5.14.2011

Monastic

The beautiful arching columns here are hand mixed and hand poured concrete. The blue light comes through hand made stained glass jalousie windows. The pews and kneelers are hand hewn and smoothed. It is a  beautifully cool and sacred place built entirely in silence. Amazing.

About an hour up the road from here is an actual monastery. Until we moved here, I wasn't aware that monasteries were still extant, but the idea of a life closed in study and contemplation fascinates me.  We went to visit this week. I was left feeling even more drawn to meditation and contemplation than ever before. Obviously the monastic life isn't mine to lead, and I wouldn't for one second trade the life I do have for another, but as I watched the monks walk with slow deliberation, speak to each other with rapt attention ad great passion, close their eyes in adoring devotion, gaze upon the Word with reverent awe, I wanted more of what they have.
We live in a noisy world of constant audio and visual stimulation.  I wonder how much we miss simply because we are so fast, so intent on the next thing, so focused five steps down the road, that we aren't even for one second aware of the weight of the moment we are in.
I am no monk, but I can learn from their ideals: simplicity, community, work, devotion, prayer.  They are bedrocks worthy of foundation.