Life in an Unsuitable House
On Friday, 24 March 1651, Mother Mectilde de Bar, having returned to Paris, was reunited with her daughters (nuns of Rambervillers) in a modest house designated le Bon Amy. Life at le Bon Amy was austere. The menu — mostly peas cooked in water — rarely varied; bread was rationed. There was no convenient place in the house to chant the Divine Office or even to assemble for community reading and conferences. Le Bon Amy had a solitary feeling to it; almost like Carmelites, each of the nuns was obliged to spend long hours alone in her cell for the simple reason that there was nowhere else to go. The deprivation of the ordered spaciousness that Benedictine life requires was no mean hardship. God made use of these deprivations and limitations to grace the little community with a greater fidelity to silence and to personal interior prayer.
Solitude: Vocation or Temptation
Entering deeply into the silence, Mother Mectilde began, from time to time, to experience certain spiritual consolations. She wondered if, after all, she was called to be an anchoress. She thought of