Father Simeon Daly, OSB - Finding Grace in the Moment: Stories and other Musings of an Aged Monk



   Dearest Angel
   Letters of Love
   Marine Hymn
   Reconciled (Again)
   Sister Marguerite
   The Stranger
   There Will Always Be...
   Tom, a Man with a Vi...

Homilies and the Like



About Fr. Simeon


Marine Hymn
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I was startled in the early hours of the night to hear someone whistling the Marine hymn on the walkway just outside the East wing of the old monastery. There was no doubt in my mind where it was coming from. Under normal circumstances I would have been delighted, but insecure as I was I was afraid I would get in trouble if it woke up some of the more tight lipped members of the community. When I think of it now I am embarrassed that I was so uptight. It was a moment to bring a smile to one’s face and warmth to the heart.

You see, it was my younger brother, Tom, who was whistling. For some years the Marine hymn has been his "trademark". He whistled it a lot while walking, but especially as he got near home. It told my Mother that he was on his way. Before she ever heard it, Keno, our dog had picked it up and began running around like mad until the door was opened and he could dash down the street to meet Tom. Even though I was far from home, here at St. Meinrad, I knew the story, and I had even experienced the event myself during vacations before I had joined the monastery.

There I was in the silence of my cell listening to my brother greeting me from outside the wall. Instead of reveling with joy at the kindness of his personal signal, I was more absorbed in consequences that I might experience. As usual there were no consequences. I worried unnecessarily, but worse missed the sweetness of the moment that a carefree, loving brother provided me.

I never hear the Marine Hymn that I do not think of Tom, and now at a later date, have come enjoy the thought of a young man with an open heart greeting his older brother in the silent dark by whistling the Marine Hymn.

Copyright © 2003 Saint Meinrad Archabbey