I am back from the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist Kentucky in Nelson County. It was a relaxing very contemplative experience. I arrived Monday at 11:00 am CST. The guestmaster, a fine priest welcomed me, gave me my keys, told me when the next service was and advised my that dinner was
at 12:30 am. I then went into seclusion, attended services as I wished and had precious aloneness for
the first time in years.
The first service is Vigil at 3:15 am….I am an early riser so that was no problem. I usually woke up before the monastery bells which ring at 3 am. They ask for no speaking except in designated areas,
in the dining area, save one room for speaking, and other areas, particularly the guest house and your room. There is silence in those areas…..They have signs up that say, “Silence is Spoken here.”
I had time to write in my journal, take photographs posted in my previous blog entry, read and hike a part of their 1200 acres of woodlands. I fully cannot describe the Peace and tranquilty of the Abbey.
I am a fan of Thomas Merton, their most famous resident. His works and discussions about contemplation were recorded in the 1960’s before his death and he wrote many books. His discussion with novices and other residents were played over an intercom one day at lunch. Truly the man was a genius and his bold, clear, concise discussions helped me along the path of contemplation.
I urge everyone out there to go the abbey if possible. They ask only for an offering of whatever you are moved to give for the 4 day stay which includes a healthy diet, clean comfortable room and as much or a little spirtual guidance as you may want!
There website is Monks.org