"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

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A blessed time of fellowship, just before Thanksgiving as we head to Advent!

Since the last blog post it has been a busy but blessed time at the Mary Theotokos Monastic Center.

As this time started we first had a visit from a retreatant who has been here three times before.

As soon as she got out of her car the goats came to make new friends.

Little did she know that her quiet tranquil and prayerful weekend would involve carrying buckets of water to her apartment above the chapel and blowing fuses as well as crazy weather that would go from spring to winter and back to spring again.

It was wonderful to sit with her from time to time as well as to receive the gift of her two recent books which are an inspiration to any reader.

  Just about the time she packed up to leave our next retreatant came up from Connecticut.
He's been here so many times before it was like having family arrive. He put in some hours of work, many hours of conversation and before we knew it he was on his way back into the world, hopefully recharged, refreshed and reconnected.

Shortly after his departure Barrett Adams was back with his assistant Melissa to finish some of the construction work. The first phase was to move the ramp and deck out of the path of the snow roof slide.

After that came the snow guards...

and then continuation of foam insulating the church and chapel, some replacement windows will be next.

During this time we had one birthday,

And one first communion party.

In the midst of these two large parties full of friends and families arrived our next retreatants, a family from North Carolina for a working retreat. And with me still recovering from surgery it was an tremendous help to have them here.

In very short order they poured themselves into jobs that included rerouting water run off in one of the barns, plumbing repairs and much much more. Not to mention taking over all the animal chores on the farm, all this when they weren't in the adoration chapel.

Even their little dog Jose got into the act, whether riding along on the tractor to fetch sand and gravel;

or chasing turkeys & hens back to the barns. He took to the farm life right away and not only did he bond with his hero, the buck named Aaron but he also formed a romance or sorts with the main farm dog Girly and those two ran all over this farm
 having fun all day, blizzard or spring.

But when the goats needed rounding up our herding dog Girly could take it easy while Jose took matters into his own hands, er paws.

As if having one skilled contractor on retreat here wasn't enough, his friend came up next for the weekend.

They put their backs into all sorts of projects and even were able to build a much needed horse barn extension.

The horses were very grateful, as if they knew what the weather was bringing.

Then it was processing time for the turkeys and that work got under way quickly, on a really warm day that melted all our snow and gave us a little taste of mud season.

And then it started snowing again.

The time we shared with this family and their friend was wonderful. We enjoyed large family dinners and had very spiritual conversations way into the night. The fellowship that came with their visit was rewarding and enriching for all of us. What a blessing to have had them here for that week.

Once everyone had gone, we woke up on Thanksgiving to a fresh foot or more of snow.

I guess that means we're in winter now.

Oh, and we had one more visitor, but this one will be staying for a while.

Snowflake, is enjoying exploring the house and has made fast friends with Girly too, who treats her as her own puppy. But we all know she belongs to Emily in whose arms Snowflake spends most of her time.

So it has been a busy but truly blessed time where so many have come to us and brought with them their love and fellowship, truly enriching as well as incredibly helpful in a time when we REALLY needed help,..God provides. Just like He provided us with a used all wheel drive vehicle with brand new studded snow tires just when our own car bit the dust a day before the snow began falling.

"Jesus I trust in you"

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from
The Mary Theotokos Monastic Center.