Soliloquy in an International Cloister

Watch your step as Brother Lawrence takes you inside the monastery walls of a five hundred year-old international order. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish you had ignored your hormones and joined the monastery.

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Location: Rome, Italy

01 September 2011

Mourning becomes BroLo

I was in a god-forsaken corner of the world on July 4th so I missed the news about Otto von Hapsburg's death. Just because we Americans threw off the shackles of monarchy (and replaced them with the shackles of the masses) doesn't mean that I am insensitive to these things. As a full-blooded Austrian, I had great respect for Otto ... even though I heard about him for the first time today.

There is a traditional ritual used when burying a member of the Hapsburg family in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna (if you can read German, you can read the transcript here). Maybe it is due to the last, dying remnants of the hippy in me—I'm always happy to see "the man" taken down a notch or two— but I really like this ceremony. It somehow feels right that the playing field should get re-leveled before the Final Judgment. None of our titles or accomplishments matter; we all stand before our Maker denuded of everything except who we really are.

Come to think of it, I'm not sure I find that very comforting.

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2 Comments:

Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

Otto von Hapsburg sounds like a good and intelligent man who tried to bring peace and unification to a historically troubled area.

I have an amusing story concerning the Austro-Hungarian Empire. An ancestor of mine fell in love and eloped with a daughter of Franz Joseph, and was disowned by his Orthodox Jewish family for marrying a "shiksa." By all accounts they had a happy marriage, but I never even managed to be a Jewish American Princess.

20 September, 2011 16:59  
Blogger BroLo said...

Great story. I always thought there was something regal about you. Apparently I, too, am a descendant of royalty; my mom always said I was a "royal PIA".

25 September, 2011 09:04  

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