I had the day off for Veterans Day. I drove some country roads I hadn’t been on in years. Eventually my driving brought me to a familiar stop. I arrived at Abbey of the Genesee and the first person to greet me was the familiar, Brother Christian. He said, “you haven’t been here in a while.” I said, “yes, it’s been a month or more since my last visit.” I noted the open book of Psalms that sits near the window at the entrance of the abbey store. I usually look at it just to see which verse it is open to. Sometimes those verses speak powerfully and today was no exception.
Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
Indeed whatever I have done prospers and today I give thanks for that. I spent some time in the quiet of the monastery chapel. It’s one of my favorite haunts. Afterwards I looked at books in the bookstore and picked up one of Thomas Merton’s. It was “The Way of Chuang Tzu.” It was comforting to me that Thomas Merton too saw wisdom in the Tao Te Ching. I really enjoyed spending some time reading and reflecting on the passages in the book. I picked up “Wisdom of the Desert” and read some of it, reflecting on the similarities between the the Desert Fathers and Tao. It is just good to be alive today. Peace.