Soliloquy in an International Cloister

Watch your step as Brother Lawrence takes you inside the monastery walls of a five hundred year-old international order. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish you had ignored your hormones and joined the monastery.

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Location: Rome, Italy

06 July 2006

Sleepless in Soliloquy

It's been a while since my last post. No, I haven't been ill. Thanks for asking. As the new members of our fraternity arrive, there are zillions of little details to which I must attend—transferring insurance policies, teaching the newbies how to use the phone system, the photocopier, the postage meter, where to find this and that, etc. All this on top of my usual work, which is a little heavier than usual because we just ended one fiscal year and have started a new one. On top of that, I was asked to attend a funeral in exotic Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, last week, which involved a day of travel to the Pitts and another one for the return. I refer you to my earlier post about the lack of consideration on the part of many dying people.

We held our first house meeting as a newly-constituted fraternity yesterday. It lasted two hours and 15 minutes (approximately three hours if you use the metric system). The main agenda item was the horarium. Here's the new one:
05.45 Meditation
06.15 Morning Prayer
06.30 Mass
07.00 Meditation
07.30 Breakfast
12.00 Midday Prayer
12.15 Lunch
17.00 Meditation
17.30 Evening Prayer
17.45 Office of Readings
18.00 Dinner
21.30 Night Prayer

With the exception of some minor changes on Sunday evening, this is the schedule seven days a week. In fairness, we are allowed to choose from two of the three meditation periods. Do I need to clarify that I did not choose the 5.45 period? What I want to know is, who decided that getting up in the middle of the night somehow equates to holiness? Why don't we ever hear of saints who worked late into the night, then slept until 10 o'clock? If you ask me, many of the church's ills can be traced to a lack of sleep. For instance, Martin Luther was a monk and so undoubtedly was required to get up several times a night for prayer, then to rise early in the morning. Here is the grumpy, sleep-deprived Martin Luther:

(Mumble grumble simony corruption mumble fornication) I have had it with this Pope, and I'm not going to take it any more. Here are the first 95 reasons that I came up with. Stay tuned for more. (thunk thunk thunk thud OUCH sonofa......!)

Now, compare that to the relatively well-rested Marty:

(whistle whistle Do you have to, do you have to, do you have to let it linger) Man, this Pope Leo is crazy if he thinks that people can pay their way out of Purgatory. Good thing he won't live forever. No doubt the next Pope will set things right again. Who's for a game of cards?

Or take those half-dazed Inquisitors:

This woman was caught taking the name of our Savior in vain. Clearly she is a witch. She must be burned, along with this terrible cake that she gave us on Sunday.

Now, the eight-full-hours-of-shuteye version:

I'd advise you to stay away from Mrs. Bianchi today! Her husband spent his whole paycheck at the goat races yesterday so she is on a tear. Not to mention that it's the 14th of the month.

See the difference?


Anonymous pog said...

Hee hee - that's really, really good, BroLo.

06 July, 2006 09:30  
Blogger Br. Lawrence said...

Imagine how good it would have been if I had had a decent night's sleep!

07 July, 2006 02:21  
Anonymous pog said...

Oh - I dunno - sleep deprivation makes for some wonderfully realistic hallucinations.
So I've heard.

07 July, 2006 17:24  

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