"I will sing and chant praise…" (Psalm 57:8)
Those who live the monastic life spend hours every day in their "choir stalls." These are the chairs awaiting them in chapel.
Morning, midday, afternoon, evening, just before bedtime… here the monks or nuns return throughout the day to pray the monastic hours. During such times they chant praise, participate in Mass, pray with Scripture. They pray communally in their choir stalls, and they pray individually.
Life in the monastery is, in effect, life in a choir stall. Prayer, after all, is the central activity of every monastic day.
Monks or nuns go faithfully to their choir stalls when they sense Our Lord's presence and when their spiritual lives feel barren and dry. They come when they have headaches, when they're fatigued, when they'd much rather be strolling out in the garden, and when they've had to interrupt work to keep this appointment with God.
Choir stalls come in various shapes and styles. We will look at a few of these differences in our next post, and at what our own interior choir stalls might look like during different seasons of our lives.
In the meantime, I think of how often I'm found missing from my "choir stall." My interior one is absolutely portable; I don't even have to leave my chair or stop cooking dinner to keep appointments with God.
I wonder. Does God ever look at my empty "choir stall" ... at the prayer opportunities He is presenting, or at my moments of unanswered inspiration.... and ask me:
"but where are you.....?"
To look at OUR choir stalls, click this line