On Saturday night, I attended Mass at a Benedictine convent chapel in Trogir, Croatia. Those assembled were praying the rosary before Mass when I arrived. Once the Mass began, I realized that it was a Saturday daily Mass, not the anticipated Mass for Sunday. The five habited nuns in the choir recited the entrance antiphon as the priest arrived in the sanctuary. Everything was in Croatian, naturally. It was really easy to fall into the rhythm of the Roman Rite. The only singing occurred at the Gospel Acclamation, the chanted Lord's Prayer, a Communion Song (following the sisters' recitation of the proper communion antiphon), and a closing song.
I recited the prayers of the Mass in English very quietly. But, I found myself praying not the new translation, but the old one. It struck me that the new translation is just not natural for me yet. It was similar to the experience of Catholics I have met, Catholics whose first language is not English, but who worship in English-speaking parishes. They often tell me that their private prayer to God is always in their native language, but that they use English at Mass. Although not quite the same, obviously, it was a similar experience for me; the old translation is the way I have prayed my entire life; it is my God language. It just came naturally as I prayed in English while others prayed in Croatian. I guess it will take time.
OK, more on yesterday's adventures on the Bodensee, Lake Konstanz, in Germany.
Before I left, I spoke with my Benedictine pastor in Chicago about my plans to visit the Bodensee. He is a monk of the Archabbey of Saint Meinrad in southern Indiana. He told me that Saint Meinrad himself had spent time on the island of Reichenau on the Bodensee. So, the quest began. And sure enough, found "signs" quite easily on the Island:
The main Benedictine Monastery on the Island has obviously been here for at least twelve hundred years.
Here is a shot of the exerior of the Abbey Church:
Inside, as is the case for all three churches on the island, is a vessel that holds holy water, from which the faithful can draw the water:
And the holy water stoops at the door are just beautiful, and deep!
There is a font in a side area, to the left of the main sanctuary:
A few more of this font and the art in the immediate area:
After paying the two euro fee for entering the choir area and the treasury room, I was told that Saint Meinrad was "on the heater." Not knowing what that meant, I went on my search, and sure enough, found the heater:
The panel on the upper left depicts Saint Meinrad:
On the way to Lichtenstein yesterday, snapped these photos of the Swiss Alps:
Soaking up more of God's beauty here in Europe, but the retreat is about to begin with Vespers.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.