St Bruno in the Refectory

St Bruno in the Refectory

My first visit to a monastery was during Lent. It was suitably austere, cold, damp and penitential.

My second visit was in July, and it was the feast day of St Benedict. We had sherry and canapés. Plenty of wine with the soup, steak, fresh salad, new potatoes, then a cheese board followed by strawberries and cream. Afterwards we retired to the calefactory where there was chocolates, cigars, brandy and port.

As a Protestant I was unfamiliar with both feasting and fasting. I realized I was entering not just a new religion, but a new way of life.

Happy Thanksgiving!