Solitude

On a hill just behind the abbey of our Lady of Einsiedeln stands the solitary statue of the Patriarch of Western Monasticism, Benedict of Nursia.  Benedict valued silence and solitude just as much as community life in the pursuit of holiness.

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Wailing Wall

According to Jewish custom, one becomes a full member of the Jewish faith – son (bar) or daughter (bat) of the commandment (mitzvah) – at age 13.  From that age, the boy or girl becomes responsible for his or her own observance of Jewish law, ritual, ethics, and is now able to participate in all areas of community life.  Where else to mark meaningfully this rite of passage than at the Western Wall (aka the Wailing Wall) in Jerusalem.

Bar Mitzvah

O Happy Fault…

As you enter into the Chora Church in Istanbul, there is a door that will bring you to the side chapel that served as a mortuary chapel and among the frescoes that you will find there is the Anastasis, the Resurrection.  Christ, who had just broken down the gates of hell, is standing in the middle and pulling Adam and Eve out of their tombs.  It expresses the fulfilment of man’s hope, for immortality, and transcendence.  A Blessed Easter to everyone!

Resurrection of Christ

St. Peter Claver

In the 16th century, slaves were arriving by the shipload in Cartagena, Colombia.  Peter Claver, a Jesuit priest, spent 40 years of his life ministering to the victims of human trafficking.  This church served as his base and where he was buried.

Church of San Pedro Claver