Posted in Inspiration

Connections

Every event in life has its purpose. Nothing happens on accident. Every event, every word, every action was carefully crafted by the hands of God.

I often think about that before I go to the monastery. I always seem to go before something important in my life happens. My first visit to the monastery was just before my confirmation. My second trip was right after my husband and I got engaged. I remember, my priest friend would tease me and say, “it’s not too late, I know a convent right down the road.” My third milestone visit ┬áto the monastery was right after I had gotten married. Finally, the last time I visited was the summer before I went to the Holy Land. Now that I’ve visited again…I have no idea what to expect…what moment or what healing, but I put whatever it may be in the steady hands of God.

 

 

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I’d forgotten the peace I find there. The love, the community, the tradition, and the brotherhood. All of our paths have intertwined for a reason…one in which at this time is a mystery to me, but I recognize that it started long before us…long before our grandparents and great grandparents. We’ve all been connected and intertwined by the careful handiwork of God. We’re all part of the redemptive story…all the lives we touch and our daily interactions aid only in the slightest way. It’s all about finding God in the ordinary.

 

**Quick edit: I have a sneaking suspicion as to what it may be**

Posted in Inspiration

Monks, Matt Maher, and Zaxbys

So, this is about three months late, lol. Anyways, I always love taking my friends to the monastery with me. It’s always nice getting a chance to experience it through a new set of eyes each time. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that God always brings those there who need it most. I always leave having gained a new perspective or regained hope about whatever I’m wrestling with at the time.

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We arrived to the monastery late Friday and settled in for the night. The next day I was super excited to show everyone around Cullman and the monastery. Oh and how could I forget to mention the excitement of seeing the Matt Maher concert bus in the monastery retreat center parking lot on our way to morning prayer and mass!!! I always love taking people to pray the divine office with the monks. It’s always such an amazing experience to be able to pray with the brothers. After morning prayer we went to a local bakery, drove back to the retreat center, and had a morning picnic near the stations of the cross trail close to the abbey gift shop. After breakfast we explored the stations of the cross and the monks cemetery.

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After we spent most of the morning exploring the Abbey grounds, we checked out the bookstore and then prepped to go to Afternoon prayer. After prayers we were able to eat lunch with the monks. It was fun getting a chance to talk with them for a bit. It was ridiculously hot on Saturday, but that didn’t stop us from exploring the grounds! I’m happy I was able to show everyone my favorite place at the monastery! I still don’t understand why I love the Old Grotto so much. After our trip to the grotto we decided to take a short nap before vespers and the concert.

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The Matt Maher concert was awesome!! It was cool getting to hear the songs from his new CD. Oh! And I got a really awesome tank top when I was there! We were all pretty exhausted by the time we got back to the retreat center and just settled down for the night.

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Whelp, on Sunday, we visited the New Grotto and then we went to Sunday Mass. After mass we said our goodbyes and packed up the rest of our stuff and left. It always makes me kind of sad whenever I leave the abbey, but I look forward to my next visit!

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