Nearly four decades ago a friend of ours brought us a bunch of blue iris bulbs from a monastery in northern Italy. The bulbs were planted here and around 1996 were transferred to our new cloister garden in the middle of our living quarters. 1996 was the year the cloister was blessed and dedicated.

The “Italian iris” have been doing well ever since, though in recent years the orange day lilies have been dominating the shared space with the iris. More clever gardeners than us would probably not let this happen, but we have never taken the time to equally distribute the iris and the lilies.

In any case, all the flowers that bloom in our garden each Spring and Summer are always beautiful. Soon paeonies of various colors will again be dominating the cloister flower beds. They are ideal flowers for making arrangements to place in our monastery church.

We are having very pleasant weather these days and of course are praying that needed rain might still arrive sooner than later. For the moment the situation is not dire, as early Spring snow and rains were helpful, but we always hope for more.

Maybe there is an analogy here with longing for the Lord in our lives. We can never get “enough” of God’s grace for our spirits, and need to remain receptive for the daily work of our Lord in our lives.

Be assured of our prayers and we are grateful for yours.

Abbot Christian and the monks