places of renewal

The Passion of Maui , by Brad

What places or environments give you peace? A forest full of leaves dancing with light? A beach at sunset? The crisp, clean sheets of your bed after a long day? A candle-lit Christmas Eve service? Your reading chair? A fireplace? A place to exhale. I am always hunting for places of peace. One of my places is my Colorado garden. Another is a bench in the Japanese section at our local Botanical Gardens. And the Ironwoods beach in Kapalua, Maui.

The Abbey of Rievaulx is my favorite place of peace. It was founded in 1132 in Yorkshire, England, by Cistercian monks sent by Bernard of Clairvaux. It became a place of safety, reflection, and renewal for people all over the region at the close of the Middle Ages, which began after the fall of Rome in the 5th century. For hundreds of years Europe was in tatters, and many villages and towns were destitute or deserted. People were hungry, afraid and confused. Bandits ran wild, and everyone seemed to be an enemy. Into this world came Christian monks, seeking to bring the peace of Jesus. One of the many places they built is Rievaulx Abbey. It has a heritage which speaks to me of Celtic Christianity. And it is part of why I call this blog Celtic Straits.

The photos and AD drawing by Ken Perez, below, show clearly the lines of grace which grow from the Abby’s architecture. The Abbey’s lines of order touch me with “shalom.”

I find peace is found best when a looseness of time is joined with both order and chaos.

Where are your places of peace, and when were you last there? Maybe soon? To learn more about Celtic Christians, read my post, Drinking a Beer with Jesus.

(Photos with thanks are from, and


  1. Thanks Brad – places of peace are places we need to vigilantly guard. So much just becomes part of the life cycle – but we need places where we can withdraw to and find Jesus and commune with him.

    Blessings, my friend

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