During the Middle Ages, there developed many interesting practices within the Church for those who desired to remove themselves from the hustle and temptations of “secular” life. Some individuals developed such a strong desire to flee the World that they literally bricked themselves into rooms in the back of local churches never to leave for any reason. By being physically anchored into the churches, these “anchorites” and “anchoresses” hoped to live their lives devoted to prayer and the Eucharist, to God and to others.
Some of these anchorites and anchoresses had but two small windows in their tiny rooms. One window would face the church altar, which would hold the Communion elements. The other window would face the outside world. Townspeople would go to these windows seeking spiritual advice and prayer. And I imagine that these outside-facing windows also provided a reminder of what was given up in order to join monastic life.
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