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Friday, February 01, 2008

My Special Friend

This is my special friend, Brother Raphael who is a monk in Vina. He has lived in Vina as a monk for the last 10 years and informed me last week that he has made his final decision to request final vows next month.
Final Vows, if accepted by the community of monks would mean that he will become a permanent member of the community and will remain on the monastery for the remainder of his life. Brother Raphael works in the vinyard as well as a variety of other duties.
For a few years I attended a men’s group that met in the monastery and included a few men from various backgrounds as well as 3 monks (Father Paul, Brother Placid, and Brother Raphael.) I enjoyed those spiritual meetings and discussions very much and felt that their simple and insightful wisdom was so assuring and comforting.

There is something so very peaceful and intriguing about people who live simple lives, want for nothing beyond what they truly need, and posses such happiness. I have learned so much from these wonderful men.

I continue to see Father Paul regularly since he is my spiritual director, but I rarely see Brother Placid who I am told manages their huge private library, and don’t get a chance to see Brother Raphael too often.

With exception to Father Paul who is able to see many people due to his spiritual direction, the others at the monastery live for the most part a cloistered life.

I often carry the thoughts, words, and memories of Brother Raphael with me; I can truly see Christ in his being.

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