View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Abbey of the Genesee

The Good Looking One and I took a drive down to the Abbey of the Genesee this afternoon.

We took the back roads, enjoying the view of freshly plowed fields, circling hawks, and green buds just emerging on some of the trees.

When he walked into the Abbey the first thing that struck me was the sweet, rich smell of fresh bread.

I wandered about the book shop looking at titles - so many temptations, but I was good - and then went into the chapel. It was dark except for some light filtering in form the many windows, and a lone candle burning in the back. I sat on the front pew, and listened. The heaters were cracking. So were the walls occasionally from the slight breeze.

Otherwise, all was silent.

I studied the round altar, the wooden pews where the monks normally sit and kneel, the beams that make up the ceiling.

Wood and stone. Wood and stone.

Even the Holy Water fonts are made of hollowed out stones.

I took out my Rosary, and began. I went slower than I usually do. My mind wandered as it always does, but in the silence of that chapel it seemed easier to pull it back to reflections on the mysteries.

After a while, a lone monk, in work clothes, passed through the cloistered part of the chapel. A couple of people came in, stood at the back in silence, then left.

I finished my Rosary, and then sat listening to the silence. I felt peaceful.

We bought some raisin bread and whole wheat bread - the Abbey is the home of Monk's Bread, after all - and the Good Looking One also picked up some oatmeal cookies and a little fruitcake. I've given up sweets for Lent, so I'll have a little bit of those treats on Sunday.

We then drove up to Caledonia where we visiting the graves of my Grandmother, Mother and Father (they share a common headstone). The little angel statue (with a bird on its finger) that I had put on their headstone slab last Fall had fallen over. I set it upright. The plastic flowers I'd put in the vase in the ground were still there.

I don't visit the grave often, I have to admit. But I do talk to all three of them regularly as I drive or walk the dog. They are not forgotten.

As we drove away from the graveyard, I remarked that I miss the card games Dad and I used to play every Sunday. We didn't have a lot in common, and when I was younger, relations were strained. We had little we could talk about when I visited the nursing home. But those games gave us a way to connect - and for me to gauge his slow decline over the last few years. Too bad my wife and daughters don't share my enjoyment of card games. What will we do when I get old. Maybe talk!

Home now. Dog walked and fed. Dinner soon.

There is much to thank God for in my life.

And maybe there'll be some good card games in heaven! (Perhaps Dad's already dealt me in.)


Post a Comment

<< Home