Yesterday, I went to visit the monastery I used to live at. It is a beautiful ornate brick design that appears every bit as stately and solumn as you might imagine. In the fall, it is surrounded by outrageous fall colors. The chapel is of \”high church\” design, filled with statues of Benedictine women and its walls are covered with Gospel mosaics.
The joy of my visit was my time with 92 year old Sister Priscilla. When I first lived with the sisters, I lived in a forest in Oklahoma. They had a Catholic Ashram. Sister Priscilla was there with four other sisters. Together we practiced contemplative sitting for 2 1/2 hours a day, prayed the Liturgy of the Hours, gathered for communion; and cooked and cleaned cabins for a few guests.
I loved Sr Priscilla. She is tiny, not much above my waist. She is a fire ball. A year ago, she left the forest and went to live in the sister\’s house for assisted living. Priscilla has her own room and sneaks around doing things against the rules. I love this about her. Anyway, I visited in her room for an hour and she walked me all around the large house, then we went outside to the Altar Bread Department. I felt so incredibly special to be in her presence for a couple of hours.
One time, about two weeks after I got kicked out of the order, I went down to Oklahoma to Sr Priscilla\’s 65th anniversary of monastic life. I was secretly invited. I went walking into the kitchen where she was standing and totally surprised her. Yesterday, I walked down to the door into the assisted living house, and I could see her through the window, standing in the dining room. She looked up totally surprised. She said she thought she was seeing a vision.
Sr Priscilla said she thought about me alot, but after yesterday, I am not just a memory, I am an actual person who could show up any day. I am a haunting ghost unless I follow through on the friendship. Gulp! I\’ll need to visit the monastery more often.