When you are looking for a short walk, the grounds of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit offer peace and beauty. Located in the the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area in southern Rockdale County, all are welcome to visit, no matter what religion or faith. While the buildings are closed due to the pandemic, the public is welcome to take a stroll along the prayer walk to the lake.
As you start your walk along the meditative pathways, let go of the busy distractions and allow yourself to detach from everything but the present moment.
This is a place of peace and serenity. It’s a place for renewal. It is also a place with a wonderful history and story. In 1944, the monks embarked on a journey of faith that guided them to this 2,300-acre site where they established the Monastery. It is a center for Cistercian spirituality, which focuses on a union of the soul with God. Built by 21 monks, it took 15 years to build the church and many of the other buildings.
As you approach the impressive Abbey Church with the stately oaks, here is a good place to pause and silently reflect on the simplicity. Notice the clean lines in the architecture, the uncluttered design. The concrete buildings are constructed in Gothic architecture with touches of brick, stone and unfinished wood. According to the Monastery’s website, “One of the main functions of Cistercian art and architecture has always been to discourage emotional, irrational reactions and to encourage a sense of composure.”
When thinking about the simple things in life, consider how the surroundings lack distractions. Yet the peace and beauty of the environment offers a lifestyle to the monks that is suitable for their essential tasks of contemplative prayer and meditation.
Continue down the steps to the lake where you will find a picnic area. Signs of spring are here with groups of daffodils and buds on the trees. At the lake, Canada geese are honking. Now that you have had time to relax and reflect, embrace the feeling of joy and renewal!