Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our Weekend of 3 Monasteries, 1 Ordination and 1 Graduation of Students

Mr. Husband and I went on a lovely trip
to upstate New York this weekend.
We stayed at a Greek monastery dedicated
to St. Nektarios.
It was lovely.
I did not take pictures as I was new
and did not want to bother anyone in asking permission
to take pictures.
But you can see a few on their website.
It was cold and rainy when we were there.
The Greek monasteries have men and women houses
where they stay.
I had a room to myself and found this book in
the room and began to read it.
I was so taken by it!
And I immediately looked for it online and
was determined to order it...
when the next day I found it in their bookstore!
An older woman and a younger woman and
I talked in the morning after breakfast
and the older woman said that this book
on Abbess Thaisia was the first one she read there.
It was such a joy to have some time there.
I had many people on my heart to pray for
and lit lots of candles at the beginning of the
in-the-middle-of-the-night prayers and liturgy.
Then Mr. Husband,
after getting some wonderful things in the bookstore
and talking with my newly met monastery going friends,
we had lunch and then
were on our way further up north.
We stayed near to Jordanville, the Holy Trinity monastery and seminary
 and went to most of vigil at a nearby church.
The next morning we went up to liturgy at
Jordanville itself.
I had never been there before and was eager to see it,
since I have various friends who have been.
There were many people there for liturgy,
many there for the graduation and ordination of a young man
to the diaconate who we know.
I saw many warm and kind clergy,
the woman monastics were especially kind to me
and I felt this warm joy at seeing the ordination; it was a really special time.
And right in the middle of the liturgy I saw this icon of
St. Xenia of Petersburg:

It was the original of the icon of
this dear and holy Saint that I first got
years ago at my first church in BC:
I have a small reproduction of this icon of St. Xenia.
It was the first icon I ever bought, the first I ever had.
She kept coming to mind after I saw it,
so much so that I bought it with the birthday money I had
at the time.
So it was a very special experience to see the original icon!
Mr. Husband and I stayed for the graduation of the
students and celebrated the wonderful day with
some of our friends who had come
for the same events.
We also enjoyed browsing in the bookstore! :)
By the time I was at the first monastery I was already
feeling more 'myself' than I had in a long time.
It was a real blessing.

The next day it was sunny and warm!
We drove in the beautiful verdant hills of the
Catskill mountains and went to
a small monastery that Mr. Husband and I have
been to twice before.
I got two lovely icons there and some thick candles
which is a blessing as I have them in my kitchen.

The drive was so beautiful.
Mr. Husband and I both are drawn to the beauty
of the countryside.

We saw the octagon house that we had seen before.
You can see the baby blanket I was working on
reflecting through the car window in this picture.
We had dinner at an Italian restaurant in the countryside
a couple of hours after leaving the last of the three
monasteries we visited.
It was a really wonderful time.
Also very tiring.
My sleep schedule is a bit off and I am resting a lot
from the trip.
I am so grateful that God gave me the strength to go!


Matushka Anna said...

What a wonderful blessing of a trip! So glad you two were able to go!! (:

(We love St. Nektarios too!)

Apseed I said...

It sounds (and looks) like a very beautiful weekend!

Anonymous said...

the ways of the Lord. I ended up visiting you, because I'm part of Armchair BEA this week. One blogger [Maureen] mentioned Elizabeth Goudge, whom I read and loved a lot decades ago, and I said I had not met other bloggers talking about her. she said 2 of her friends did, and you are one of them. and I discover your are Orthodox Christian, I'm too. From Goudge to Orthodoxy, how about that!
I review Orthodox books from time to time. here is my latest:
I also read last year a really nice historical novel on St Xenia!!: http://wordsandpeace.com/2012/09/22/2012-46-review-the-mirrored-world/

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

You certainly packed a lot into that trip, and were truly blessed!

matushka constantina said...

Christ is risen, Elizabeth!

I read Abbess Thaisia's autobiography when my husband and I were staying at the Greek monastery in Quebec two years ago. I had already loved her, but loved her even more after reading that!

elizabeth said...

Thanks everyone!

wordsandpeace - so nice to meet you! looks like you have read some great Ortho-books :) I saw the collection on therapy and spiritual illness this weekend; looked great!

Mat. C - Indeed He is Risen! I know, such a wonderful servant of the Lord, Abbess Thaisia! I am loving this book! It reminded my time at the Greek monastery in Quebec so nice that they have this book also!