From the rising of the sun to its setting
The window in the chapel of Leuven, 2022 © RS
When I first arrived at the priory of Leuven, I was struck by this strange modern window in the chapel. At the time, the chairs of the brethren were facing away from the window, so I could not make out what the window was supposed to depict. Only when I started to live here was I told that the window referred to Psalm 113. In Psalm 113, the psalmist writes, "from the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord should be praised.” And this is what the window does. It depicts an abstract sun in colours that can be seen while rising or setting. Recently, the chairs in the chapel have been moved around to see whether the ideas for a new chapel could work in practice. One of the pleasant side-effects is that I get a glimpse of the window every morning and evening, reminding me of why we are here.
This week we also started living according to a new timetable. Such a change is always a bit wobbly and difficult at first. Even after three months, I have to get used to the new way and readjust my daily rhythm of life, getting up earlier and having my main meal at the end of the day. We now start at 07:00 with Lauds and end the day at 18:00, celebrating the Eucharist, followed at 18:45 with Vespers. After that follows supper. In this way, we hope the brothers can balance their religious and academic duties during the week.
Overview of the chapel, 2022 © RS
The final three new brothers from Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands will arrive in the upcoming week. This will increase our number to 11 brothers, almost double when I came in June. And more inquiries are getting in. As you can imagine, the next few weeks will be intensive. We will have to get used to living as a new international community while at the same time starting studies and work at the university. And meanwhile, slowly but surely, the building works are being planned, and all sorts of tests and preparations are going on. So please keep our community in your prayers these weeks. God bless!