St. John's Abbey by Marcel Breuer architect, at Collegeville, Minnesota, 1953 to 1961, originally uploaded by studioloraine
I was up at four thirty and out the door by ten to five for the predawn drive to Collegeville. It wasn't until I was leaving the cities at about twenty after that I realized I'd forgotten my wallet at home. I checked the gas gauge, slowed way down to conserve fuel and then started my day of prayer early, with me asking God to get me there and back on less than half a tank of gas.
Participation costs money too, and I was nervous that they might not even let me in, but I needn't have worried. I found the Abbey Church easily and with plenty of time to spare. After parking, I took a quick walk around the campus and found this quote on a post outside:
"All guests who present themselves are to be received as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me."
I was early enough to peer into the empty chapel and watch a monk enter, silently light two candles in the front of the church, and then shuffle off again into the darkness. I returned to the entry and gathered with three other participants. The bells began to ring as the time for prayer approached. A little while before it was time to begin the morning service, a monk greeted us, and led us up to the choir section to pray with the community.