This is mellifont abbey. I was a novice here once for a short period of time discerning a vocation to be a monk.
One night as I lay on the noviciate floor, which is the second floor in the building of the background, I suddenly had this desire to go on a long walk in the woods.
I wanted to pray in complete solitude. I had found a hermitage there on my previous walk and I wanted to go and see it to sit in it alone and pray. I wanted more solitude than the monastery was giving me.
I craved this feeling not of loneliness but of being alone. Loneliness is the unhealthy craving of other people’s company. Being alone is the satisfaction one gets without human company.
I arose from my humble bed and made way for the outside. I was met by a gate and so I had to climb this stone pillar. I didn’t get permission from my spiritual master or the Abbot because I felt they would say no.
As I climbed the stone pillar I weighed only 150 pounds at the time with all the fasting I did. But as I put pressure on the pillar with my hand to lift myself up, the corner stone came clean off and I came crashing down in this jagged piece of rock you see here and scraped my whole chest.
I was in agony and in the near dark I stumbled back to my cell to access the damage. My skin was peeled off and red raw. I awoke the next morning and the wounds were healed and no more pain.
I figured that because I was disobedient and left the monastery without permission or telling anyone where I was going, that God decided to save me from this disobedience.
Today I was here and I took these photos with my smart phone. Its been 10 years and I always like to think “I made my mark on this monastery and nobody not even the Abbot to this day knows I Broke his pillar” .