Things I learned in the Convent

That I Can Do In The World (To Make My Life Better)

Be disciplined about time:
When the bell rang, we stopped what we were doing and moved onto the next thing. It didn’t matter if you were in the middle of a great story, having an awesome prayer time, etc. It was time to go. In my life this would add a lot of sanity if I have the discipline to do it. If I tell myself I will read for 15 minutes, do email for 5 minutes, then clean for 20 minutes, etc. I would get so many different things done. Instead I get sucked into tasks and neglect the others. Or I stay up too late so I am tired and grouchy the next day.

Communicate with family:
It was stressed that we needed to write to our family regularly. Because of that, I wrote my grandparents (and parents) often. And it was such a blessing. I didn’t make it a priority in the world because there were so many other tasks vying for my attention. But in the convent we knew that Sunday afternoon was time to write. What a gift! There is something very beautiful about a letter arriving in your mailbox because it is so intentional.

Sometimes I just need to move on:
When there would be a misunderstanding in the convent, it was hard to find time to talk things out because we observed silence for most of the day. I had such a desire to explain myself to others or find out why they did what they did, etc. But we really couldn’t do that, and it was often a blessing. I don’t need to explain myself all of the time or tell others why what they just did hurt me or annoyed me, etc. Quite often I would forget about whatever was such a big deal when I finally had an opportunity to talk about it.

Choose your words:
Having so much silent time made the opportunities for talking to my sisters precious. I was very intentional about my conversation and I started to see how much useless talking goes on in our lives. Now that I am back in the world, there are many times where random things pop into my head. I could share these thoughts in conversation, but I just choose not to say them.

Make reading a priority:
We had 30 minutes of designated spiritual reading time every day. Because of that, I blazed through a ton of great books. If I even dedicated half that amount of time to reading spiritual books now that would be awesome.

Don’t hit snooze:
When the bell rang at 5am we had to get out of bed. It was just part of life. The day was so productive because we got up and got moving.

The importance of recreation/free time:
It was part of our schedule because it is important.  I felt good after exercising and spending time with my sisters!

Being flexible:
We had a schedule but sometimes things came up: random mission trip, etc. It’s easy to get bent out of shape when you have your day planned and then a monkey wrench comes in. But in the convent it was easy to view it as “God’s will.” I can do that in the world too!

Portion control and lack of sweets:
You couldn’t over eat or overindulge because certain foods weren’t available at all or in large quantities.  What a gift!

How to take a fast shower:
It is possible!

A tidy room is pleasant:
My cell was calm because there wasn’t a bunch of junk lying around.

Sit up straight and smile:
The importance of good posture and a joyful countenance was very obvious in the convent!

by: Maria Goretti