Refill with Randy – Abbey of Genesee, Holley Falls are spots to pause and reflect

Posted 2 June 2024 at 8:00 am

By Randy LeBaron

Let me start once again by saying thank you to all who have contacted me regarding my last few articles. I appreciated that you shared some of your own stories with me and I hope to hear more as time goes on. 

Today I want to talk about thin places. Thin places are considered to be those geographical locations where the distance between heaven and earth collapses and the divine is more readily felt. In the Celtic tradition it is thought that they can relax us and transform us or, more accurately, unmask us. For some it is a place in their home, for others the altar, and for some a special place of spiritual significance. One of those places for me is The Abbey of the Genesee.

For those who are unfamiliar with it it is a small Benedictine Monastery in Piffard, about an hour south of here just outside of Geneseo. And yes, it’s where they make Monk’s Bread! It is a place where silence, solitude, and hospitality are held in high regard and where you can retreat to connect with God outside of the chaos of this noisy, busy world that we live in.

I first encountered The Abbey back in 2012 while taking a sabbatical following my parents’ passing. It provided me with a place to rest, reflect, and reaffirm my call to ministry. Much like Elijah in 1 Kings 19, it was my broom tree and mountain cave all rolled into one and, whenever I go back to visit, I feel a closeness with the Lord simply because of the healing that I received while I was there.

Since then, I have discovered other thin places closer to home such as Holley Falls. Having spent a significant amount of time there in prayer and study during the pandemic, as well as participating in The Walk to Remember in honor of my mother,  I have found it to be a great place to visit in between ministry visits, if even for a few minutes, in order to pause, breathe, and get recentered.

So where is your thin place? Where do you go where you sense God speaking louder and clearer than other places? Let me know… See you in two weeks!