St Benedict was, of course, right when he said that monasteries would never be without guests. In fact monasteries have so many guests that a German abbot once said ‘monasteries are places of great peace…unless you happen to be a monk!’
Monks, friars, and other religious are what our guest brother calls ‘low-maintenance’. They know the ropes and fit in very easily. Some years ago our little community was thought by some to be backward in our use of Latin for Mass and Office, and our Eastward-facing celebration of the Mass. Now we find ourselves quite fashionable. Love of the Church’s liturgy is not about politics, its about God, about reverence in prayer.
We are not so fashionable of course as the Franciscans of the Renewal who are great friends of ours. Some of their brothers come from Canning Town in London and from Bradford, for their retreat days. Although their liturgical life in a bit more ‘modern’ than ours they fit in seamlessly here. This week we were pleased to welcome their Brother Christopher. Also in the course of the week, we welcomed Bishop Richard Moth of the military diocese, who came to show the abbey church to friends who were staying with him.