What is it with the gloves?

Through the ages Carmel has held many attractions not only for those called to dwell within this enclosed garden, but also for those touched by this particular way of life. For some it is the solitude, for others the silence. For still others the emphasis on the soul’s espousal to God has captured their hearts. But we have recently discovered that there is yet another aspect that has touched hearts.

Drying gloves.

I certainly do not propose that this is the primary influence on anyone when they visit our convent, but based on the number of amazed comments we receive I believe it is worth mentioning.

You see, we have discovered that the best way for us to dry the large amount of dishes that we wash at each meal is to use white, terry cloth gloves. Slip them on and your entire hand becomes a drying towel. It saves time and even eliminates broken dishes. (Well, at least it decreases the casualties of glasses.)

The attraction spans all age ranges, all states in life, and all skills and abilities. We have had countless siblings, nephews, and nieces join us drying dishes. Armed with aprons and stepping stools, they eagerly donned the novel gloves and chores became a game.

Scores of priests, thinking they would just stop in after a meal to say hello, have quickly been handed the unique mitts and jumped into the fun. The fascination is universal. All for gloves?!?!

On deeper reflection, maybe it really isn’t the gloves. Maybe it is the simple task of joining others in service. The gloves just provide a welcome introduction. For the child it is a participation in the work and life of their elders. For the adult it is a simple, almost childlike task. For all it is a peaceful exercise in giving to others.

There is no magic and we don’t wash our dishes in holy water. (Although I wonder if that would eliminate the breakage!) Whatever the hidden grace for the soul, these little drying gloves seem to be God’s instrument. But isn’t that always the case? His graces always really do fit like a glove.

Excuse me, I think I hear the dishes calling…

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Published in: on July 26, 2010 at 8:32 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Anchoress, Rachel Motte. Rachel Motte said: RT @TheAnchoress: this is cute https://carmelitesisters.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/what-is-it-with-the-gloves/#more-399 […]

  2. I love this idea! Where would I get some?

    • I do not have the website handy that we used to purchase them last time, but if you search for terry cloth gloves, they should come up. They are usually used in industrial settings to protect from heat/burning. But after a few washings, they are broken in and work wonderfully! God bless you!


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