We awoke at 3:00 A.M. so that we would have enough time to make the nearly mile walk to the Abbey for 3:30 A.M. Vigils. This service is my least favorite of all the services, and not because it is held in the middle of the night (or at the start of the day for the monks), but because the tone and language of Vigils seems dark and foreboding to me, as if enemies could strike at any moment. I suppose that the language for this service was crafted hundreds of years ago when monks were actively persecuted for living by faith, and the same language is used today.
Saturday was a pretty restful day, in between services I mostly napped. My bride and I enjoyed dinner together that night, and ended our day by attending Compline services.
Sunday morning I was a very bad boy. I walked to the Retreat Center for breakfast where I ate bacon and eggs. It is a very rare occasion for me to have bacon and eggs, and not because I don’t like the taste. We pretty much eliminated that meal from my options several years ago when I discovered I have high cholesterol, which totaled 303 when tested recently. After trying for years (unsuccessfully) to lower my cholesterol through vitamin therapy, I finally gave in and started taking Vytorin about a year ago. That lowered my overall cholesterol count to 180, but my prescription ran out about 4 months ago and my cholesterol shot back up. Now I am on Lipitor. Anyways, after I ate my bacon and eggs (which I thoroughly enjoyed), I noticed that one of the other male Retreatants was eating Raisin Bran cereal. I told him how impressed I was to see him eating healthy cereal in light of the unhealthy breakfast I had just eaten. He commented that his cholesterol level is over 400, and his physician is threatening to prepare a bed for his imminent arrival at the hospital.
In any case, I survived the breakfast and met Sheri at 8:00 A.M. for morning Mass. After we purchased several items in the gift store, we packed up for the ride back to Salt Lake City.
Before we had left to go on retreat, we were both very much into March Madness and watching lots of basketball on TV. But by Sunday afternoon on our way home, March Madness did not seem as important to us.
We are grateful for our time at the Abbey of the Holy Trinity, and plan to return at least once each year for as long as we live in Utah. Thanks, God, for these men who devote themselves to you and to humankind.