Life in Progress: A weblog by Heidi Price

On Saturday I spoke

I didn't intend to speak, but on Saturday morning, I locked myself out of my room.

I went to the welcome desk on the ground floor of the retreat house. While I waited, I read the coffee table book about the Garden of Gethsemani, a collection of bronze statutes in a wooded area on the monastery, erected in the memory of Jonathan Daniels, an Episcopalian seminarian who died to save another woman in Alabama in 1965.

After a few minutes a monk approached and asked if I needed help. I told him that I had locked myself out of my room.

I thought that would be the end of it. After telling me that he could unlock my room, the monk continued talking even as we walked through the "silence only" hallways and rode the elevator to my third-floor room. He told me that his sister (I think he said she was a Dominican nun) was visiting the abbey for the weekend.

"I told her I would meet her in the chapel in 10 minutes. That was 30 minutes ago," he said.

I would have been stressed to be so late. He just smiled and, after unlocking my door, inquired of me. What brought me here? How was my retreat going?

Then he asked if I would be joining others later that evening to pray the rosary.

I didn't know how to answer. He wasn't pressuring me, but at the same time I didn't want to say no, so I didn't say anything. He didn't pressure me, just smiled again and wished me a nice weekend.

And that's it: My speaking engagement for the weekend.

After lunch, I set off to find the Garden of Gethsemani.


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