A Luncheon of Love and Laughter…and home-grown chicken
Sister Margo’s day for homemade soup and bread became a fried chicken fest for our sisters in Saint Joseph’s Care Center!
Wednesday morning, savory smell of fried chicken filled the monastery halls as Sisters Margo and Virginia prepared the home-grown treat for our elderly sisters in St. Joseph’s Care Center. Sister Margo advised the sister cooks as they followed her famous fried chicken recipe. Sister Virginia in the midst of frying up her summer roosters. Sister Marcine joined in preparing the sides, homemade mashed potatoes! Our older sisters reside in the care center which is nestled in the heart of our monastic home.
The Rule of Benedict reminds us to hold our elders in honor. They are to be advisers to the prioress, greet guests at the door, and even counsel sisters who are struggling. Saint Benedict calls all monastics to “respect the seniors” of the monastery (RB: 4: 68).
An entire short chapter of Benedict’s Rule is devoted to the care of the most vulnerable of the monastery, “The Old and Children”.
The sister cooks noted that no seniors seemed too ‘weak’ in the luncheon of laughter and love as they shared in the festive meal.
Although human nature itself is drawn to special kindness
towards these times of life, that is towards the old and children,
still the authority of the Rule should also provide for them.
Let their weakness be always taken into account,
and let them by no means be held to the rigor of the Rule with regard to food.
On the contrary, let a kind consideration be shown to them,
and let them eat before the regular hours (RB: 37).
A later chapter in Saint Benedict’s Rule speaks to the importance of joining together for the family meal. A sister arriving late to the refectory table is treated with the same seriousness as being late for the Work of God in the Chapel!
“On Those Who Come Late to the Work of God or to Table”
Anyone who does not come to table before the verse,
so that all together may say the verse and the oration
and all sit down to table at the same time–anyone who
through his own carelessness or bad habit
does not come on time shall be corrected for this up to the second time.
If then he does not amend, he shall not be allowed to share in the common table,
but shall be separated from the company of all
and made to eat alone,
and his portion of wine shall be taken away from him,
until he has made satisfaction and has amended.
And let him suffer a like penalty who is not present at the verse said after the meal.
But if anyone is offered something by the Superior
and refuses to take it, then when the time comes
that he desires what he formerly refused or something else,
let him receive nothing whatever until he has made proper satisfaction (RB: 13-19).
Blessings to you,
Return to “One Heart and One Soul”