Holy Peace

I took this picture as I was walking up the trail to Holy Peace Chapel at Mt. Irenaeus this morning. It was a beautiful morning and one of the nicest of the summer. Today’s readings were very meaningful for me. Psalm 63 was read after the first reading and it really embodied how I’ve been feeling lately. I almost walked out of Mass after I got there as I felt a bit low and troubled.

O God, you are my God– for you I long! For you my body yearns; for you my soul thirsts, Like a land parched, lifeless, and without water. So I look to you in the sanctuary to see your power and glory.
For your love is better than life; my lips offer you worship! I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands, calling on your name. My soul shall savor the rich banquet of praise, with joyous lips my mouth shall honor you! When I think of you upon my bed, through the night watches I will recall That you indeed are my help, and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy. My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me.
But those who seek my life will come to ruin; they shall go down to the depths of the earth! They shall be handed over to the sword and become the prey of jackals! But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by the Lord shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be shut!

I stayed at Mass and this Psalm along with the blog about Paradox of Peace that came from the Merton Institute a couple of weeks ago stayed with me. After Mass and brunch I stopped and visited some Franciscan friends and then I drove north to Abbey of the Genesee. I spent Vespers and Compline with the community. I visited the store and bought Thomas Merton’s, “The Way of Chuang Tzu,” along with fruit cake and some Monks brownies for my friends. Between Vespers and Compline I went to the chapel and sat in silence inviting the presence of the Holy Spirit and seeking answers. Just before Compline while looking at one of Merton’s books in the store Brother Jerome approached and asked if I’d like to talk. I came here seeking answers today and the improbable coincidence of an invitation to talk by a monk I’d never visited with before floored me. I’m going back tomorrow and sit with Brother Jerome. Maybe his counsel is that voice of God that I’ve been seeking.