To enter the grounds of Saint Meinrad Monastery deep in the
hills of Southern Indiana is to enter a different world. Early one
evening after a hectic day at the office, I drove out to Saint
Meinrad for a quiet retreat. It had recently rained. On the path
from the outer parking lot to my room, I became acutely aware of
the smell of lush greenery and the stillness.
A few yards away, a solitary robin pecked at a tiny insect. I
had almost forgotten the wonderful quiet of an evening in the
country. Only one person met me on the path. She graciously changed
direction to escort me to my room. That night I opened my windows
to soak in the fresh air and quickly fell asleep.
Dreams of making this my permanent home were interrupted by a
clamor of bells that announced to the countryside the beginning of
a new day. I chuckled to myself as I remembered that Saint Meinrad
has a sunrise service every morning, not just on Easter.
The monks gathered for prayer as the first rays of the summer
sun peeked over the fields and lit up the very tops of the stained
glass windows. Saint Meinrad is on God's time. Morning is a
time for praise.
The pace was slow compared to my average "work" day, but I never
felt bored. God's time is full of the real business of life. We had
much spiritual food to reflect upon and time to study and pray.
With the absence of the distractions so common in the business
world, I found myself more in time with the rhythm of faith.
Ann has likened Saint Meinrad to a wellspring where one finds
fresh water; the kind that renews our strength and our spirit.
Thirsty people have always sought out deep wells. Once by a well,
Jesus met a woman who was thirsty, more in spirit than body. The
spiritual water she found at the well so delighted her she hurried
to share it with others.
A wellspring is a special place where hope is renewed and Easter
happens every day. We are blessed to have such deep springs close
at hand. Sometimes, we forget we are all connected to Christ, the
true source of our living water. The retreat poured living water
into the dry channels of my spirit and helped me rediscover my own
springs of faith.
First published in The Message, Evansville, Indiana