Friday, January 26, 2007

Founders Day

Today I went to the Abbey of Gethsemani for Founders Day. It was the feast of Saints Robert, Alberic, and Stephen. It was these three monks who led a group of other monks away from their monastery to Citeaux, France in 1098. This was the beginning of the Cistercian order. I was blessed to visit Citeaux in 2005. The drive to and from the monastery was beautiful. The morning sun was a burning orange sphere that made driving difficult at times. I stopped at the home of my friend, Fr Dennis, for coffee and muffins before the two of us headed to Gethsemani. It was a sparse crowd in the Abbey church. In spite of the big feast, it was a quiet affair which is exactly what I like. After mass, Fr Dennis and I went to breakfast and had some good food and great conversation. Before heading home I visited the monastery bookstore which is always a treat and sometimes a frustration because there are so many books I would like to buy. The whole day, including the weather, was great. The sun shone brightly, the air was cool, and the skies were clear and bright. If the day had a downside it was that I was very tired. Last night my wife and I spent nearly six hours in the emergency room with my 82 year old mother in law. She had fallen and cut herself. She is fine and will be OK but it was 2:00 AM before we got to bed. My day at the monastery was a little blurry because I was doing it on four hours of sleep. As I type this I have just awakened from a three hour nap.

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