Thorn in the flesh

Tonight was the second consecutive Sunday that I’ve been at the compline at Abbey of the Genesee. I’ve been coming to the abbey for nearly 28 years now and with increasing frequency in the past two years. I first went to the bread store just to enjoy the heavenly aroma of fresh baked “Monk’s Bread.” There are other fine items for sale in the bakery like blueberry whiskey cake and chocolate chip whiskey cake. There are “Monk’s Brownies” a delightful mixture of chocolate icing, brownie mix and brazil nuts. Then a quick look around the bookstore. I only had a few minutes before compline. I found a place near the back of the chapel and spent a few quiet minutes. Brother Christian walked by and smiled as he often does. We have often talked on other visits here. I’m a regular at the abbey. The compline Psalms are 4, 91 and 134. The bell chimes at 6:40 pm, a hand claps and the prayers begin. It’s good to be home here in the presence of these holy men and this sacred chapel I love.

As I was leaving tonight it occurred to me that the problems in my life, some of which I’ve written about in this blog, keep me coming back to the abbey with increasing frequency. This momentary insight made me grateful and helped me to see that God is keeping me close with these problems. St. Paul referred to them as thorns in the flesh. Looking at what I call problems as calls to holiness makes these discomforts a blessing and keeps me grateful. Peace.

Technorati Tags:
thorn in the flesh, st. paul, genesee abbey, trappist