In the woods..

Today I went to Mass at Mt. Irenaeus and it was a lovely day to be sure. Blue skies with temperatures hovering around 65F at 11:00am when Mass started. The chapel was full of young men from St. Bonaventure University. The celebrant today was, Fr. Dan Riley, OFM. There were a number of young folks and a theology professor and his family from nearby Houghton College too. Several Secular Franciscans were there and then some other visitors. Fr. Dan’s homily challenged us all to lead but at the same time to keep our ego out of it and instead to follow what Christ said in today’s Gospel, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”

I liked that verse and the theme of Dan’s homily because it seemed to resonate with what I’ve been reading in the Educational Leadership course I’ve been taking at St. Bonaventure University this semester. Leaders who aren’t servants aren’t usually very effective leaders or their power is only contained in their ability to force or control what a person does. Real leadership that really changes people and paradigms comes from servant leadership like that practiced by Jesus in the Gospel.

After Mass and Brunch I took a walk up to the top of the land at Mt. Irenaeus. I was going to walk the labyrinth, but since there already some people doing that I thought I’d walk up to Naomi’s knoll, from there I walked along the “Hope” trail until it intersected the “Peace” trail. Eventually my walk led me to one of my favorite places at Mt. Irenaeus and that is La Posada. La Posada is the most primitive hermitage at Mt. Irenaeus and it’s about a ten minute walk from nearly all the other buildings. I like to visit there. It’s like visiting God’s own house. I went inside, read the reflection book which contains the thoughts of the dozens of people who have written reflections of their stay at Mt. Irenaeus. Then I sat in a soft chair near the center of the cabin and in no time I was asleep. I slept in this place for almost forty minutes. It must have been what I needed. I’ll be back to La Posada but I carry her in my heart wherever I go.

La Posada is symbolic of the place where Jesus was born. It seems fitting that this small hermitage named for the birthplace of Christ would be one of my favorite haunts.