Lessons from the Monastery

It was better than a fishing trip together–and that is saying something.
My ten-year-old boy, Zeb, and I spent several days this week at the Monastery of the Ascension retreat house–a true Idaho treasure.

Our primary take-aways:

1. Kitchen work was accomplished quickly and efficiently. The monks go about their chores without complaining and without arguing. Lesson: When everyone pitches in and does their part, the work is not burdensome.

2. Rush and hurry come from being driven…peace comes from being called. Lesson: Slow down, pay attention to your call, and turn your back on the voices that demand your immediate attention. Seek first the Kingdom of God and everything else will work out just fine.

3. Life at the monastery revolves around set times for prayer. Lesson: Don’t try to squeeze time for prayer into your life; schedule your life around prayer. Nothing is more valuable and more powerful than prayer and meditation.

The last two lessons, especially, I hope never to forget. Zeb and I ordered a copy of Christian Prayer : The Liturgy of the Hours and have set up our own plan for joining in prayer with the Church.

At work (where I am called–not where I am driven), I have access to the Universalis site, where I can keep up with the prayer cycle on breaks. The attitude is crucial, it seems to me: I am not a worker finding time for prayer–but a man of prayer who also works.

Nothing Zeb and I have ever done–not even our fishing trip to Oregon two springs ago–has helped more to tighten our bond and open up dialogue between us than the trip to the monastery. We both look forward to a return trip soon.

How to locate a monastery or retreat center

Would you like to find a place to get closer to your children–or your spouse? Try a monastery. This link can help you find one: Retreat Finder.

May His love bless and keep you and yours on the journey.

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