Today, I returned to Saint Meinrad Archabbey. More than two years have passed since I first traveled here in fear and hesitation. And now, I’m back for my final oblation. Having finished my novice year as an oblate, I am eager to cross this threshold and journey into more of the unknown. I feel more empowered than ever.
My first visit here was a sleepless one. The Divine Offices, which are five pauses for prayer throughout the day, begin at 5:30 a.m. Every quarter hour there are the unrelenting bells. What an awakening visit for me! Now, whenever I return, I request a room near the bell towers.
I wrote the following in 2015 after reflecting on that week (ask me details about their rhythm and pitch!).
O bells, the beauty that you ring causes many hearts to sing.
You call us from our work and play reminding us of God today.
And like the steady beat of hearts, your constant music rhythm imparts.
When listening with my unaccustomed ears, there was no hope for sleep, I fear!
Yet after several days gone by, the rhythm of your lullaby surrounded me with peace at night, and “sleepless worry put to flight.”
For God alone dispels all fear and surrounds us with his loving care.