Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Abby of Gethsemani in Prayer

A video of the community singing Terce …


  1. Very sad to see the vast empty church and the tiny community. Hopefully they are considering downsizing the monastery buildings to something more manageable and 'green'.

    1. THe last couple of times I've been there, Paul ( 2012 and 2013) I've been impressed with the number of "young" monks. Before it had seemed as if it really were a dying community. I too hope that they can be an example of more "green" living. The nearby sisters of Loretto have been more progressive and vocal (and community involved) in that area. Both the monks and the nuns are strongly opposing fracking a gas pipeline that is to go through their lands. see: https://www.facebook.com/lorettocommunity and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/keith-runyon/kentucky-nuns-issue-energy_b_4427853.html

  2. Thanks for this posting. After a couple of days of work frenzy, this was calming and centering.

    1. As old fashioned as it is, it is somehow comforting to me to know that this kind of prayer is happening in my world. I know that I romanticize it, but in another life I would like to be a monk, my entire span of time centered around singing the Psalms. I think it is Matthew Kelty who somewhere describes the monks as mostly introverted men who could only find their way in this kind of setting. Merton had some conflicted feelings about it all, but he doesn't strike me as an introvert at all.

    2. For us introverts social activity is tiring--we need the subdued, calm behaviors that don't deplete our social energy reserves. Prayer and chanting are nutrition and necessary, in my opinion, not romantic. Contemplation is good. And what little I know of Merton, it strikes me he needed the nutrition of silence and contemplation like the rest of us introverts do. Perhaps his need to write and connect with other creators disguises his introversion.

    3. You may be right about the introversion of Merton, James. He certainly was nourished by the silence and solitude.

      I just saw a "tweet" from Richard Rohr on my Twitter feed and wanted to put it here, but it doesn't work in the comment section so I put it under the video. Looks like it belongs there and is relevant :-)

      "Silence is the necessary space around things that allows them to develop and flourish without my pushing."

  3. 2Cents ______________________________________________ *

    Beth if you want to be a monk you could have a sex change
    but if it was not for the girls the men would have killed each
    other all off long long ago - I have a great fondness for Gregorian
    chant and there days it can follow you around as if it was your
    very shadow - however is prayer and ritual just a magical act
    to get stuff - tell that to the kids of the world who are starving
    to death if they say thees words they will get all the rice they
    can eat - perhaps the magic don't work so good !
    Merton said the monastic format the future would be of
    small communities living and working in the cities the
    living of a few poor men in million dollar properties is nonsensical
    you just cant sell that much cheese to keep that kind of
    business a float for man or god/God without very big donations -
    You just don't want to become a introverted dried up old monk
    I always thought females had some very nice qualities and
    attractive tooo you can just blame all that on god/God __

    Blessings _______________________________________________*

    1. bob … I find myself chuckling … much (but not all) truth in what you say.