I return to my beloved abbey,
Where monks know a silence that is filled
with healing and contemplation.
A quiet cacophony of glory.
Moving Hour by Hour by Hour
Through the Liturgy of Life,
Connected by a golden thread
that ties us
to the numinous.
I breathe in and out,
Mindful of the quiet.
And mindful of many voices
Vying to draw me out of this
gift of stillness.
Alone in this Cistercian chapel,
the simple, wooden furnishings are enough,
enough to give rest to the weary,
to give pleasant order for worship,
and to invite Holiness to meet searching hearts.
Seven times a day do I praise you, Lord.
But I have forgotten how.
By the alter, a richly toned icon of Mother Mary and her son
catches my attention.
I hadn’t noticed that painting before.
The peaceful image becomes
I have been waiting for you.
I am here.
Settling in, I see
a sturdy, high-backed chair,
placed alter-side by the wall.
A clear, bright sunbeam
suddenly streams through the window
and rests above the chair.
I whisper to God that
I am here to meet Him
In this clear silence.
I will not leave until I see Him.
Humble request, firm resolve,
Then that warm beam begins
to slowly slip down the chair back.
Bit by bit as I watch.
The sunlight filling only the chair,
and nowhere else in the room.
God, is that you?
I will not move from this place.
while I watch and pray.
Swiftly, the brightest beam at its center
fills the seat,
as if taking its rest
Time was suspended
in the numinous.
When we cease striving,
mystery takes a seat
with the material,
when we watch and pray.
This meditation was inspired by one of my visits to Our Lady of the Holy Cross Abbey in Virginia. You can explore their wonderful website to learn more about their community of Cistercian monks, Liturgy of the Hours, and Retreat House. https://www.virginiatrappists.org/
Annie Nardone is a flannel-clad, cowboy boot-shod adventurer who seldom travels with a map! Her passion is the reintegration of the arts and humanities with theology and Christian imagination. Annie holds a Masters Degree in Cultural Apologetics from HBU, is a founding member of The Society for Women of Letters, and is Managing Editor of The Cultivating Reader for Cultivating magazine. She also writes for Literary Life, and An Unexpected Journal. Annie resides in Florida with her Middle Earth-Narnia-Hogwarts-loving family, & her wild assemblage of cats.
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