Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Christ in the Desert Day 2

Christ in the Desert Day 2

Well I have survived since three o'clock on Sunday without speaking. I have gotten allot of writing done and I have talked to myself.

I was always attracted as a younger man by the romance of religious life. There was something romantic about people like St Francis or St Francis Xavier or the Jesuit Reductions or Thomas Merton. Something about being so separate and prophetic. It was a romantic notion then as now.

My personal interest in religious life wavered in the face of my own weakness and all of the unfortunate baggage that has been created by scandal and human weakness. But having said that there is still something great about it all.

Being here with the monks I cannot help but think of what monks have given to humanity. Forget about the saints for the moment and think about this fact monks were the ones during the entire period from the fall of Rome until the birth of printing that saved the written word. In the year 600 only 3000 people in Western Europe could read or write according to historian Warren Treadgold of those 1/2 were Monks and Nuns. We owe monks quite allot. The Arabs learned about Western knowledge from Greek and Syrian monks so we all owe monks many of the books we currently read and for our history.

So my stay here is uneventful. The deep quiet is so disturbing. It is a good change though removing oneself from life and stopping. Too much of our lives is spent on chatter and noise and quiet and contemplation are needed. Having said that I will barely make it to Friday.... Peace


1 comment:

Carl said...

Hello Raymond: Interesting thoughts on the contribution of monks. I've been trying to book a stay at the monastery as I'm an artist in LA looking for silence... Just curious, did you make it through all 5 days of your stay? And a logistical question, did you rent a car to get out that 13 mile dirt road, and if so, how is that road?