What a sublime comfort it must be for the Abbess to know that the monastery does not run on her fuel!
She has probably been enclosed for decades before the responsibilities of Shepherdess come to her, and by that time she will have seen many trials swoop down upon the Abbey without seeing any substantive change in the order of things, which for monastics, is divine.
The Offices will go on, morning, noon, and night. New postulants will still be learning, training toward their novitiate, and novices toward their Clothing, no matter what befalls. The Feast Days and Fast Days remain the same. Should any of the nuns ever have to be in hospital or away for any reason, rare as that is in a cloistered monastery, she will have her own Book of Prayer with her, and she will be able to keep up, knowing what her sisters are doing virtually every moment of the day.
There was, at the Palace of King Xerxes, in the Court of the Women, one whose supervision was instrumental in the history of the King, of his new Queen, and thus, of the Jewish nation. How fascinating it would be to know WHAT WENT ON in that hotbed of feminine expectations! Who knows how much we may be romanticizing it or underestimating it or invalidating it. Whatever the days may have held, one man seems to have held Esther’s future in his hands. Let’s see if we may perhaps be able to relate to him more than we have imagined. It may be that here in Cor Unum, without Abbess or Mistress of Postulants, we might have oversight which we have hardly credited until now.
“Bar Convent Dome Detail” by Dalekyoyo (talk) – self-made. Via Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bar_Convent_Dome_Detail.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Bar_Convent_Dome_Detail.jpg