This is a copy of a painting I purchased at the monastery, by the Spanish artist "El Greco". The monastery is small in comparison to the mountains which surround it, the center one being Mt. Sinai. Together with the students and faculty of the seminary, I arose early one morning (about 2:00 a.m.) and ascended the four and one half miles to the top (about 4,000 feet above), to watch the sun come up. We were not alone. Many others came, (probably a few thousand) from all parts of the world to be there, some making part of the ascent by camel. It is truly an example of a "multitude of saints" from many nations, gathered in one place. (It was also quite a traffic jam, particularly on the way down as people, tired from lack of sleep and the exertion, vied for space on the narrow, steep pathways. Fortunately, everyone arrived at the bottom safely.
I very much enjoyed sharing this informal time with the students and some faculty, and we reflected on the significance of these places. I shared that El Greco had added what seem to be faces on the mountains, and also crafted these to resemble human forms to remind us of those who had also been in this place, and appear to be watching over us, and that the same God who was present before in this place is present with us on our journeys through life.
Peace and Justice, Roger