La Posada

Following Mass and brunch today I took a walk along the Mountain Road at Mt. Irenaeus. It’s a peaceful and contemplative journey and one that I wanted to make. I reflected on this last day of the calendar year and had some trepidation about what lies ahead in 2007. Climbing slowly and meandering along this quiet path up to the summit of the Mountain as we call it. Mount Irenaeus does rise over 2200 feet in an area filled with the low mountains of the Appalachians of southwestern New York State. There was stillness along the path and in the lovely woodlands that border it. I thought how fortunate I am to be allowed the privilege of peacefully wandering along this trail. I thought of two young men I’ve known who soon will find themselves in the seething cauldrons of Iraq and Afghanistan. I prayed that their journeys and adventures would be kept safe by the Holy Spirit and that they would return chastened by the experience and become peace workers in a world that longs for more of that precious commodity. When I reached the top of the trail and the intersection of the Mountain Road and St. Peter’s path I stopped for a few moments at the hermitage of La Posada. This hermitage is one of my favorite haunts at Mt. Irenaeus and I have spent a couple of prayerful nights in the past six years. La Posada is secluded and is the seat of Franciscan solitude in the middle of these lovely woods. It is the resting place. Only a cot, a desk, a chair and a cast iron stove fill this small rustic cabin. On the desk and inside a plastic box are a couple of journals. It is customary for guests at La Posada to write a reflection during their stay here. I opened the box and read a couple of the reflections. They are part of the contemporary gospel that I find so restful here at Mt. Irenaeus. Inside the journal are the words, “Be still and know that I am God.” Be still and know that I am, be still and know, be still, be.

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peace, mt. irenaeus, hermitage, solitude