Religion: Forsaking All Pleasures

The road to Coolspring, in Virginia, is pleasant in early spring. Down the Blue Ridge slopes into the Shenandoah Valley, roadside plaques mark historic battles and gallant deeds of bygone days. At the foot of the mountains, the route to Coolspring becomes a mud road that could not have been very different in the days when Washington surveyed the area. Finally the road turns in at a gate marked "Monastery" and rolls across pastureland to an ancient fieldstone house on a hill.

There the visitor drops another 700 years into the past.

Corks in a Bottle. The Cistercian monastery of Our Lady of...

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