Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Gathering at Carmel

We started out with mass at 9 am. Father Leo presided, he is a retired Benedictine monk, an older man with a calm, soft voice. So calm, that, as usual, I found myself nodding off during his homily! Heh! Oops, sorry, Father.

It was a blessing to partake of the Blessed Sacrament today. It always is.

We then went across the street to the Marian Center. St. Bridget's is under construction so the old buildings have been stripped and made ready for razing so everything is displaced. We had Mass in the conference room. Well, at the Marian Center everything is small. I.e., we were packed. I was kinda down for a few minutes feeling out of place as we crammed all these chairs into a small front room and dining area. Then after an hour or so, it felt kinda homey and I relaxed.

We had our hour of fellowship and then broke up into four groups for spiritual formation class. There we spent only an hour (I am of the firm opinion that we should meet for at least an additional two hours to accomodate our agenda) learning about navigating through our study materials, specifically the Constitution for the Secular Carmelite Order (that's Discalced) and how to look up references in the Catechism.

Then we came back to the front room and kitchenette and stood around while we had the business portion of our meeting. We forgot to read the minutes from last month's meeting and frankly, nobody cared. It was just too awkward standing there in that cramped space.

But I have to tell you, despite all the inconveniences of the cramped space, I was with some beautiful people. Now, this is probably the oldest peer group that I hang out with. I have made some older friends at RCIA, but here the average age is probably 60 or higher.

I think it's a good thing to rub shoulders with the older generation. Some of them are overflowing with sweetness and goodwill. It is a breath of fresh air. And it's an atmosphere where there are people who are very serious about developing an intense relationship with God.

I live a privileged life.

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