Thursday, July 16, 2009

Views of Weston, Vermont

I thought I'd share a few pictures of Weston, Vermont and its ordinary beauty. I probably took several hundred pictures. I'm sure they will show up in publications and greeting cards in the future.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Vacation in Weston, Vermont

This week I’m in Weston, Vermont on vacation. I’m staying with some friends about two miles from Weston Priory at a House of Sabbath which is a big red farmhouse owned by the brothers of Weston Priory. We arrived a few days before the feast of St. Benedict. It’s been so relaxing to sit by the priory pond and read, move in and out of daily prayer with the monks, and enjoy the simple but elegant beauty of the mountains. These pictures demonstrate the contrast of nature as the day unfolds. The first is taken from the priory pond during mid-afternoon. The second was taken on my way to the 5:00am morning prayer on Saturday.

On Sunday, before the big celebration of St. Benedict’s Day two of the brothers presented a DVD reviewing the events of 2008. Among other events, it included the brother’s journey to Mexico in January, 2008. I felt a connection to that experience because my friend and I had driven the brothers to the airport for that trip. At the time, I knew in my heart it would be Brother Phillip’s last visit to Mexico. The courage and determination he exhibited in making that journey was remarkable.
There was also a segment about Brother Alvaro’s vows in October. I remember well when Brother Alvaro began his time at Weston Priory. The other powerful part of the video was a tribute to Brother Phillip who passed away on Christmas Eve, 2008. Much of the content of this DVD is also available on the Weston Priory website.

Later on Sunday morning we gathered for the liturgy celebrating the Feast of St. Benedict. At the end of Mass the brothers always lead the entire assembly in a “Grand March” around the meadow behind the barn chapel. Everyone is welcome. A picnic and line dancing follow. The celebration concludes with midday prayer back in the barn chapel.

The rest of the week has been refreshing and renewing. The weather has been perfect. It’s sunny but not overly hot and it’s wonderful to be able to sit by the pond and read, walk around the grounds, and visit the quaint little shops in the area. There’s a great internet café in downtown Weston and obviously this post betrays the fact that I couldn’t resist visiting the café too!