"Disedifying" is a polite word that comes to mind for such goings-on. Bad enough that this took place in that particular sacred place and during this particular week. Even more shameful is that it took place only weeks before the annual Week of Prayer for Christian & Interfaith Unity. What in the world were these monks thinking?! As if Christianity these days doesn't have enough bad press! I hardly think that the great monastic abbas and ammas of the desert would look on such actions with anything but scorn and disappointment.
These thoughts were running through my mind as I read the excerpt from the Second Letter of John at Morning Prayer today: "The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not only I but also all who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Fathr and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, in truth and love...But now, dear lady, I ask you not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment just as you have heard it from the beginning -- you must walk in it..."
I invite you to join me in praying for these monks, as well as for the whole human family: