Farewell to a Fellow Traveler

by Sunset Septuagint 

Yesterday was the funeral celebration of one of our Clergy whose family had moved to the community 40 years ago.

Ed was a farmer at heart and he loved taking care of the vegetables, flowers (roses were his specialty), and all the animals. One of the hymns sung during the liturgy, “In the Garden” (based on the scripture Genesis 3:8), says it all for Ed: “And they heard the voice of the Lord walking in the garden….”

One of the post-funeral traditions we hold dear is going to the cemetery after the funeral, to place our loved one in the ground. Each person takes a shovel full of dirt to lay on the coffin. The Community family takes care of the body from the moment of death — keeping vigil by the coffin — to the laying of the sod over the coffin when the last shovel full of earth has been laid.

Another custom, while we are filling the grave, is to share any remembrances of our loved one. All ages enter in — from the 10-year-old who remembered Uncle Ed always giving the children lollipops every Sunday, to a landscaping manager who got his first love of landscaping from Ed, to the fellow community member who remembered when he was struggling spiritually being told by Ed, “Come into my office (which was under a shade tree) and let’s talk.”

What a wonderful way to say goodbye to a fellow traveler on the road to our eternal home!


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Deep Calls to Deep

By Sr. Spero

A wise abbot recently described lectio divina as taking a bite of scripture and chewing on it, like gum. I tried this with a verse from Lauds this morning, Psalm 42:7, “deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls.” I soon realized my bite was too big, that “deep calls to deep” was enough to chew on. After a while, I understood that deep calls to deep is exactly what God wants for us. Out of the depths of his love, he calls to the depths of our souls. I may be personally satisfied with a surface life, but he wants more. And sometimes he has to ruin my plans and destroy my superficial life so that I can hear the depths calling to me. Deep calls to deep. And what about “the roar of the waterfall”? That is for another time of chewing.


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June 21 Echoes of Eternity

weinberg merzhausenOut of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
Psalm 50:2

I take pleasure in providing blessings for My children. The beauty you see and enjoy is a gift of My love. You have a super abundance of it where I have placed and kept you. To enjoy it fully you must accept it as My gift of love. To reap all the benefits I intend, you must surrender your fretting. The earth is Mine and the fullness thereof. Do not lust after what I have denied you, but embrace what I have given so freely. I take pleasure in providing blessings for you, but I am saddened and grieved when you despise them and fail to recognize My fatherly care.


Echoes of Eternity by Hal M. Helms

Lift up your eyes!

By Sr. Fidelis

This week is the anniversary of the Dedication of the Church of the Transfiguration at the Community of Jesus, and we opened the festivities with First Vespers on Saturday night. The chants selected for the feast were pulled from various liturgies, pieces written hundreds of years ago for the dedication of other churches and monasteries — Texts from the Old and New Testaments, and poetry speaking of adoring and worshiping God in his Holy Temple. One of the hymns we sing is by Prudentius (4th-5th century), a writer who lived in exciting but fearful times in the history of the Church and the world. He begins the hymn: Whosoever you are who seek Christ, raise your eyes on high; there you will be allowed to see a sign of eternal glory!
In our weekly chant class this week, one of our Community members shared his thoughts on this hymn – the encouragement of knowing that we are not alone in our feelings of ups and downs, that we are not alone in the living through of difficult and troubled times. This hymn-writer was encouraging us: Lift up your eyes! It was clear as he shared that the message of this hymn was touching a number of people deeply. It was not just another piece of music to learn but a very meaningful reminder, encouragement, and link to Christians through the ages.

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A Tower for All Seasons

By Faithful Friar

As the weather steadily improves, we look forward to ringing in our tower on sunny days, with the doors wide open, and we also look forward to welcoming the many guest ringers who come to share our joy!

Our tower is probably one of the more “seasonal” towers in the United States. Most towers welcome visitors all year long, but our tower definitely sees a rise and fall in the number of guest ringers, depending on the season. Of course we never question why our ringing friends aren’t clambering to visit in January or February, when a down parka, hat and snow boots are required to stand in the “ringing room”. But we also understand the smiles on ringers’ faces as they enjoy ringing on a beautiful summer day, with the sun streaming in, and a gentle breeze wafting through the open tower doors. That season is approaching and we eagerly anticipate the arrival of our friends from Boston, New York, England and elsewhere.

One thing we realized right away as we began our journey of learning to ring, was that every bell ringer in the world is hospitable and delighted to share their skill with any other would-be ringer. As a band starting out with not an ounce of experience among us, we presented a daunting task for any experienced ringer. But strangers became friends upon the first meeting, and we quickly learned that all bell towers and ringers share this modus operandi. We were surprised, relieved, humbled and grateful to find this was the case — and the rest is history. Here we are, years later, still struggling to conquer our fears and foibles, but enjoying every minute of it, and doing our best to emulate those we have met along the way — hoping to make those who visit our tower feel as welcome as we did in every tower we have visited. Hope to see you soon!

Sarah with sally

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