Chris’s friend, John is a priest and so we had a service in the Chapel. There is a family staying with John and Shirley. They are Irish but they now live in Brussels and they  asked if they could join us.

Me in the Chapel

Me in the Chapel

Some of the children have been confirmed so they took mass with us. It feels a really holy place and I am really pleased that I can be here today.

One of the chasubles  which John and Chris found last year is white which is the proper colour for today so John wore it.

After the service Chris told the family something of the history of the place which was really interesting for me to listen to. We then went down to the kitchen for a cup of tea and Chris saw some more friends. One was a tour guide and she had some people looking around the house. The other was a town guide who was telling these people about the place. Do you know the town guide asked Chris to bring some tea for him next time she comes! I do not understand that when there is so much excellent beer here in Flanders.

John an Shirley were making tea for the visitors. I understand hospitality because Father Benedict told us that we should treat all guest kindly. In Chapter 53 of the Rule of St Benedict he says that  ‘all guests who arrive be received like Christ,
for He is going to say,  “I came as a guest, and you received Me” (Matt. 25:35).’

Part of the garden

Part of the garden

I spent some time in the garden meditating before we went back for our lunch. It is lovely there with the sun shining and the flowers out or coming out.

I think I am going to have a lazy afternoon to ponder on things.

I’ll write soon.

With every blessing

Abbot Aelred.