To an outsider, the monastery seems like a very orderly place where a well-ordered life is lived.  St. Benedict’s Rule is Ora el Labora, or Pray and Work.  Prayer, or the Divine Office, is known as the opus Dei, or the work of God.  In addition to the prescribed periods of prayer, the nuns have periods of work, fulling the second half of the rule.  At St. Walburga, in addition to the housekeeping in which all participate, the nuns work the land, “man” the gift shop, care for cattle, make rosaries and greeting cards, run retreats and some write and edit Magnificat magazine, the monthly guide for morning and evening prayer as well as for the daily Mass.  I marveled that with the work they do, they always arrive for the Divine Office dressed in their habits.  Yes, they have work clothing, but they didn’t wear it into the Church.  Which says that care should be taken when going before Our Lord in formal prayer.  It is a courtesy to Him. 

This is the Abbey Church.    The cloister is to the back.  The retreatants stay about 3/4 of a mile away.  We walked back and forth during the day, but because of the warning about local mountain lions, we drove at dawn and after dark.

st-walburga-abbey-church

The nuns have created several little “parks” on their property–they didn’t build this dam though–the beavers did!

beaver-dam

 

abbey-root-cellar

From our vantage, we thought the doors to the root cellar were round, but they aren’t.  This reminded us of a hobbit hole.

larry-facing-marian-hall

There are several buildings and lots of land to take care of, as well as people who go to visit. 

It was a wonderful experience, and we are thinking about the next opportunity we will have to go back.  The peace, the prayer and the quiet all beckon us to return.

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