Monastery Visit

Filed Under Living Beautiful | 28 comments

Monistary road

Traveling another Serendipitous road… took me with a  friend up into the North East mountains of Utah.

Tucked up into the Rocky mountains we visited a Cistercian monastery. The tree lined entrance was breath taking.  A group of Monks who grow crops of alfalfa and barley; 7 times during the day gather for prayer and chanting. The reverence I felt the moment we left our car was amazing. Such a simple life they lead. The chants were lovely and uplifting but it was meeting Father “Joseph” that made my day.


This darling man touched my heart. He eluded to his age; approximately in his 80’s and he told us that Monks don’t get buried in caskets but only in what he was wearing that day. With the biggest smile told us his “bags were already packed” and he patted his robe.  Would you just look at that lovely smile and those twinkling eyes!

My  friend who had driven us up,  recently lost her job. He softly said that he knew she would be employed shortly but that he would also say a prayer on her behalf.  Neither of us were Catholic, but this man of God, was so simple and pure. He said something that I will never forget as we were leaving. We told him to have a great afternoon and then  he replied, “I always do, I haven’t had a bad one yet.”  and you know what? I am sure he hasn’t.


I asked him if I might take a picture of his hands and  he laughed softly at me saying that about 50 years ago he could’ve understood why I wanted to photograph them, but now he didn’t understand. I thought his hands were glorious. They brought to mind an excerp  of one of my favorite lyrics by Kenneth Cope.

His Hands…

his hands would serve his whole life though
showing man what hands might do
giving, ever giving, endlessly
each day was filled with selflessness
and i’ll not rest until i make up my hands what they could be
’til these hands become like those from galilee

Perhaps this post might have been better, had it been posted on Sunday, but I could not wait to share this delightful day with all my friends and dear ones. I sincerely loved visiting the Monks — (thanks so much Miss Pam) Please stop by and see what others at Its a Beautiful life and Hooked on Fridays have in store for you all. Also, a new party on Sunday … visit Ginger at Spiritual Sundays.

TTFN~~Claudia ♥ ♥

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Buzz
  • MySpace
  • Orkut
  • Tumblr
  • Add to favorites
  • Faves
  • LinkedIn
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

August 21, 2009 at 12:52 am | Living Beautiful | 28 comments


28 responses to “Monastery Visit”

  1. Sue says:

    Claudia, This is such an inspirational post.  These men of God are so satisfied w/so little, they offer up their lives for the good of others, and they, themselves, offer hope to others.  Father Joseph did his part for you and your friend that day, wouldn’t you say?  all the best, my friend~ Sue

  2. Jacque says:

    What a wonderful story and post to wake up to!  You have done a wonderful job capturing the man, and his spirit!
    Great pics!

  3. Nerina says:

    I could only smile and feel inspired by your words and photos.  He is really engaging and must have been a delight in person!!
    Thanks so much for sharing this with us!!
    Hugs xOxO, Nerina 🙂

  4. love your post – and taking pictures of his hands was a wonderful idea.
    have a good weekend!

  5. Erin says:

    This post is so touching.  Thank you for sharing!

  6. Claudia,
    I find the presence of someone deeply spiritual has a profound effect, which surpasses any religion. A person near the end of their life often has a unique wisdom and vision, and when you find these qualities in one person it makes for a truly remarkable experience. I like Father Joseph’s upbeat attitude, sparking eyes and smile. I’m glad you wrote this story, because his essence shines through and I got to experience him. This really is a special post, and he made my day also.

  7. Beeb says:

    Wonder as usual!! We all need to make each of our days a “Wonderful One”!! Thanks for helping me see mine!

  8. DesignTies says:

    Father Joseph looks like a happy man 🙂 I guess having a great afternoon every day has that effect on a person!! Or maybe it’s the person having that effect on the afternoons…
    Sweet post 🙂

  9. Karen Cox says:

    They say that the eyes are the window of one’s soul.  Father Joseph surely looks as peaceful as the peace of God he resonates.  What a lovely place to visit.  It looks like a wonderful drive too.

  10. CC says:

    Such a beautiful, wonderful..and loving post. That poem always reminds me of my dad… Thank you so much for this’s so very touching. Sometimes, we all need a wake up to what’s really important…

  11. Sherry says:

    Hi Claudia!
    I so love this post. This is beautiful. I too love people’s hands. They tell so much about a person. I look at my hands so weathered and worn. I have been digging in the dirt and working in gardens as long as I can remember. I have calloused, blistered hands and fingernails that are long and mine, not artificial. People have a hard time believing that I work in a garden until you turn my hands over. How funny? Yes, I agree hands tell a lot about someone. I am so thrilled that he let you photograph them. Thank you Claudia for sharing. Please stop by and say hi. I love it when you do. Country hugs, Sherry

  12. Charlotte says:

    Thank you for this inspiring post. I think it was enlightening. BTW your photography is beautiful. I especially like your header picture. I’m glad you shared with us today.

  13. Puna says:

    How sweet! You captured his essence perfectly!

  14. Karen says:

    I loved this story and especially his hands. My sister took a picture of my mother’s hands before she passes away. I treasure it so! Thank you.

  15. Judith says:

    Thanks you for a very inspiring post – it reminded me of the book I am currently reading called ‘Desert Mothers’ by Mary C Earl – about woman, like your dear gentleman, who radiate the love of God.  thank you, God bless you – Judith

  16. Ginger says:

    This post brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful experience that must of been. His hands are beautiful!
    Thank-you so much for sharing this touching story with all of us.
    When every I meet somebody like that when I walk away my first thought is I pray that I will be in heaven so that I may meet them again.
    God Bless,

  17. Clif says:

    You are a splendid writer and you take marvelous pictures. This is a great story. Thanks for posting.

  18. […] Janmary (celebrating in style) 42. Joan: Hooked on the beach 43. It Feels Like Chaos (song) 44. Claudia@DipityRoad (Monastery Visit) 45. Diann @ The Thrifty Groove – Rainy Day Box 46. Candi @ Candace Rose (A Garden Affair) 47. […]

  19. Mary says:

    What a wonderful attitude to adopt…every day IS a blessing…and to live a simple life is my goal…life shouldn’t be so complex. Great picture…you really captured his peacful and joyful spirit!

  20. Lisa says:

    What a touching post! So much wisdom and grace. Thank you for sharing!

  21. Sally says:

    I always loved that piece on “His Hands.”

  22. rcubes says:

    How many times I wonder those beautiful hands were folded together to bring petitions and/or just thank the awesome God. You captured that beauty. God bless.

  23. Myra says:

    Wow … how this has touched my heart, Claudia! Those photos are priceless.
    Thank you for sharing them with us!

  24. oh, this is absolutely precious and inspiring!

  25. Denise says:

    So very inspiring.

  26. Beverly says:

    Claudia, this is such a wonderful post and story.
    I hope you had a great Pink Saturday and wonderful weekend.

  27. Jenessa says:

    Claudia you made me cry! This was such an amazing post, and the picture of his hands was so beautiful. Love you and miss you!

  28. Claudie says:

    Saw this one on your FB.
    I’m going to visit a “sister” in Ottawa that is my mom’s cousin from a long time ago. Remember my mom is 90, so I’m guessing this Sister is in her 80’s.
    She has been at “Soeur de Charity” for many, many years… so when I saw this post, I had to come and say hi tonight.
    I will take pictures & share them soon.
    You my friend are an inspiration in my heart. I mean it. The more I look at your posts and pictures, the more I want to meet you. I hope we can meet in Fla.
    Love Claudie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back  Back to Top