Silence is the only voice of God

It’s 7 degrees Fahrenheit here right now and it’s been very wintry all day. I didn’t try to make it to Mt. Irenaeus this morning. I figured the weather might make it impossible to drive up Roberts Road. I opted instead for a challenging winter drive to Piffard, New York and the Abbey of the Genesee. I stayed on the main roads as I didn’t want to slide into any ditches or get stuck in a snow bank. My journey took me through Rushford, Canadea, Houghton, Fillmore, Portageville and Nunda. From Nunda to Mt. Morris the weather was especially nasty with visibility at times less than a tenth of a mile. I finally made to Geneseo and then to the Abbey, but not without seeing a less fortunate driver who was parked in a corn field.

When I finally arrived at the Abbey I decided to sit quietly by the window overlooking the Genesee River valley. I just soaked up the silence and the delightful smell of Monks Bread coming from the bookstore/breadstore in the next room. After stopping to read a passage from Genesis I made my way to the chapel. I love this chapel. It’s a second home to me. The smell of incense, the sight of the Madonna and child, the empty stalls for the monks, the vigil light. It’s like visiting God’s home. Herman Melville once said, “silence is the only voice of God,” and I couldn’t agree more. The silence of this chapel speaks volumes to me.

2 Replies to “Silence is the only voice of God”

  1. Don, I visited Mt. Irenaeus the Fall 2007. My son attends St. Bonaventure and we took a ride up to the mountain to see what it was all about. At that time, my sister was terminally ill with cancer and I was in a terrible frame of mind. When I got up to the mountain, a certain peacefull feeling came upon me that is hard to explain until I read your posts and realize you feel it as well.

    My sister passed away a week befor Thanksgiving and I have been wanting to revisit the mountain. I will be going back up the first week in March and was wondering what the standard protocol is. Should I bring food to contribute to the meals? Are there a schedule of things we are to attend or is just mostly quiet and meditation. Any insight you can give me would be greatly appreciated.


  2. Come anytime and bring food or don’t bring food. There is always something to eat. It’s best to come on Sundays for Mass and then stay for brunch. Call ahead at 585-973-2470 just to make sure they know you’re coming.

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