so many people. We are so blessed."
After he left I read the sign on the door, "Receive all guests as Christ." No wonder they feel blessed.