Go! for Lent: Psalm 122
The Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY is one of my favorite places on earth. It is, for me, a “thin place” – a place where heaven and earth come a bit closer together. It feels both immensely holy and remarkably accessible. I think this is a combination of the physical space and the brothers who welcome me into their community when I visit. I arrive and am accepted for who I am and how I am in that moment.
Praying the daily offices with the brothers in the chapel is central to the holiness of being present at the monastery. The chapel – the house of the Lord – is a space that has been steeped in the prayers of so many people over the years. Prayers of joy, prayers of frustration, prayers of thanksgiving, prayers of despair, and everything in between, have been lifted up to God there. I find simply sitting in the chapel and being quiet an experience centers me and allows me to be more open to God.
I often go to Holy Cross consciously (and perhaps at times unconsciously) seeking solace and end up being gifted with strength. Sometimes it’s physical strength because I can catch up on sleep, but usually it’s a spiritual strength. A sense of being called back to the foundation of my faith and a reminder that I am not alone on this journey through life even if it feels that way sometimes. I suppose that’s part of what living a holy Lent does for us, too. It takes us on a journey through the wilderness of our own lives, encourages us to stop and be more present with God and those around us, and reminds us that after the pain of Gethsemane and Good Friday we always encounter the joy and hope of Easter and new life in Christ.
As we continue our Lenten journey, may you go to the places that bring you closer to God.