Friday, November 14, 2008

Requiem for a Holy Place

Mt. Calvary monastery has been completely destroyed by the wildfire in Santa Barbara. This is stunning news to the hundreds of us who have found our spiritual journey enhanced and enlivened by true mountaintop experiences there (in every sense of the word).

Mt. Calvary was one of the world's "thin places" - where the air hums with the energy of the Holy Spirit and there is a sense of calm and peace that sinks into your bones.

It is the place where I had my deepest mystical experience - what I can only describe as an orgasmic connection to the Ultimate - in the midst of a silent retreat. The silent retreat itself was an experience that I will never forget and long to revisit.

I went on retreat there a few times, and several more times (basically anytime I was in SB) we went up the mountain to visit the bookstore and buy coffee. Oh, that coffee! The brothers were always so generous and hospitable.

Several pieces of art from the monastery's resident calligrapher hang in our home. They bring me inspiration and hope daily.

I am heartbroken at this news, and most of all for the hundreds yet to have made it up there. What a huge loss for all people of faith in Southern California.

(I couldn't get much on the story except this blog post.)

1 comment:

Grace thing said...

Thanks for that post about Mt. Calvary. I had the privilege of going there every Friday morning. I am so sad for this loss. Our neighborhood (the one I live in) was devastated by the fire, but many of us still have homes here. Just crazy. That truly was a thin place and I still can't believe it's gone. I hope they rebuild somewhere close...we'll see...