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Graven Image Journal
November 11, 2000

Trip to Saint Meinrad

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This is the first part of the trip that I made last week which started at St. Meinrad, Indiana.

Even though the monastery is located in Indiana where I live it is about a five hour trip from Fort Wayne. The main purpose of this trip was to meet with a few authors and to take a few pictures for a book that the Abbot of the monastery has written for Our Sunday Visitor entitled "Latin Sayings for Spiritual Growth."

Some form of the picture to the left will appear on the back cover of the book. This photo was taken early Friday morning when a thick fog clung over the hilltop where the monastery is built. The vantage point of the shot is from an adjacent hill where there are stone stations of the cross located up and around a hill. The cross in the foreground is one of the stations.

On our arrival to Saint Meinrad we stopped at the Shrine of Our Lady of Monte Cassino to say our prayers of Thanksgiving for a safe journey. For me this took on special meaning as I passed the spot where about six months ago I nearly drove head on into oncoming traffic during a violent thunderstorm on the Interstate. When I revisited the spot and noticed how narrow the median strip was where I had flown off the road I was even more surprised how miraculous it was that I had avoided death that night. Veneralble Solanus Casey receives my thanks for his intervention in the matter but as he would wish Our Lady of Monte Cassino also receives my gratitude.

I lit several candles in honor of my dead friends and relatives and said a few prayers on their behalf before Tony and I left the Shrine to find our rooms at the monastery.

Any visit to St. Meinrad with a first time visitor is always a joy. There is so much to see that it reminds me of a "Disneyworld" of spirituality. Shrines, mosaics,bookstores and not the least the prayer of the Benedictine monks themselves all make even the short visit a spiritual experience to be remembered.

We found our rooms and spent the short time before prayer and dinner with the monks touring the Church and grounds. A visit to St. Joseph's oratory along with more prayers of thanksgiving on my part, also included a vision of a Carmelite nun deep in meditation before and image of Our Lord. She was on retreat but faceless and turned away she reminded me of St. Therese who I have great devotion toward.

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The photo to the right is of Archabbot Lambert walking through an arch that leads to the stations. Some form of this photo will be used on the cover of the book.

We went to prayer and then to dinner. Since it was the Feast Day of the Prior of the monastery some of the normal rules of silence during dinner were relaxed but the meal still began with table reading from the Rule of St. Benedict and then from the martyrology. After the reading the Abbot rang a bell and the monks began to speak to each other in quiet voices. Wine and ice cream were also included with the meal due to the festive nature of the evening. One monk whispered to me you chose a good night to come!

Father Abbot gave Tony a good tour of the monastery and the Archabbey Church. I met with several monks who were working on other projects for me and in the end we had a very productive while invigorating visit

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Here is a link to my Catholic Shrine site where I have a page dedicated to the Our Lady of Monte Cassino Shrine

Catholic Shrine Site


You can visit Saint Meinrad's Web site by clicking on either of the pictures on this page.