Wednesday, October 13, 2010

One very exhausting Tuesday

It was one painful trek.
Our (Mark, Wendy and I) journey to the Monastery of St Benedict in Subiaco took two hours on trains and buses then a 45min walk up hill. 
But it was the last 100m that was the most painful – it was an extraordinary cobblestone path that had an incline that made the legs hurt so much you almost felt you could not take one more step.
It occurred to me this is what life is like.
I needed to look at the tiny flowers along the way, take in their simple beauty and be strengthened by them.
Although the going was tough, I found the Lord in the little things.
One of the frescoes.
Entering the small upper church was mind blowing. 
The colours and detail of the magnificent frescoes depicting the lives of St Benedict and St Scholastica were beautiful – all I could utter for 10 mins was WOW.
On the journey up the mountain we passed by Nero’s summer villa. It was in ruins. After Benedict’s following grew, he turned it into his first monastery. The marble from that villa has been used extensively in the Monastery of San Speco (the Holy Cave). The area reminded me very much of the Benedictine Monastery at Jamberoo.

Subiaco and St Scholastica's Monastery

Then we went down to the Cave of St Benedict. 
The whole place was blessed with a sacredness that made you feel you could only speak in whispers.  
It was set on the side of a hill, among a magnificent forest, with a river below which added to the tranquillity of the place.  
We had 3 hours of just being still and waiting, as the monastery closes from 12.30pm-3pm. We barely spoke above a whisper and the atmosphere was full of awe.  
We attended Vespers and Mass with the local villagers of Subiaco at the basilica of St Andrew, before finishing up at a local pizzeria.

We were VERY tired by the end of it, but had a wonderful day.

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