Whispering in the abbey library at Melk, I am suddenly aware that this out-of-office session is too short. 100,000 books to read and a two day visit. The abbey was a monument to all that is Baroque and to all that keeps a community broke. To maintain glamour and history requires both vision and preservation with perspective. A looking forward.
Margaret and I walked through the exhibits in the abbey and realized that being Benedictine was more than an order, it was a commitment to prayer, work and reading. I was raised on ora et labora… but the Benedictine addition of legit (reading) made for a devotional switch in perspective… without reading there is no context for prayer and work. A retreat to an abbey is a good place to start.
Walking beneath the gold leaf of the restoration work precipitates awe at the skills. There was this mouth dropping gasp as we walked into the chapel, realizing that so much more can be restored. A dash of Benedictine reading might put the events of the past week, year, decade, century into an almighty context.