Roger Vincent Jasaitis

A Bee

A letter to the brothers at Weston Priory 1/17/17

Dear Brother Daniel,

I am writing on behalf of our men’s Quaker group that spent some time recently at the Weston Priory. We had a Spiritually nourishing time of worship, sharing, insight, and even a little poetry.

We appreciated having the time to work with you making honey cream from this year’s harvest of honey and fixing the hives for your apiary. While working together communally I had the thought that we were having a “bee” in the old sense of the word, communal work to complete a task, e.g. sewing bee, quilting bee, raising bee. In our case a “bee bee”.

Later, back at Romero house, I pulled a dictionary from the book shelves and looked at the etymology of the word “bee”, curious about this secondary usage of “help given to one’s neighbors”. To my surprise an even older meaning is “to pray”. How appropriate considering our surroundings.

The Benedictine custom of having a Brother read a religious text into the silence during afternoon and evening meals had a wry twist. The text read to us was the history of the Shakers. Considering how often the Quakers are confused with the Shakers, perhaps the wrong book was chosen? In any event, the meals were delicious and bountiful and much savored.

Alone in the dining hall at our last breakfast together before leaving, as we finished our homemade bread, jams and honey, we paused, dropping into worship in gratitude. I noticed that the coffee cup cradled in my hands had the image of a fox on the side (George Fox being one of the founders of The Society of Friends, Quakers). Out of the variety of cups available, what synchronicity!

It seems to me that for peace to become dominant in this world, we will need to work together across theological boundaries to spread the One Truth of the Spirit. We are grateful for the opportunity to share time with you in worship and to create the world that God calls us to.

Please give our warm wishes and thanks to all the Brothers and Sisters that live and work with you at the Priory. We look forward to visiting again as way opens.