In all ranks of life the human heart yearns for the beautiful; and the beautiful things that God makes are God's gift to all alike.
A person is forced inward by the spareness of what is outward and visible in all this land and sky. The beauty of the Plains is like that of an icon -- what seems stern and almost empty is merely open, a door into simple and holy state.
What sets monks apart from the rest of us is not an overbearing piety by a contemplative sense of fun. They know, as Trappist monk Matthew Kelty reminds us, that "you do not have to be holy to love God. You have only to be human. Nor do you have to be holy to see God in all things. You have only to play as a child with an unselfish heart."