Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Abbey of Gethsemani

This past weekend I took a trip down to the Abbey of Gethsemani located in Trappist, KY. My pop had been to this place on retreats in the past and he thought that I may like to have the experience. The Abbey is most well known for a monk by the name of Thomas Merton who lived there. Thomas Merton became a pretty well known author and there are tons of books about him and by him. Needless to say the trip did provide me with some insights into my soul but those insights are really for me alone. This blog will be more just my general observations of what this place is like.

Here is the monks daily scheduled. First of all, they are in church 8 times a day, starting at 3:15AM.

3:15 am Vigils
5:45 am Lauds
6:15 am Eucharist
7:30 am Terce
12:15 pm Sext
2:15 pm None
5:30 pm Vespers
7:30 pm Compline
7:45 pm Rosary

From 8:00 in the morning until 12:00, The Monks work. They make cheese and fudge and sell it via direct mail to support the Monastery. From 12:00 - 4:00 they may choose to do more work, read a spiritual text or pray. One thing they may not choose to do is watch TV. Never. I said Never. They do however read newspapers and have access to the internet. They use these mediums to keep up with what is going on in the world and to know what to pray about. After the 7:45pm Rosary the monks go to bed. They then get up and start there day all over again. Here is a picture of them from the website.

These are the monks while they are in church.


These type of monks live by the "Rules of St. Benedict". These rules include the vows the monks take (chastity, poverty, etc..) as well as the fact that they offer an area for retreat. The rules state that their Monastery must have a retreat house where people may come to spiritually regroup. The Retreat house is very nice. It is basically like a motel. The retreat house and the Monastery are joined via the chapel. There are signs all throughout the place that state "Silence is spoken here". You are expected to not speak in most areas of this place. There is a whole lot of just be-ing.

When we arrived they informed me that I would be staying in the monks wing instead of in the retreat house. The monks wing does not have AC and they share a restroom. Pretty similar to a college dorm. When we asked the monk that checked us in why my dad got a room in the retreat house and I got a room in the monks wing, he said "Maybe it is prophetic". I assure you that I could not achieve in many more lifetime the level of dedication to spirituality these men have attained.

There is not really to much more to say. If you are interested in the place I suggest to check out the website. I can't really say what I did because I did a lot of nothing. If you all have any questions about the place I will do my best to answer them. Peace.





6 Comments:

Blogger Stef said...

The monks didn't make Trappist Ale? I thought that's what monks did--make beer!

Seriously though, I hope you got whatever you wanted to get out of the experience.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Bean said...

So do you have any interest in becoming a monk?

9:01 AM  
Blogger jean conkey, tmh said...

Trappist Ale is trach.

When you say they're not allowed to watch TV, does that include movies?

9:51 AM  
Anonymous celeb said...

All I can do is think of Sean Connery and say "I'll take Tra Rappist for $400 Alex"

12:47 PM  
Anonymous bigD said...

subscribe cheese and fudge
completely unsubscribe the rest o that business

9:26 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

The place is quite extraordinary. For me it is good - I love it there. So do lots of other folks ... a reservation made today will get you a weekend in November.

The service the monks provide is a stress-free environment ... no demands of any kind on your time or mind, and all your needs are met.

Pretty darn nice of those guys.

2:25 PM  

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