I am back home after a four well-spent days up at Our Lady of Spring Bank Abbey in Sparta, Wisconsin. I even met two fellow bloggers while I was there. I knew Brother Stephen was up at the abbey. He writes Sub Tuum; but to my most pleasant surprise, I met Sr. Roberta from the Valley of Our Lady Monastery who writes Running with the Lord.
My biggest surprise was how nature was so co-operative on this visit. Lauds was in-sync with the sunrise and Vespers was in-sync with sunset. That is the ideal time that one strives for, but I have never seen it so spot-on: especially with both offices. It struck a cord in me to such a point that I was inspired to write the two hymns in my previous post. While I have no delusions that they are "high art," it was the first time in 17 years that I was able to write any verse.
I was give another grace while I was there. A small but significant one. During Lauds on Wednesday we were on our knees praying The Lord's Prayer in Latin when I realized that I was praying it in Latin. I was not translating the prayer from English to Latin. I was not merely repeating Latin words that I had previously learned. I was praying and thinking in this ancient language without any disconnect.
If you are a man (especially in North America, but I would not think exclusively) trying to discern his vocation and think monastic life might be for you, you should give Spring Bank Abbey a look. They are truly a "What You See is What You Get" place. It is a place that promotes a life of Prayer, work, and study. And while I find everyone there quite intelligent, they are not of the aloof, condescending, some-what intimidating type. They show an open-hearted, sharing type of intelligence. All of the intelligence, none of the arrogance.
St John Ogilvie A Reading about
2 years ago