"At St. John's I discovered the true purpose of vespers, which is to let my body tell me, at the end of a workday, just how tired I am...
[I'd sometimes] recall the maternal mercy of Abba Poemen,
who when he was asked about the problem of monks falling asleep during communal prayers, had said,
'For my part, when I see a brother who is dozing, I put his head on my knees and let him rest.'
Sitting in the choir, in the wooden seats that hadn't seemed so hard at morning prayer, or at noon or at Mass,
I would realize that I'd been running for hours on nervous energy.
Grateful for the quiet flow of vespers that had nudged me into acknowledging my weary state,
I'd become more willing to do what my body asked of me:
let the day suffice,
with all its joys and failings,
its little triumphs and defeats.
I'd happily, if sleepily, welcome evening as a time of rest, and let it slip away, losing nothing."