The gardens at St. Mary's Retreat House are large and lovely. Lots of little hidden gardens. I will share some more tomorrow. But today I thought I'd share the beautiful St. Francis, almost a translucent figure.
That is, I'm fairly sure it's St. Francis. He's wearing brown... On Saturday afternoon, we had some free time so I ventured off to the Monastery of the Poor Clares. I'd been told the chapel was beautiful.
I wouldn't call the chapel "beautiful", except of its beauty in simplicity. The statues of Jesus and Mary looked new and kinda plasticy, but the windows which looked like they came from the 19th Century were gorgeous in their colors.
The Poor Clares are an enclosed order of nuns. That is, they stay in their convent behind closed doors and never leave it. I was told they pray for the world. As you walk past the main part of the convent, there's a door with a small hole in it for "deliveries". I also walked around the side of the house and the driveway had a gate within a gate. Inside the chapel, in the sanctuary space there is a delicate metal grille with cream shutters closed behind it. I'm pretty sure the nuns sit there, beyond the direct view of most of the congregration.
So they're pretty serious about the enclosed stuff.
I saw a Poor Clare. Well, that is to say, I glimpsed her. She stepped into the sanctuary with a vase of flowers in her hands while I was praying in the pews, so I snuck a peek and then ducked my head to give her privacy. But I can tell you she was in bare feet.
I reckon I could be in an order that was okay with bare feet.
One last picture from St. Mary's Retreat House: their labyrinth. I walked it twice, once using breath prayer to clear my mind and then the next morning, I walked it to meditate on the question: "What now?"