Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Monastery

I got out of bed at the crack of dawn on Sunday. Soon I was outdoors scraping the frost off my car in preparation for a trip to the monastery. After getting gas and buying a cup of coffee, I headed down the road. It was a beautiful drive. Sunday mornings are a good time to be on the road. Traffic is sparse. Soon the eastern sky was a glorious orange as the daylight illuminated the frosted landscape. Pockets of fog were nestled in clumps of trees. The morning light caused the fog and fields to glisten. I was so lost in the beauty that I sailed right past my exit. In a moment of alertness I suddenly realized that nothing looked familiar. Thankfully I hadn't gone too far out of my way and I was able to circle back and get back on track. The monastery is always an inviting place for me. Since it was my home in a former life, I always feel welcome and comfortable there. I met with my usual group of friends and we had some good conversation before mass with the monks. Afterwards I ran into my friend, Fr Dennis, who informed me that another of my past teachers and mentors, Fr Timothy, was there visiting from Rome, Italy. Later in the morning I had a chance to speak with him. It was good to see him after a number of years. Before leaving for home I shared a pot luck lunch with my friends. As usual I ate too much which made for a sleepy drive home. However, the drive home was also a beautiful one as the day was bright, cold, and clear. I am happy to live close enough to the monastery that I can go there on a regular basis. It is often a struggle to remain spiritual while living in the world. These monthly trips to the monastery give me the boost and renewal that I often need. All ground is holy but the monastery is a special place for me.

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