Sunday, January 10, 2016

Enjoy Some Serenity...

Photo credit:

Plainsong at Vespers
sung by a handful 
of Episcopalian sisters
in a little convent chapel 
in New Jersey,
whisked me back a few decades
to a summer weekend
at Weston Priory in Vermont,
to celebrate 
the Feast of St. Benedict;
whisked me back to 
my Catholic Charismatic days,
when I was willing 
to travel anywhere
to participate in vibrant 
congregational worship.

At the priory
I witnessed what many never see,
monks dancing in a circle,
their slow, graceful sweeps
billowing white hooded frocks
in the gentle breeze.
They sang fresh, mellow songs
that were wending their way
into contemporary liturgies.

The monks invited a few of us
to join their sunrise worship.
We quietly gathered in a rude garret
with a wide many-paned window
that offered pre-dawn darkness.
Sitting upon pillows strewn on the floor,
we melded with the stillness.
One by one the Benedictines entered
with their prayer books
and sat meditatively.
After a time
they softly read Scripture,
prayed, and chanted mellifluous praise.

Suddenly, a brown field mouse
scampered among us,
flitting betwixt and between.
No one stirred at all.

Beyond the panes
blackness gave way
to the rising sun;
streams of warm glow
dissolved the morning mist
above a placid pond.
Splashes of magenta and lavender
petunias drenched in dew
emerged at water's edge.

Maude Carolan


  1. You brought me there! As I read, I felt like I was on holy ground.

  2. Barbara, I'll never forget how peaceful it was to commune with God in that garret and how that tiny mouse scurried among us and no one stirred. It made me smile. If that were to happen in my kitchen, I'd jump up on a chair! Have a blessed and serene day.