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.
at 10:30 AM, services are celebrated in a pre-Civil War barn.
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.
and Harry and Ed marched out solemnly to "Come, now, let us be on our
and most people left.
musicians remained, and began singing one of our very favorite songs,
one that I already can't remember, and they just couldn't stop.
barn emptied except for about eight of us and the music ministers just kept
for maybe forty verses or more, each musician offering her or his own
Marian on the drum, Greta's angelic voice, Beth's fantastic guitar
most sacred concert went on and on for at least fifteen minutes and it was
The small group of us left in the barn became our own little community, and 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
creating starshapes in the fog throughout the Land of the Grange.
dark outlines of the trees silhouetted against the mist seemed as warm,
rather than ominous apparitions, and the treefrogs were singing up a storm,
that the world was alive and throbbing with the promise of our long-awaited
and the fruits of our deepest spiritual longings.
tiptoed into the cottage to sit awhile in the garden of daffodils, tulips, and
a place to center ourselves and to remind ourselves to stay awake; awake to the
to the suffering, to it all.
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
political self can image the drama and the intrigue and the high state of
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.
it because, as John says, you cannot look fully into the face of a God that is
too terrible to behold. And yet, this beautiful night brings me as close as I
have ever come…
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