Monastery Thoughts


Since I am not Catholic, I had no idea what to expect when I stayed at a bed and breakfast at St. Gertrude’s Monastery in Cottonwood, Idaho.

It was delightful.

The theme of the bed and breakfast was evidently birds. Bird details were subtle, but pervasive. The bed was so comfortable that it felt like sleepy in the world’s most comfortable nest. Although it was a monastery, it had a large flat screen television, thoughtful attractive decorating, beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and quiet. It was wonderfully quiet.

Of course, part of that is because I was the only one there in early December.

In addition to breakfast with homemade bread, raspberry jam and excellent tea, at some point in the evening, one of the sisters would come by and offer cake and ice cream. I am not sure what they do for everyone, but for me they stayed and talked. I loved it. I got to know them as people, and find out their history and why they became nuns. They invited me to prayers which included beautiful antiphonal singing of traditional Advent music of the liturgical variety.

I visited the bookstore and purchased some books by Esther De Wall, most notably, The Celtic Way of Prayer, The Recovery of the Religious Imagination.

St. Gertrude’s is a benedictine order, and hospitality to strangers is very important to them. It was not just a show; I was actually welcome there. When I showed up for prayers on Sunday morning, Sister Corrine helped me to find the right pages and places in the hymn book. She invited me to help her water the plants all over the monastery. It is ancient and amazing and has incredibly thick walls. I had time to peruse the library and was invited to use it.

I spent a lot of time reading and thinking and praying in my room.

It snowed. And snowed. And snowed.

It was beautiful.

Since I was missing Minnesota, the snow felt like a gift.

There were other gifts.

Finding other Catholic authors and reading life giving meditations were two of them. The other gifts are mine alone. Some things are not meant to be exposed to the harsh eyes of blogger world, dissected, criticized and dropped into a theological bio-hazard bag.

I would highly recommend St. Gertrude’s to anyone who is a spiritual seeker.


2 Responses to “Monastery Thoughts”

  1. Apple Hill Cottage Says:

    “Theological biohazard bag”. What a phrase! 😍

  2. thegreatfish Says:

    Sometimes being a nurse creeps in.

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