Sister Susanne Chenot

It is almost impossible for me to believe that I have been a Benedictine Sister for over 50 years! Earlier in life, I seemed to go from one thing to another without batting an eye. Interruptions breezed by and I didn’t get too rattled; I took them in stride. The older I get, the more difficult some of my youthful tendencies seem to be. And the more important the first word in our Rule seems to be: “Listen”.

“Listen, my daughter.” That one word “Listen” is a calming one. To really listen I must actually stop what I am doing. If possible, I need to quiet my body. Soothing, meditative music might be appropriate. Tuning in to God means tuning out the world: the noises, the things I “should” do, the people I want to see, the “ifs, ands, or buts” of my life. Along with the Divine Office and the beauty of the Psalms, this form of contemplative prayer has more meaning for me than it ever did. All I need to do is carve out the time for it. “Oh, I’ll do it later”, is a common response of mine. Or…”My spiritual reading will take its place”. Uh-uh. So, as I enter into the more mature years of my Benedictine monastic life, I ask God for the grace to become a quieter woman, so that I can experience more and more the peace of the Divine Presence.




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