photo of child


'You... raise up
the wretched
of the earth...
You feed the starving with plenty'

-- Lyrics from
'Canticle of Mary'


Weston Benedictine Monks
Journey to Nicaragua
Winter Retreat, 2001

Looking back from Vermont:
San Nicolas, in time of fasting


Safe in our Green Mountains of Vermont, it is instructive to observe which memories come back, unbidden.

It is the beginning of Lent, now, and the themes of fasting and "giving up something" are frequently heard.

And the very words bring back our time in San Nicolas, where so many have no "something," where so many have nothing.

    Where fasting is not a choice but a simple fact of daily life.

    Where many live each day, and work each day, but eat only every two or even three days.

    Where children in the small settlements, a few hours outside the town, walk to school hungry. Walk without shoes.

    What would God ask?

    And now another image arises.

    We recall Comedor el Campestre, the little dining facility provided by the united parish organization of San Nicolas.

    Where children receive a nutritious meal each day.

    Where the poor folk of the town, who have no resources, can also find food.

    On the hillside in Galilee, Jesus asked, "How much do you have?"

    And hearing the response, "a few fish and a little bread," commanded that everyone be invited to sit down and share.

Those with so little, they teach us again the way of God.

Next: Looking back from Vermont: Our Benedictine sisters

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