Monday, November 27, 2006

Travels with Cadfael

Meet Cadfael—a Benedictine monk I have traveled with from time to time. (My monk isn’t really named Cadfael—that’s the nom de blog I have given him. Although there are similarities to Ellis Peters/Pargeter’s creation, especially the worldliness.) Because he is studying for an advanced degree in Rome, he is often at leisure between terms and free to travel. And we became great travel partners--it was just one of those things. We met in Solesmes a few years ago, when I was studying Gregorian chant and he was a visiting American monk. But that’s a tale for a second season flashback.

This is a Rome snapshot. On my first visit to the ecclesiastical city, Cad was a living audioguide with a wicked laughtrack. He was gracious in revisiting the landmarks he had seen too many times, including, of course, St. Peter's. There was one blip of actual excitement when we came upon John XXIII in an altar. Cad: “This is huge. I heard he had been brought up, but I thought it was an urban legend.” Hip monk humor—it makes me laugh. Lots of Cadfael travels to come—stay tuned.