Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

A Wellspring of Faith

by Ann Cavera


To enter the grounds of Saint Meinrad Monastery deep in the hills of Southern Indiana is to enter a different world. Early one evening after a hectic day at the office, I drove out to Saint Meinrad for a quiet retreat. It had recently rained. On the path from the outer parking lot to my room, I became acutely aware of the smell of lush greenery and the stillness.

A few yards away, a solitary robin pecked at a tiny insect. I had almost forgotten the wonderful quiet of an evening in the country. Only one person met me on the path. She graciously changed direction to escort me to my room. That night I opened my windows to soak in the fresh air and quickly fell asleep.

Dreams of making this my permanent home were interrupted by a clamor of bells that announced to the countryside the beginning of a new day. I chuckled to myself as I remembered that Saint Meinrad has a sunrise service every morning, not just on Easter.

The monks gathered for prayer as the first rays of the summer sun peeked over the fields and lit up the very tops of the stained glass windows.  Saint Meinrad is on God's time. Morning is a time for praise.

The pace was slow compared to my average "work" day, but I never felt bored. God's time is full of the real business of life. We had much spiritual food to reflect upon and time to study and pray. With the absence of the distractions so common in the business world, I found myself more in time with the rhythm of faith.

Ann has likened Saint Meinrad to a wellspring where one finds fresh water; the kind that renews our strength and our spirit. Thirsty people have always sought out deep wells. Once by a well, Jesus met a woman who was thirsty, more in spirit than body. The spiritual water she found at the well so delighted her she hurried to share it with others.

A wellspring is a special place where hope is renewed and Easter happens every day. We are blessed to have such deep springs close at hand. Sometimes, we forget we are all connected to Christ, the true source of our living water. The retreat poured living water into the dry channels of my spirit and helped me rediscover my own springs of faith.

First published in The Message, Evansville, Indiana (Between 1997-2002). 

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Echoes from the Bell Tower is a blog devoted to observations on Christian faith, spirituality and everyday events, by authors with a connection to the Benedictine values found at Saint Meinrad Archabbey and its Seminary and School of Theology. Contributors include students, permanent deacons, Benedictine oblates and Saint Meinrad monks. Their stories, thoughts and ideas highlight the mission and vision that ring out from the bell towers on this Hill in southern Indiana.