MattAndJojang's Blog

God. Life. Spirituality.

Guava Jelly

with 2 comments

Photo: Jojang

Photo: Jojang

Early this week Jojang bought this bottle of guava jelly made by the Trappist monks at the Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Abbey.

It brings back good memories of my stay at that particular Trappist monastery almost 30 years ago.

In fact, when I was there to discern my  vocation to the monastic life, I was assigned to the section making jams and jellies!

~ Matt

Written by MattAndJojang

November 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm

2 Responses

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  1. In this country, the Trappists make the best fudge in the world. Many years, I’ve purchased some for gifts rather than making it myself.

    I did have to laugh when I saw what you’d written. My first thought when I saw “Guava Jelly” was of the song of that name by Bob Marley!


    November 6, 2013 at 7:35 am

  2. Didn’t know that there was a Bob Marley song about guava jelly. 🙂

    Yes, the Trappists produce great products, whether it’s fudge or jelly. One of the reasons is that they don’t skimp on the ingredients they use for their products. In contrast, we’ve tried some jelly products sold in our local market. After tasting them, we know that they’re just made mostly of sugar!

    Besides, for them it’s more than a way of generating income for the monastery. For the monks work is a form of spiritual practice. Early on they are taught that no matter what they do, even mundane and ordinary tasks, all of these should be done as best as they can, because it’s done for the love of God.

    Anyway, I can’t believe that it’s almost 30 years since I decided to live at the monastery to find out if I had a vocation to the monastic life. It brings back good memories, especially of some extraordinary monks I’ve met during that time.

    Fortunately, though, I was still able to return a few times to the monastery. The last time I stayed at the monastery’s retreat house for a month to give a series of retreats to university students. When I had some time off from conducting the retreats, I had interesting conversations with some of the monks and also with some of the people staying at the retreat house.

    During that time the abbot was Fr. John Eudes, a student of Thomas Merton! Knowing that I was a former novice, he jokingly pulled me and told me to come back to the monastery. (I wasn’t still married during that time). Met also a Catholic Thai nun who was doing Buddhist meditation. Whenever I saw her at the monastery church, she was sitting cross-legged, presumably meditating or praying. Had interesting conversations with her at retreat house, since I also had an interest in Buddhist meditation, specifically, Zen meditation.

    The monastic life and contemplative spirituality has really had such a profound effect in my life. Although I found out that I wasn’t meant to be a monk, I still value the lessons and practices I’ve learned during my brief stay at the monastery…



    November 6, 2013 at 9:40 am

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