Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific, Prince of Peace Abbey offered me a quiet afternoon reprieve from people, church-politics and busyness. I had spent the previous day in
A neighbor to Camp Pendleton Marine Base, the Prince of Peace Abbey stands as a counter-culture witness to our national war machine. The driveway meanders up “S” curves, past acres of wrecked cars. The sounds of cars being crushed at the junkyard below can be heard from the ridge top where I walked and prayed through the fourteen “Stations of the Cross”, a meditation on the crucifixion of Christ. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.[i]
Benedict thought it wise for monks to meditate upon death. Day by day remind yourself that you are going to die.[ii] This kind of spiritual insight just doesn’t go over real well on Wall Street or
During the midday prayer service known as Day Hour, I marveled at the sunlight beaming through a vast stained glass mosaic window of depicting the glory of Creation. Far out on the horizon, we also could see the glimmering blue of the
After prayer, the Abbot took me on a tour of Prince of Peace Abbey, including some quiet time for meditation in the tropical cloister flower garden. In typical Benedictine fashion, we then gathered as family in the monastic dining room to enjoy lunch together, eaten in silence as body and soul gathered together to once again find the gift of shalom, that spiritual restoration and well being which is our heart’s true gift from the Prince of peace.