CT Muse Art Cooperative

The Benedictine Grange

The Benedictine Grange was established in 1977 
when Brother John Giuliani received permission to found 
a small monastic community in Redding CT.   

Each Sunday at 10:30 AM, services are celebrated in a pre-Civil War barn.


Tonight, the Barn was pure magic. 

I had the most incredible sense of beauty - the blood red roses in front of the altar so vibrant, 
the music so sublime, the oil so sweet, the love so palpable, the bread and the wine so nourishing; 
this indescribably beauty, in the face of the human reality of betrayal and treachery and suffering; 
this inescapable paradox, placing us directly in the center of the cross, the center where love wins out. 

John and Harry and Ed marched out solemnly to "Come, now, let us be on our way..." 
and most people left. 

The musicians remained, and began singing one of our very favorite songs, 
one that I already can't remember, and they just couldn't stop. 

The barn emptied except for about eight of us and the music ministers just kept improvising 
for maybe forty verses or more, each musician offering her or his own gifts; 
Marian on the drum, Greta's angelic voice, Beth's fantastic guitar playing. 

This most sacred concert went on and on for at least fifteen minutes and it was absolutely sublime. 
The small group of us left in the barn became our own little community, and we were mesmerized. 

We then wafted outside in complete silence into the mysterious, mild and gentle evening, misty and wet, 
but not raining. The lights of the property created an incredible old and mystical feeling, 
creating starshapes in the fog throughout the Land of the Grange. 

The dark outlines of the trees silhouetted against the mist seemed as warm, embracing friends 
rather than ominous apparitions, and the treefrogs were singing up a storm, reminding us 
that the world was alive and throbbing with the promise of our long-awaited springtime, 
and the fruits of our deepest spiritual longings. 

We tiptoed into the cottage to sit awhile in the garden of daffodils, tulips, and candles, 
a place to center ourselves and to remind ourselves to stay awake; awake to the beauty, 
to the suffering, to it all. 

This night is always so awesome to me. I cannot take it in; it is too big. 
I can relate to the bread and to the wine, to the beauty, and even to the paradox. 

My political self can image the drama and the intrigue and the high state of anxiety 
and arousal about what is to come. I can see it in pieces, but the meaning of the whole thing,
the sacrificial aspect, the enormity of the unfolding of this supreme act of love, still eludes me. 

Perhaps it because, as John says, you cannot look fully into the face of a God that is too brilliant, 
too terrible to behold. And yet, this beautiful night brings me as close as I have ever come…

Ann C. Reeves  

The Labyrinth


Return to Muse Home Page



Contact Us: ask @ ct-muse.org

Copyright © 2008 CT-Muse - Fairfield County, Connecticut
Last modified: August 06, 2009