In the Silicon Valley, where we get caught up with work, meetings, our devices, social media, our children’s activities, and trying to make ends meet with the Valley’s high cost of living, I often forget to be still. I forget to be still so I can count my blessings. I forget to be still so I can notice the soft cool wind blowing on my face. I forget to be still to spend time with God and rest in His peaceful presence.
But today was slightly a different story. I had the pleasure of driving my best friend Marsha to Mount St. Joseph’s Carmelite Monastery. She had just gotten brain surgery to remove mass that was causing her seizures and she is now recovering. She wanted a different scenery other than her home, so she asked me to drive her to the monastery. We brought along her two nieces and my son.
I never knew there was a monastery so close to our house nor have I ever been to one. The monastery is tucked away in the hills behind Mount Pleasant High School, only 15 minutes from my home. It was a nice country road drive, and we even saw a baby deer on the side of the road!
The grounds are beautiful. The monastery is on top of a hill overlooking the city of San Jose. There is a garden and olive grove. It is very tranquil and peaceful. It’s no wonder that this is Marsha’s favorite place to go to pray. When we arrived, the Friars and brothers were in their quarters praying so we had the whole church to ourselves. Every sound we made echoed in the church.
My son was able to sit still and meditate long enough for only one “Our Father” before he started exploring the church and touching the table linen at the Tabernacle.
I got to meditate, pray and be still for a few minutes before I heard my 7 year old son whisper in my ear while my eyes were closed, “Can we go now? There’s nothing for me to do here.” And that was the end of my stillness.
Thank you for reading and I pray that you are able to create space for yourself to be still and meditate and know that God is with you.
On a lighter note, here is a picture of my child washing his face in Holy Water as we exit. My husband, son, and I were baptized in the Catholic Church but our home church is a non-denominational Christian Church so Royce’s only point of reference to Holy Water was from watching Lost Boys, the movie about vampires. He thought that if he bathed in the Holy Water, he would be safe from the monsters.