Monday, January 20, 2014

The graces of two days in the (metaphorical) desert

St. Anthony the Abbot, detail from panel originally 
in Santo Spirito in Florence. Somehow I doubt
that Anthony went in for robes this ornate, and
reading glasses were a millennium away.
Friday was the feast of St. Anthony the Great — Abba Anthony of the desert fathers. And I, too, flew to the desert for a couple of days of retreat before the semester begins.

There was time to write in a large chair with a beautiful view, awash in the late afternoon sun.

A grilled cheese sandwich and an orange at lunch.

Watching the sunrise, sitting up in bed, wrapped up in a quilt.


The very plump (nearly spherical) cardinal in the bushes, wondering if spring had come.  (Short answer, no, we are about to get 5 to 9 inches of snow.)

I walked across the fields and stood under the statue of Jesus in the far corner of the old novitiate and wondered what it might have been like to sit in a field and listen to Jesus.

Two long walks.

Listening to the pipes rattle in the walls of the chapel late at night.  It sounded as if the saints had all peeled themselves out of the stained glass windows and were having a ceilidh.


  1. Love this reflection, especially your last paragraph :-)