First Blush

Reflections and sightings from [almost] daily jogging at dawn

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunrise 6:03: Monastery in the city


Note to gulker.com readers: a technical glitch has prevented the male DJ from posting - solved just a short time ago, so stay tuned.

The sun rose this morning but didn't shine due to persistent rain. The Dawn Joggers know it rains all year long in Paris but realized that in their many visits it hadn't rained on them. The inclement weather didn't deter their morning plan - to worship with the Monastic Community of Jerusalem - who they'd first been introduced to in Vezelay.

The Paris-based group, consisting of separately-governed monks and nuns, was founded in Saint Gervais Church on All Saints Day in 1975. They're stated goal: "...to put prayer in the city and to carry the city in their prayer...to create an oasis in this urban 'desert' of solitude and anxiety, yearning or indifference, by bringing to life a place of silence and prayer which is also a place of welcome and sharing."

What amazed them both was that in this very secular city, in very secular Europe - in an era (at least in the States) when mainstream religion is increasingly going "pop" to attract worshipers - the mini cathedral size church was packed with people fully engaged in the traditional - albeit very joyful - chanted Mass of Jerusalem.

Over a fabulous lunch at Mon Vieil Ami (and yes the male DJ met "celebrity" chef-owner Antoine Westermann - maybe he'll blog about it now that he's finally up and running again), they concluded that authenticity and substance can be the winning formula (so much for rock guitars and projected screens).

Their day concluded at the the classic brasserie Bolinger a short distance from their hotel (and yes it was still sprinkling)...

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