A minor pilgrimage
I took my confirmation class (some of them, anyway) plus a couple of guests to St. Meinrad Archabbey today. Brother Maurus gave us the Cook's Tour: monastery, abbey church, several chapels, classrooms, chapter room, and whatnot. We attended noon prayer with the monks. We ate at the guesthouse/retreat center, then repaired to the Abbey Press gift shop. At the gift shop, we fiddled with knicknacks and the odd casket (they sell caskets and urns these days -- by request).
The kids were pretty alert to what was going on, and asked intelligent questions (sometimes). They noted that of all the various holy places we passed through, Brother Maurus acted differently in only one. In all the places we visited he acted as tour guide, except
in the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. Before entering, he told us what to expect; once within, he knelt in prayer (so did I). The kids and my other adult sat respectfully around the bench running along the apse of the church where the chapel was. Nobody said anything. When Brother Maurus was finished praying, he got up and left without indicating anything to us of his intention. I gestured to our group and we joined him in the hallway and continued the tour.
Later on, we talked about this. I pointed out that the reserved sacrament within the golden tabernacle was considered by Catholics to be the actual, physical presence of Christ Himself; therefore, while other places of worship could be considered "vacant" at times -- and the subject of tours -- within his presence, mere chitchat would be considered inappropriate. This is why Brother Maurus spoke to us before and after our visit to the Blessed Sacrament chapel, but within had words only for Christ.
Below the cut are a few pictures of our trip. ( Collapse )