How to move a monastery 7

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Ty Mam Duw

One of our family was considering, with fascination, an advert on the back of a magazine.  Heaven on earth; a holiday studio in Ibiza, conveniently located 400 metres from the sea… Stringing together a pile of books - our library is not large but it has to get to Nottingham somehow - Sister Ysabella asked how much it cost. A wiseacre, gathering up ‘Lord of the Rings’ from under the table, murmured “Purgatory!”  Nowhere on earth is heaven and we are not going to Nottingham to put up our feet, but to put them down!

Our Mother Francesca folded a well known periodical, “I read the Catholic papers in the hope of finding an article on heaven and I am almost invariably disappointed!”  Sister Maria thought this an irresistible challenge and tore an empty page out of the back of ‘Bleak House’.  The library is occupying undue space.  The cupboards and shelves are empty, piles of packing crates totter on all four sides of the cloister.  The cell units have gone and the sisters clothes (in their cells) are mostly in piles on the floor, like everything else.  We digress.  “Heaven!” Sr Maria interjected “What do you look to find there?

“The triune God! Mother Francesca said.  “I would like to hold before me the vision of what is to come, and tell myself it is coming for ever and ever.”  The book packagers, as one nun, stopped.
“What is the bottom line?” Sister Evangela asked. “I mean, how do you get in?”  

“Mercy,” Mother  replied. “There is no way of earning heaven.  Be mindful of the tax collector, who asked for mercy and went home reconciled”.  The tallest pile of tied up books quivered, (no doubt in response to an earthquake in Peru) and slid to the ground leaving, cover upwards, Pope Francis’ The Name of God is Mercy’…

We began by writing these articles for the same welknown periodical.  The editor was very keen to have them but for some reason he forgot to publish them!  We were just a touch surprised. When Sister Elphine was an infant of tender years she used to read the football column of the Sunday Times.  She never played football, never watched, it never cared for it, after all she was four foot seven and had asthma - but it was, in a quiet way, amusing...!