Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Be praised, Lord, with all Your creatures, and above all our Brother Sun, who gives us the day by which You light our way, and who is beautiful, radiant and with his great splendor is a symbol to us of You, O Most High!
-St. Francis of Assisi

From Rickett's Glen State Park, in northeastern Pennsylvania.

This past Sunday I went to Rickett's Glen state park with my friend Scott and his other friend for a hike in the woods. I actually got some great pictures which I'll definitely be using here at some point. (One of which is above...)

While I was there I kept picturing in my head a Fransican brother just quietly walking through the woods on the path there. How nice would that be to be him and just be able to enjoy the peace of that place. The flowing water, the nature, the animals around you. Just peace and quiet. Perhaps even a Rosary for some quiet meditation.

When I'm at mass and the choir is singing its chants I do my best to separate myself from the world - to remove myself from every bit of noise or instance that is going on outside of that place. I am focused on God and my prayers. I am on a mini-retreat of sorts. Sure, it only lasts an hour and a half, but when I leave Mass most Sundays I feel like a new man. I am completely refreshed. On the drive home I rarely turn the radio on for fear of disrupting my peace.

My experiences with Mass and this little walk in the woods have piqued my interest in taking a weekend long retreat somewhere. Perhaps there is a monastery that does this in my area. Somewhere I can do some meditation, attend Mass, read a bit, etc. Perhaps I'll ask my priest if he knows a place for this kind of thing. But the more I consider it, the more I feel called to spend some time alone with God.

In the meantime, I do what I can. I pray my Little Office, continue my catechesis with Fr. Fischer, and attend Mass on Sundays. That mixed in with other reading here and there, and it fills up time which otherwise would be spent in less than spiritual ways.

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"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton