This is Father Paul
He is a monk who lives in a Hermitage at the Trappist monastery
(New Clairvaux - Vina California).
He is many things:
A Spiritual Director
A Role Model
----The List goes on and on ----
However, he has been our (Liz and My) Spiritual director for many years. I think Liz and I have been making that peaceful monthly (sometimes every two weeks for Liz) trip to the monastery since 2000.
So many years ago, in the time of the desert monks, as told by John Cassian, it wasn't uncommon for an individual to travel great distances to visit a desert monk and ask for a special word or some type of direction to apply to their lives. These holy men were considered to have a special relationship to God, living a life of prayer and meditation.
In so many ways, Father Paul has been for us that holy desert father, full of wisdom, love, compassion, understanding, and grace.
When you really think about it, it really isn't peculiar to think of a concept of visiting a monk and discussing your life while attempting to make meaning of it. A Monk has removed himself from the ordinary and chaotic culture and lives a life of community and prayer. He is able to clearly see life, life in general, without so much of the obstacles that we encounter each day. A life of simplicity........A life of truth, passion, purity.
Father Paul means more to us than any of my words can describe.......
He truly has been a gift from God to both Liz and me.
He will be having a tumor removed this Wednesday (March 12, 2008) please pray that all is well for him.