St. John's Abbey, originally uploaded by AirXHockey
Matins - Just like last year, I set my alarm for 4:30 the night before my Day of Prayer. Unlike last year I packed early (no forgetting my wallet this year), woke up naturally at 4:28, and had a relaxed drive to St. John's. This set the tenor for the entire trip. Whereas last year the abbey was mysterious and even slightly ominous, this year it felt familiar and welcoming.
Prime - A beautiful, big, full moon lit up the drive. Since it was still early when I arrived, I parked and spent some time alone in one of the side chapels. The 7:00 prayers were refreshing. It was wonderful to be relaxed and comfortable this time around.
Terce - Last time there were five participants, which is a small, but typical group. This year we had twelve including Steve, who visits the abbey each month, and three women. After breakfast, Fr. Simeon Thole guided us through a discussion on Discernment of Spirits. Then we did lectio divina and split out for solitary prayer time. I had thought I might go for a run, but temperatures in the teens and bitterly cold wind discouraged that idea.
Sext - Midday prayer was another nourishing experience with the community. Lunch was excellent. Both years the food has been better than expected and the fresh-baked cookies in particular were heavenly. We did another group lectio--which Fr. Thole jokingly reminded us could also be "naptio" time--followed by one more hour of private reflection.
None - I lit a candle in front of the Mabon Madonna and did actually take a few quick naps while sitting there with my head bowed. Luckily I woke up in time to get back to the guesthouse for our closing group session at 3:00. Overall, another great day.