St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA

With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.

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Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Take it from a cow...

Yesterday we had to go into the city to get some supplies. While shopping, I happened to notice many people were oblivious that anyone else was in the store. They were talking in their own little worlds on their cell phones.  Several of them, on speaker phone exposing us all to both sides of the conversation.  One lady was lamenting to her friend on the phone that her granddaughter gets upset if she is in the room when her granddaughter is trying to watch a movie.  She said her granddaughter cries that she has no privacy, even though it's her grandmother's house.  So Grandma moans that she has to stay in her bedroom so her granddaughter can watch a movie in the living room.  I wasn't ease dropping, I was simply in the same aisle as this lady on her speaker phone.

 It wasn't a specific designated holiday shopping day, but people were still in a rush, tense, impatient and generally frustrated.  The employees, I must say, to the contrary of their patrons, were very pleasant, friendly and helpful.  

As we left the store and headed out of the city and back to the country, I couldn't help but notice some very peaceful cows.  Just sitting there.

We are experiencing some unusually nice days this November: warm air, bright sun.  Many of us haven't noticed because we are inside stores using our cell phones, but these cows were taking it in and enjoying it.  Then I noticed something more, so I had Seraphim stop the car so I could get a closer look.  

About a hundred starlings had just completed their synchronized dance routine in the sky and had invaded a nearby clump of trees. 

Though their Dance in Flight is a wonder to see, their completion of the routine meant the contented cows received a dousing of bird droppings in the face. 

Nevertheless, the cows remained contented in rumination.  You can really learn how to meditate from a cow.  Much better than from these groups that want to teach you to empty your thoughts of everything, even Jesus.  "Don't think of anything, totally strip your mind of all thought".  Sorry... I want to think on Jesus! I never want to empty myself of Him.  

Anyway, if you watch a cow, they eat grass, taking it in.  When they are full and content, they sit, regurgitate the cud back up from their first stomach along with other ruminants to the mouth for a second chewing. They chew slowly so they can receive the full benefit and nutrition from what they have taken in.   This is how we should be with our Lectio Divina.  Studying the Word of God, Praying and when we find a place (Holy Corner) to become content,  we can recall (bring back up) what we've received, ponder it and gain full benefit and nutrition from it.  

And if we ruminate contentedly on God's Word and Love... on whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy— if we meditate on these things (Phil.4:8) when the world's droppings fall down on us, our peace remains in tact. 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Phil. 4:6-7

Father Gabriel once shared with me:  "At the Offertory of the Roman Mass it is said: 'Blessed are you Lord of all creation, we not only lift up the bread and wine for transformation, but we lift up the whole realm of nature that it may share in the freedom and the glory of the children of God.'

In that sense we are all a priestly people. When I walk through the fields or pray the Rosary in our garden, I look around me at the splendour of nature and make an offering of it all to the Father in heaven.”