Sunday, January 03, 2010

A Very Cold Visit To The Monastery

Today is the first Sunday of the year and it is also Epiphany Sunday. Each year on this day I go to the monastery to be with friends from around Kentucky and nearby states. Some of the monks also join with us. This gathering is an annual tradition that I have been participating in for many years.

When I got out of bed this morning it was 5 degrees outside. I looked forward to being at the monastery but I had no desire to leave my house and face the frigid morning. Finally, after the car warmed up, and with hot coffee in hand, I got on the road. I attempted to put gas in the car but it was so cold outside that the gas pump could not read my debit card. I had enough gas for the trip there so I decided to get gas in Bardstown later in the day when the temperature reached a balmy 29 degrees.

As I do on most trips to the monastery, I stopped at the home of my good friend, Fr. Dennis, whose home and hospitality is always warm. He had more hot coffee waiting for me as well as some toasted raisin bread baked by the monks. We talked for a while before I headed to the monastery for mass with the monks. The abbey church was still decorated for Christmas with the great tapestry created by Brother Lavrans more than 40 years ago. He is now in heaven. The monk in charge of incense was out of control. As the priests of the monastery marched in, the censor blasted out clouds of incense. Pillows of smoke filled the church as morning sunlight shone through the stained glass windows. I love the aroma of the incense as it wafts through the air.

After mass we all drove across the highway to the family guesthouse for a pot luck lunch and get together. The conversation is always interesting. When it was time to leave I gave Brother Frederic a ride back to the monastery. He is 86 years young. When we got to the monastic gate I asked him if the code was the same as it was when I lived in the monastery. He replied that it was so I keyed it in. Nothing happened. I inquired if I need to do anything else and he replied, "Just be patient, Michael". We both had a good laugh over my worldly impatience with the gate that ran on monastic time.

The drive home was uneventful but I was happy to find my granddaughter at my house when I arrived home. I wore a sweatshirt to the monastery that said on the front:

"The Man, The Myth, The Legend"

I love being at the monastery but being Grandpa is who I am and who I love to be.


Bryan said...

I think you should post a photo of this marvelous sweatshirt!

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Anonymous said...

hello Michael i like your blog a lot !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!