Visitors who come to our place in the winter are into some serious seeking. They don't come for the sun and lake shore meditation. They don't come for summer R&R, to walk or sit and read outside and spend evenings outdoors till 9:00 pm. There is none of that in January. And yet, we have many visitors at this time of year. I watch them with admiration as they take time---in the midst of grey skies, snow clouds, short days and hours spent indoors---for spiritual pursuits.
In December we hosted an Anglican vicar from a small village in England. He was taking a month's sabbatical---with his bishop's and wife's "permission"! He was in one of our hermitages by day, but came over for Evening Praise and supper every night. Here is an excerpt from his thank you letter: "The stay was at the right time for me - I had almost given up on the Anglican Church (or any Church) picking up my weekly church newspaper and seeing the swerve to fundamentalist thinking - but your community reminded me that it was important to stay - and to focus on what was important for the sake of those we serve.....so thanks to you all. I have to say I have never stayed in a more hospitable religious house - so may your various ministries prosper."
This weekend will bring 30 winter retreatants who are coming for the 99th Spirit of the Seasons. Yes, May's will be the 100th---and quite a celebration.
An extra treat for today: One of our liturgists, Sr. Marilyn, did a 5-minute interview recently for Franciscan Radio. It highlights her own music background and the chant of our community. You can hear both Marilyn and our chant on their website. Her interview begins about 5:15 into the program. It's program #07-52 from December 24th in case it's off their main page and you have to search for it!