Last Monday morning we got up early and headed down to Holy Archangels Monastery in Kendalia. It is an Athonite Greek Monastery hidden in the Texas Hill Country. As I've mentioned many times before, I love monasteries and wish that everyone could have the opportunity to cultivate and be a part of a monastery on a regular basis. I am blessed time and time again by the quiet, the conversations, the wisdom of the elders and the opportunity to pray unceasingly.
The brothers at Holy Archangels are so precious. They have truly committed themselves to the monastic life and in going there one cannot help but feel the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the labor of the brothers is clear.
We try not to bother the brothers in any way, but they always have something new to show us and spend time talking with us and making sure we feel cared for.
One of the brothers took us up to the bell tower and gave us a course on the different kinds of bells and the purpose of each one. He even let Katherine ring the bells.
Thea became very preoccupied with the graves this visit. She wanted to take several walks with Papa to the cemetery to visit the graves. She took countless pictures and talked and talked about those people who have fallen asleep in the Lord. Fr. Justin was happy to oblige her and talk about prayers for the departed. My girls have been to many funerals and so it was good to spend time at the cemetery and talk about the need to continue to pray for those who have fallen asleep. Thea took the picture of the cross on the grave in this post.
The services at the monstery are beautiful. I remember the first time we went as a family, I was worried that I would be distracted with the services in greek since I don't speak the language. I also thought the girls would be bored since they couldn't understand the services. But the services are so beautiful and holy that no one ever even mentions that we don't understand what is being said. In fact, I never feel like I don't understand what is being said. I always feel completely part of the service. We all just listen and pray silently.
Here are a few pics of our stay. May the Lord grant us a visit again soon!