Remembering my "spiritual mother"
Last month I had the opportunity to revisit a location that has special significance for me. It is hallowed ground and returning to it was something like a pilgrimage, albeit a one-day pilgrimage only. It’s where I first learned the rudiments of contemplative prayer, made numerous silent retreats, became acquainted with a wide range of theological and mystical writers (ancient and contemporary), tested a monastic vocation for a year, and made friendships that have lasted a lifetime – although most of those friends have died and the friendship continues now beyond the grave. I visited this sacred site with my closest friend since high school, Jerome Atherholt, a deacon in the Orthodox Church now; more than forty years ago he was involved, as I was, in that same “monastic experiment” I mentioned above. The first stop we made on our recent visit was the graveyard.
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