When I think of the word “monastery” I form a picture in my mind. It is not entirely pleasant. Cold, gray walls enclosing stern, solemn figures come into my imagination. I have been to Mt. Saviour Monastery before, so I should know better. Still, this dreary, formal image is uppermost in my mind. I do not think of beauty, except perhaps a cold, inaccessible beauty. I certainly do not think of whimsy or playfulness, but that is what I found this weekend when John and I visited Mt. Saviour Monastery.
When we walked into the chapel, we were greeted by this lovely cross:
And when we spent time in the barn, we saw Br. Pierre very patiently teaching an orphan lamb to drink from a bottle:
These two images are very different from the image in my mind when I hear the word “monastery,” but they perfectly capture for me our experience at Mt. Saviour Monastery this weekend. Love and nurturing and hospitality are overflowing from the monks, staff and volunteers at Mt. Saviour. Beauty is everywhere – in the flowers, in the Word, in the chanting, in the sheep.
I am writing a short post tonight. After a weekend of no internet, no computers, and few words, it has been rather difficult to return to “real” life. I will add one more picture of the beautiful scene that we saw as we walked to the chapel from the guest house at the top of the hill.