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

12 October 2015

My muse

must have taken up permanent residence in Ireland. I was there for two weeks, and heard two blogworthy stories.

One of the brothers is part of an organization that serves to help religious congregations of women work together to solve issues that are common to them all. The job allows him to hear about the various odd customs that became traditions in some of the congregations. In one congregation, he told me, the sisters were taught that whenever they met one another, they were to use the following cheerful greeting:
Sister A: Die we must, sister!
Sister B: And we know not the day nor the hour!

One of the brothers is famous for asking questions during meals. He is particularly delighted when there are visitors because it provides him with an endless source of new questions. However, he will happily grill the brothers he has known for decades, as well. On one occasion, while seated at table with a professor of philosophy and a professor of psychology, among other, he asked, "Which is more important, philosophy or psychology"?
Quick as a flash, the philosophy professor responded: "Don't answer that! A fool can ask more questions than a wise man can answer!"