"It seems strange to say, but what can help modern man find the answers to his own mystery and the mystery of him in whose image he is created, is silence, solitude -- in a word, the desert. Modern man needs these things more than the hermits of old." Catherine Doherty

Sunday, August 24, 2014

tis the season of retreats!

Seems to be the season of retreats, these past few weeks, with more on the way. So let me get started with a quick recap on visitors and projects!

Around the 15th for 24 hours the University of Vermont Catholic Center group, FOCUS arrived with 17 college students who were on retreat to plan projects and Evangelization activities on campus for the upcoming school year.

As soon as they arrived they explored the farm, settled in and headed straight to the lake for some kayaking fellowship, 
Karol Wojtyla style.

Once they were back it was all about cooking and meetings, prayer in the chapel and a lot of laughing before bed. When morning came they were gone, as silent as Ninjas. a quick energetic 
and wonderful group.

Shortly after that, Paul and Paula Harvey from PA arrived.

Paul and I could be twins! We laughed to find out that we had a lot of similar life experiences as well! We both had a history of acting Shakespeare, both in this country and England, we were both lectors and we even had some of the same 
close friends in Philadelphia too. 
Not to mention the same taste in fashion! Small world.

As the Harveys enjoyed their tranquil time praying in the chapel, walking the grounds and chit chatting from time to time another group showed up.

This group was about 25 Lyndon State College students who came as a work detail to harvest and clean the garden! 

They arrived in a school bus,

And Cathy got them right to work.

All of them headed off to the garden to begin 
weeding and harvesting.

As the garden work drew to a close they headed into the apple orchard to harvest there.

Cathy hopped on her tractor and kept things going as these young people kept working away!

After herding goats with me Gurly was looking for shade and the horses even came out to eat and watch in their new play pen or paddock or coral or grassy eating place-thing.

In no time the food shelf harvest was looking really good!

Later on today all these veggies and more will be on their way to the interfaith food shelf in town to feed a lot of people.

Once work was done it was time for a few gulps of water and some group shots before the bus pulled out and we all waved good bye!

What a blessing to have them here to do all the work they did!

Now things will slow down for a bit...

the turkeys eat and get fatter for Thanksgiving.

The chickens get bigger and soon will be laying our eggs.

And Aaron the buck dreams of making baby goats!

But within 24 hours the Mother Superior retreat arrives for a week and right on the heels of that is the 50 member Franciscan retreat, so stay tuned for more from,

The Mary Theotokos Monastic Center.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Mary, the Echo of God

From one blog to another, I borrow this excerpt from The Word on Fire blog to celebrate this Marian Feast day.

For more: http://www.wordonfire.org/WoF-Blog/WoF-Blog/August-2014/Mary,-the-Echo-of-God.aspx

"...All this seems to beg for a more fitting conclusion of praise and thanks to God for such a gift, the gift of a Mother whose love is utterly flawless and transparent to God’s own tender and maternal love (Is. 66:13) that humanity seeks out in the love of every human mother. So
I will allow an excerpt from the brilliant homily of St. Gregory Palamas on this feast fill this need:"
"Hence, as it was through the Theotokos alone that the Lord came to us, appeared upon earth and lived among men, being invisible to all before this time, so likewise in the endless age to come, without her mediation, every emanation of illuminating divine light, every revelation of the mysteries of the Godhead, every form of spiritual gift, will exceed the capacity of every created being. She alone has received the all-pervading fullness of Him that filleth all things, and through her all may now contain it, for she dispenses it according to the power of each, in proportion and to the degree of the purity of each. Hence she is the treasury and overseer of the riches of the Godhead. For it is an everlasting ordinance in the heavens that the inferior partake of what lies beyond being, by the mediation of the superior, and the Virgin Mother is incomparably superior to all. It is through her that as many as partake of God do partake, and as many as know God understand her to be the enclosure of the Uncontainable One, and as many as hymn God praise her together with Him. She is the cause of what came before her, the champion of what came after her and the agent of things eternal. She is the substance of the prophets, the principle of the apostles, the firm foundation of the martyrs and the premise of the teachers of the Church . She is the glory of those upon earth, the joy of celestial beings, the adornment of all creation. She is the beginning and the source and root of unutterable good things; she is the summit and consummation of everything holy."