Questioned Answered: Labor Day Weekend Edition

In this occasional series, we answer questions that come up. If you have a question you\’d like answered, feel free to ask! 
Q: Have things been busy at the monastery?
A: Yes! We\’ve had a lot going on. Some things we\’ll feature in future posts. Some things we keep private. That\’s how it is.
Q: How are you planning to celebrate Labor Day?
A: We always have Mass–usually a votive Mass especially for this kind of celebration, such as the Mass for the Blessing of Human Labor–to celebrate the day, because Mass is the best way to celebrate! The Liturgy of the Hours follows the weekday, of course. We sometimes have a \”talking\” meal in the community room–a meal where instead of eating in silence in the refectory while the reader reads something to us, we are able to converse with each other while eating. It looks like we\’ll be doing that this year too. But for the most part we\’ll be celebrating Labor Day by, well, laboring as usual!
Q: You mentioned that you don\’t usually talk during meals. Isn\’t that difficult?
A: It is, at first. Most of us are used to meals with family and/or friends, with lots of conversation and laughter. But we keep silence throughout the day here at the monastery, so it naturally spills over into our mealtimes, as well. We do have a designated reader who reads from a book on the spiritual life while we eat, or sometimes we listen to CDs on similar spiritual topics. And this emphasis on silence at meals makes the occasional \”talking\” meal especially fun. We haven\’t forgotten how to talk, as anyone who comes to recreation can tell you! 
Q: Do you still keep the monastic fast from September 14 through Easter?
A: Yes. September 14 is the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, and is traditionally the day when fasting season begins. It\’s coming up again soon! We have regular meals for our main meal at noon, and what we call \”collation\” for our evening meal. During fasting season, sisters take what they need at their discretion–we don\’t impose fasting on anyone. However, there\’s a lot less food to choose from on the serving table!
Q: Anything else interesting going on?
A: We did see the most beautiful rainbow last night…
…and as we looked, we saw something special: 
 …it was actually a double rainbow! Wow! God is so amazing!

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