Hard Work

The monastic life is separated if you will into three parts; Prayer, Divine Reading, and Manual Labor.  When I was a member of the Benedictine Community we often used the Benedictine phrase of Ora et Labora (Prayer and Work).  Sometimes we would say; “Ora et labora, et labora, et labora!  Your get the idea.

The point is that we live by the sweat of our brow and the work of our hands.  I have learned this more so this fall then any other since I have been here.  With the addition of the flock of chickens the work load has increased.  They need daily attention and the cleaning of the coop (I am writing this now rather then going out in the cold to clean said coop).  But our work cannot just be for the sake of work.

Last night we hosted our Annual Thanksgiving Community Meal.  This meal is part of our twice monthly community meal program that we have here at the Church and seems to be one of the most popular.  The day started with an early morning trip to the store to pick up the supplies and then getting the turkeys (5 20 lb birds) in the ovens to cook.  That was the easy part!

As anyone who has ever cooked a Thanksgiving meal for their family knows the hard work begins just before the food hits the table.  Well that is true of the Community Meal as well.  I would not be able to do this without the help of many, many people including those who help by making donations.  There are way too many to name and I am afraid I would forget someone but you know who you are.

We served over 100 people last night, a new record! 

The folks come from all walks of life and we welcome them into our home and provide them not only with food for the body but food for the soul.  I am proud to say that we have paid it forward if you will as another Church is picking up the call and will start a Community Meal in December and I know of at least one other that is considering it.  It looks like we will expand again in the coming year to a third week, again with the help of many folks.

This past January we expanded from once a month to twice a month and since that time we have provided more than 1,500 meals in our community!  But it is for more than that we have provided community!  In this day and age when we do not know the people who live next door to us this is very important.

Last night I went from table to table and thank everyone for coming and wishing them a happy Thanksgiving!  The smiles that I saw and the conversations that I heard made all of the hard work worth while.

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