Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Monasteries, Fires...and a Tough Lesson for All to Ponder

I visited the Holy Trinity Monastery in St. David just recently, so the New York Times article reporting on the recent Southern California fires hit home to me. How terribly sad to learn that the Mount Calvary Monastery was not spared by the Montecito fires. The 60-year old retreat overlooking the Pacific was burned to the ground, and the Benedictine Anglican monks who serve in that beautiful place escaped with only their crosses. Gone are photos and flowing white robe habits -- as priceless as the antique furniture and paintings that also adorned the monastery. We're left to wonder about the fury of Mother Nature in these unsettling times. How can the devastating loss incurred by monks or residents of the area be explained?
Perhaps it's important to heed the words of one monk quoted in the article. He mused about how, in life, we can become attached to what we have or where we are. How all it takes is something like the fire, to remind us "that what we are called to is not our stuff."

That certainly is a tough lesson to ponder.
Holy Trinity is another Benedictine Monastery. My photos are a detail of the chapel on the St David, Arizona property.

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