Recreation is a very important aspect of our religious life. It is important both for the soul as well as for the mind and the body. Our constitution says: Personal and communal recreation, which refreshes us for recollected presence before God, should be provided in varied ways to enable us to relax physically and mentally and to renew our energies (C.306). Indeed it is varied and enjoyable at the same time.
This summer, since our fruit trees are bearing much and the birds are eyeing them so longingly, we decided to outwit them by harvesting during recreation. We harvested our fruits which we will later prepare as preserves or marmalade or, in the case of apples: as “Apfelmus” or apple sauce.
You might think that this is not recreation since we are working. True, we are working, but we are at the same time talking and laughing. Most enjoyable – we are “tasting” the fruit of our labor. We are having fun even as we work. That is for us also recreation.
Otherwise, our recreation takes so many forms like strolling in the garden, playing, doing handwork or hobbies or simply sitting around the table, sharing stories, jokes or whatever comes to mind. What is important is that each Sister takes the time to relax and just to enjoy the moment, so as to renew one’s strength for the next day.
Usually, our recreation is after supper for around 45 minutes. After it follows the Night Prayer or Compline. Then the day is over and we go to sleep or for some, the nocturnal or the nightly adoration begins. And when the bell rings at 4:45 in the morning, a new day begins again. Gladly we welcome the new day as we pray as soon as we hear the bell for arising: “God the Holy Spirit, all for love of you!”