CLOISTERED

“A particularly severe form of asceticism within Christianity is that of anchorites, who typically allowed themselves to be immured, and subsisting on minimal food. For example, in the 4th century AD, one nun named Alexandra immured herself in a tomb for ten years with a tiny aperture enabling her to receive meager provisions. Saint Jerome (c. 340–420) spoke of one follower who spent his entire life in a cistern, consuming no more than five figs a day.”

NEXT DOOR

As I pack up more and more stuff, it’s also interesting to see what’s left; what’s essential as I more or less camp out for a few days. Six 12-ounce packages of Starbucks French roast (I buy them expired on ebay). A giant container of pure cane sugar. A glass of roses from the garden. My portable prayer box (breviary, Magnificat, candle, incense, matches). A small old wooden crucifix. Three rosaries.

ÉLISABETH LESEUR ON GIVING LESS THAN WE EXPECT

“It is a source of pain and difficult sacrifice to have to divine one’s life so much and always to give to each one less than he or she expects.. This sometimes leads others to feel not enough is being done for them, and they perhaps experience some sadness or regret, which becomes painful to her who is the involuntary cause of it.”