“What did you do today?” What an ordinary question to struggle to answer. Before entering religious life, I would have had plenty to say to such a question. Now my answers are much more mundane, and I often wonder at my mealtime tablemates’ interest in my ordinary life as a novice. “Oh, the usual. I went to class and worked in my ministry in the morning. Then I read for next week’s class in the afternoon. How about you?” What an ordinary answer to give. I often do not realize that my tablemates may feel the same way about their response to me. You see, the “ordinary life” of a novice and of a 50- or 60-year professed sister have much in common. Each of us seeks God in the ordinary, and how many places there are to look! In U.S. culture, staying busy and living a fast-paced life is common. Many often cannot stay focused on, and find joy in, the simple, quiet elegance of the mundane. Seeking purpose, entertainment, and distraction outside us can lead to an ever-increasing need for more to do or for more excitement. Children do not say, “I want to be an accountant when I grow up.” They say, “I want to be a football player in the NFL.” Unfortunately, a life too fast-paced and busy uproots us from the ground of our being. We need the ordinary aspects of our lives in order to identify and truly appreciate the miraculous. We also need constant reminders that the ordinary is miraculous. Through diswashing, reading a book, cleaning the chapel, or walking prayerfully through the woods, we, as Benedictines, discover our identity as God’s beloved children, and we reveal human life to be the miracle it truly is. In my blogs I will explore the many places and ways that I seek and encounter God in both the ordinary and not-so-ordinary aspects of being a Benedictine monastic woman. If something you read here resonates with a deep part of your being, I invite you to share that with me. Together, we can find the God we seek. So…what did you do today?
Sister Ann Marie Wainright
Sister Ann Marie Wainright is a Benedictine Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she worked as a CPA for many years before earning dual masters degrees in counseling and pastoral studies. Sister Ann Marie is interested how people encounter God in their daily lives and how they use their faith and spirituality.
See all of Sister Ann Marie’s blogs.