I am totally enthralled with the construction that is going on around the grounds of St. Scholastica Monastery. The College of St. Scholatica is in the middle of an expansion of the Science Building, and it is taking place right practically right outside our front door!As I do quite often, one sunny day I went to out to read and pray on the porch connected to our entryway. On this particular day this gave me a front-row seat to all the construction activity. I was mesmerized watching the powerfully intricate work of the large backhoe excavator. As it forcefully yet finely moved the earth, it seemed to me to work with the same precision as a surgeon. With dance-like grace, in a sort of Frankenstein ballerina way, the dirt was dug, moved from here to there, loaded into dump trucks and hauled away.As I watched the workman at his craft, I made an assumption. I guessed that I was finding this job much more interesting and inspirational than did the backhoe operator. Now, I can imagine that he likes his work and takes pride in what he does, but I wondered if he knew that what he was doing inspired me, leading me to prayer and meditation.As I was watching the construction, I was reading and praying with Joan Chittister’s book The Rule of St. Benedict: Insights for the Ages. In it she comments on verse five of the Prologue; In God’s goodness, we are already counted as God’s own. Sister Joan reminds us that because we are God’s special creations, precious and loved, nothing we experience or do is truly ever dull or mundane. Whether we are sweeping the steps, folding the laundry, or driving a backhoe excavator we are in the presence of God and enveloped with love and light. This fact lifts our seemly dull and mundane work of life into the spiritual realm and gives us the opportunity to cooperate with grace.I really wanted to go down and talk with the backhoe operator, but it didn’t seem prudent. I didn’t have a hard hat, I really had nothing to say (just dumb questions to ask), and I’m sure I would just have delayed his work and held up the project. But I wanted to let him know that I appreciated his work, admired his skill, and found that watching him was like watching prayer in action.
Sister Lisa Maurer
Sister Lisa Maurer was born and raised in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, before entering the Monastery, Sister Lisa taught and coached in Catholic Schools within the New Ulm Diocese. Sister Lisa made her first Monastic Profession in August 2009. She currently ministers at the parishes of St. Lawrence and St. Joseph in Duluth.See all of Sister Lisa’s posts.