Friday, July 27, 2007

The Passing of a Generation

In recent months a number of monks at the monastery have died. They were all elderly. Most monks die of old age. These monks and others who are still living are the last of their kind. Their deaths signal the end of an era. What is so special about them besides their holiness? These are the monks of my father's generation. Many of them served our country during World War II. They came home from the war somewhat disillusioned as many battle weary soldiers are. They were looking for some meaning in life after witnessing such horrors as the Nazi concentration camps and the devastation of much of Europe. In their search for meaning they turned to God and hundreds flocked to monasteries. All of these now elderly monks were in their prime when I was very young man living in the monastery. They were my role models for holiness. They are still an inspiration to me. When I attend mass with the monks I see them with their wheelchairs and walkers. Even in their old age and infirmity they are still faithful to the call and the inner voice that led them to Gethsemani so many years ago.

Last evening I picked up my granddaughter at the daycare. I really didn't need to do so because my daughter in law got off work in plenty of time to do it herself. I still wanted to do it. Why? It's very simple. I love her. I enjoy being with her and talking with her and playing with her. It keeps me young. Plus, I figure Chloe's mom can always use a break.

The weeks fly by at a dizzying pace. This work week has gone by almost as fast as a weekend. The weekend promises to be a busy one. My sister is here from New York. Chloe will be over for the night on Saturday. My wife needs to visit her mother and I need to take Chloe over to see my parents and sister. By the time Chloe leaves on Sunday and we have fulfilled all out family obligations, my couch will be difficult to resist on Sunday afternoon!

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