Reflection by Oblate Jeffrey Essmann

When I was at the monastery over the Triduum, I reflected at one point on how appropriate—and how remarkable—it was that I should be celebrating the Paschal Mystery at the place that had changed my life. Something in me died when I came to Mt. Saviour; and something in me came to life, something new, something I couldn’t have asked for, something I couldn’t entirely explain. And as I met other people who had come there to enter the silence and solemnity of those holy days, I realized how gloriously un-unique my story was: everyone had a story; everyone had somehow been changed by Mt. Saviour. In my own case, I knew it pretty much from the first moment I arrived there on a summer day several years ago. Sitting beneath a tree, waiting for the bell for Sext, one brief but transcendent moment in the August sun whispered to me that I would never be the same again…

The silence of the holy name
should catch us unaware,
should shift the light
to the grayish bright
of eclipse.

The lips of God
should brush our ear
with the heat bug’s buzz
through the August noon;
the pen should freeze
on the whiting page,
and a black ant dance
(in glory)
in the corner.

And we should get up
or stay;
or check our phone;
scream the mystery
into the heat
or never say another word

– Jeffrey Essmann

One thought on “Reflection by Oblate Jeffrey Essmann

  1. About 25 years ago I was speaking to Brother James in one of the side rooms near the bookshop. I was talking about how I can be more involved in the monastery as a oblate and when do oblate’s have meetings. I kept using the wrong word “vows” while speaking to him. If you know Brother James – he was very emphatic and prompt to correct me: there are no vows- you take a promise!. I am so happy and sad. Happy that so much was accomplished during the last oblate retreat – the web-site and the retreat theme – sad because I was signed up 8 months ago and had an emergency to cance. God Bless everyone – and I hope to make it next year..

    Liked by 1 person

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