Building a Place for Prayer

Bri Campbell Uncategorized

"You called and cried out loud and shattered my deafness. You were radiant and resplendent, you put to flight my blindness. You were fragrant, and I drew in my breath and now pant after you. I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you. You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours.”
St. Augustine

In The Confessions, Augustine writes of the passion with which he pursued God, drawn on by God Himself. His own breast, as it were, didn’t belong to him, and he sought feverishly for the object of his love. His heart pulled him as the weight of his love to find its gravitational source. He once wrote that love is well-ordered desire. Order and desire can unite. In other words, that which we love and do not yet possess draws us on. If that love is the Highest of loves, all we do falls under that order of movement and intentionality.

Our building is meant to reflect this. For centuries monasteries, seminaries, and convents have had imbedded in the quiet recesses of their protective walls, a cloister walk. These spaces give physical expression to order by their columns, arches, and gardens, and yet imbed in them an outlet for desire by movement. They are made to be places where one walks in prayer. As our cloister arches go up, I can see the seminarians quietly walking through them as they finger their beads and meditate on His mysteries. Soon those stones and bricks will be the silent witnesses of longing. They will also be witnesses to the prayers that arise in them for you, those who provided them with this space. Enjoy the pictures and please pray for the happy conclusion of our building project.