|Downtown Paris in the springtime|
First, during the plane trip over the country's midsection down to Dallas and then on to Fort Smith, Arkansas, I was really overwhelmed at the endless expanse of farmland of all kinds. As we got into Texas I could see that sometimes a single farm field looked to be the size of a county back home. I kept saying to myself as I gazed out of the window, "So this is where all our food comes from." A prosaic but still impressive bit of perspective.
The contrasts reminded me that a monastery takes its "shape" from its immediate environment and from its circumstances. I wasn't the least bit jealous of their having a bunch of younger men, because I'm convinced that the Lord is working in our community too, and is shaping us as he needs us to be.
A third idea of perspective came to me when one monk was explaining that airline pilots flying their approach
|The Red Roofs of Subiaco|
A final perspective came from my own retreat conferences. I really learned a lot about myself as I made this retreat and listened to my conferences. It was interesting to be able to stand back from my own words and let them speak to my heart.
So, it was quite a week. But as always, it's great to be home in my own community - even if it's nowhere near Paris, and the air's not quite as fresh here. But you have to keep things in perspective, right?
|Above the fruited plain...|