Except while traveling, I don't normally just blog about my day. And, for obvious reasons, I'm not sharing the ins and outs of my discernment in such a public forum. However, periodically folks ask, "so, what is it like? There's no easy answer really to that. Yes, there's a regular weekly routine that we're slowly settling into. Yet, life is very different from just a few months back.
So, here's an outline of this day, for what it's worth.
At 7:45 am the community gathered for Lauds (Morning Prayer) in the chapel. I'm normally barely awake at this time (the alarm goes off at 6:55 am), and stumble through the Psalms to some semblance of wakefulness. A "morning person" I am not. A simple breakfast follows (tea [lamentably, not chai!] and raisin bran). This morning after breakfast I dropped a priest to the CUA/Brookland Metro station (he's traveling out of town on work.)
At 9:00, this being Thursday, the novices started their work period. Today, we had to clean out the newly repainted exercise room, scrub the floor with some chemical stripper, move the equipment in (the pieces that could be moved by five adult men, i.e. Two really couldn't!) and then sweep and mop the stairwells and passageways.
We were close to being done by 2:30 or so (with a break for lunch). I showered and headed to National Airport -- I'm on pick-up duty for guests this weekend. The fall meeting of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consulation is being held at St. Paul's this weekend. I was out to pick up the Orthodox chair of the consultation, Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh (along with a guest from the Catholic side from Boston). Let me tell you, it was a real privilege driving back to the city with him -- he was one of the Orthodox observers at the Second Vatican Council! And such a gentle demeanor, and an aura of holiness about him! Most certainly the highlight of the day. [The agenda for the meeting was distributed to all residents in the house. Gosh, I wish I could just hear the conversations! However, the meeting is closed. A press release will appear at the USCCB webpage above at some point, for sure.]
Traffic on the way back was horrendous (yeah. It's DC), and we got back just in time for dinner at 6:15 (and missed the daily Mass at 5:15 pm).
7:00 - 7:15 is becoming one of my quiet times to spend in front of the Blessed Sacrament (I also try to say Compline in the reservation chapel, but don't always make it up there. Yep, working on that.) At 7:15 pm, the Novices pray Vespers together. On Thursdays at 7:30, some of us pray the Rosary.
At 8:00 I drove down to Union Station (well, to the Capital City Brewery right next to it in the Postal Museum) to have a couple of brews with buddies Tom and Napoleon from SC (who've just moved to DC to start grad school.) [St. Izzay, I know you'll ask, so: this microbrewery has some cool house brews on tap: a neat Porter, some decent ales. I haven't tried their stout yet. Had a seasonalpumpkin ale tonight ... not bad actually!]
Around 10:15, I drove Tom to his place in West Falls ... just to have a look at his pad, and to shoot the breeze some more. And then turned around and drove back to the other side of the district.
No, normally, I'm not out of the house this late. And no, there's no real curfew. The only rule is that we need permission to stay overnight somewhere (and it has to be for a good reason). Oh yes, and, as a rule, meals are to be taken with the community.
So, that's my Thursday of the Twenty Ninth Week of the Year.
[Tom got one of the coolest things for me: a copy of this book from the American U library ... there's two copies in our in-house library, but they're both missing from the shelves! More on this later.]