It was a beautiful Lords Day here at #SilverstreamPriory which is nestled in the rolling hills of County Meath! I never imagined that so many of you would take such a keen interest in my retreat and study among these amazing, hospitable, generous, humble and faithful Benedictine Monks.
Cheer along with me in thanksgiving to God, who resisted blessing me with an early morning nap today, and instead, awakened me with the rising of the sun (seriously, 430 AM!) and made it so that I was ready for Mass at 6! After which I eagerly anticipated fresh fruit and hot coffee for breakfast, to accompany reading a few more chapters of that ever more engaging book, 'Mass in Slow Motion'. As I read this book, I am often struck by the authors wisdom and find so many inspirations for future sermons!
Some of the folks from the area joined us at this mornings time of prayer which was followed by Mass. You'd think that would be sufficiently satisfying for a good morning, but there was yet more to count among the many blessings! I'm not only mastering the mechanics of Latin ecclesial language , but also really beginning to grasp the flow and meaning of the words. This is as well true with our psalm prayers! Although this took all week and was mostly accomplished in prayer alone, I was, finally, able to fully participate in the time of praying the psalms and not just spiritually enter into the celestial beauty of the chanting Monks! Topping off the morning, there was a gathering with the visitors for coffee and treats in the Gatehouse. Among the folks today, was a local Curate (Pastor) who joined us after the celebrations in his parish, while on his way to lunch with his folks. He, dressed in his Roman Collar and Cassock, gave me visions of myself in the months ahead, and was a lively Irish Priest of just 6 months less than I, and full of love for his people. He's also at one of the most historic church's in Ireland... which I'll be adding to my list of adventures and experiences to have on my next trip to this wonderful oasis of peace.
After feasting on the culinary works of Dee, the 'outdone by none' cook of the monastery... I went for the usual walk about the grounds. The sun was bright when it boldly broke through the billoughy white and grey mixed clouds which seemed to be in a constant race to reach the islands edge, moved as they were, by the slightly cool wind that filled the lungs with refreshing purity and scents that danced as they passed through your nose. I was inspired to take my book, aside the pond which was busy with scittering instects and the graceful decent of the odd birds which only slightly disturbed the watery world.
Later, in the afternoon, I was able to accomplish almost a full run through of the Mass that you and I are all at least acquainted with, if not actively participating in it's celebration every Sunday... but this time, I was 'celebrating' in Latin! So, that was cool!
Well, the sun is down and I'm as yet in my chair writing for you. I'll pray that God allows me to have a full sleep in the shortened hours ahead.
Fr. Blair Gaynes has been in the Diocese since 2008.