Monday, May 25, 2009
Retreat Day Four
Every day we, as a group, had a conference with a monk. He was Father Robert. We concentrated on John 18 and 19. Father Robert was a man in love with words. He relished them. He rolled them over and over on his tongue. He'd hesitate and then repeat them again. He was obsessed with "Jesus was One with the Father." And He wants us to be One with Him, too.
Father Robert celebrates Mass like that, also. He emphasizes important words, stops, and then you can see him consciously speaking from his heart to pronounce the words for Consecration.
During meals we listened to a tape of Dr. Joseph Shaw. I don't know the name of it but he was talking about the parables.
I went to Father Robert for direction and we chatted about the Second Coming. It just may be that my dying and going to the Father will be Jesus coming to get me. That's a Second Coming.
In the afternoon, I spent my time waling around the other side of the lake. On the road down the hill, I came face to face with a deer. I tried to take her picture but she was indistinguisable from the shadows. Walking around I saw some pretty flowers, including one lady slipper springing up from the dead leaves. I found Grace House and a road leading out to the main highway. I met the deer, again.
I prayed my Rosary while walking because standing still was an invitation for mosquitoes to come feast. May flies were becoming more numerous, too.
In the afternoon, I went to a video, With Hearts Expanded, which is a history of the monks at St. Joseph's Abbey. They have always been counter cultural. They could legitimately be considered as living a deviant lifestyle.
Only two of us showed up for the video, Sister Vivian and myself. A great blessing happened. I asked Sister Vivian what Order she was from. She responded, "Religious of Jesus and Mary." "Mmmmmm", I thought that was the Order my great Aunt Blanche belonged to, but that was so long ago, after all, she was my Grandmother's sister. I asked her if she had a house in "Goffstown, N.H., because I vaguely remembered visiting Aunt Blanche, there. Vivian said, "Yes." So I told her what I remembered of my Aunt. Gradually, I pieced together enough information for Vivian to pop out, "Mother Mary of the Trinity," better known as "Mother Trinity!"
Wow! Guess what my religious name is--Sister Faith in the Blessed Trinity.
The blessings kept coming. This time for Sister Vivian. She asked me where I was from. Upon hearing that I was from Franklin, she asked if she could ride home with me because she lives in the town adjacent to Franklin, Plainville. "Of course," I was happy to oblige.
That night, since it was my last night, I lingered a bit, after Vespers, looking at the altar, the church, the Tabernacle. I saw the Abbot, Dom Damian walk around turning the lights off. As he came towards me I saw him pick up something and approach me. "What the hell?" He threw something directly at me!
I jumped right out of my skin as soon as it hit me! But I instantaneously knew what it was as soon as I felt the smack. Holy water, the Abbot was blessing everybody. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. The people behind me were chuckling because they saw me jump out of my skin.
Walking back, I asked them if they knew that the Abbot was going to do that. They all were laughing at me and told me that if I hadn't left so soon after Vespers, all week, I would have known that the Abbot does that every night. He goes around blessing his monks and all visitors.
Well, at least I got a blessing the last night.