“Sit in your room as in paradise.” – St. Romuald, 10th century.

Many of us have been quarantined for over two months. I have found it a grace-filled opportunity. I relish extended periods of silence. Gone is any sense of hurry. Time is now and there is time for leisurely reading where I can do deep reading without hurry. Time for prayer of quiet. Time to do slow things, like baking bread, writing letters to people I may have neglected. Time to express love and caring. A slow walk outside where there is no rush. Listen to the birds, feel the breeze and the warmth of the sun. I can simply be and see the wonder of spring. Time to simply realize that I am enclosed in the love of God. Time to realize that I am loved. I miss our children and our grands. I miss the almost daily visits to the monastery. Instead of what I don’t have, I can focus on God’s generosity in giving me life and God’s companionship. The 23rd Psalm speaks to this time. Even though I go through the valley of the shadow of death, God, like a good shepherd, leads me. I know that when this time of enclosure has ended the world will be different. I too will have changed, and I shall know that to live is to be enfolded in the wonder of God’s love. So we live now as in paradise. It would be a shame to miss it.

Charles Preble, OblSB

Photo: Reflection on the lake, taken by Sister Nancy Bauer