December 1, 2012
December 1, 2012
At Vespers this afternoon we’ll open the new liturgical year and begin the season of Advent with the lighting of the first candle of the Advent wreath. As in past years we’ll begin the season with a series of Advent meditations to help us prepare for our Christmas celebration. The Abbot of our daughter house, Novo Mundo in Brazil, Dom Bernardo Bonowitz, has graciously agreed to travel all the way here and give us seven conferences beginning Sunday and continuing until Wednesday during which he will unpack for us the Advent sermons of our Cistercian Father, of the 12th century Blessed Guerric of Igny.
We will be joined today by three monks from Gethsemani in Kentucky, four monks from Mt. Saviour in Elmira, NY and three nuns from the Byzantine Carmelite community in Sugarloaf, PA for the conferences. There’s an interesting little bio of the little known Guerric on the blog, Blessed Guerric of Igny.
Genesee Makes the News
Last Sunday the Buffalo News graciously ran an informative article about the Abbey which brought many visitors to our place. You’ll find the article on their web site at One Tank Trip/Abbey of the Genesee. Then on Thursday a lively article appeared in the Lamron, the school paper of SUNY Geneseo, our neighbor a few miles across the valley to the east of us. It’s worth checking out on their web site at The Lamron. Hopefully these articles will serve to introduce readers into the contemplative life and encourage them to develop it in their own lives.
The Work Has Begun
Now that our ailing pond is dry enough the work of cleaning out the buildup of muck has begun. Things were set back a bit after Superstorm Sandy visited us with a mild downpour but not enough to halt operations altogether. The work began with our contractor, Mark Vitale, bulldozing the muck close to the shore. From there it is scooped up into dump trucks and spread on one of the fields. Since work began a few days ago some 200 truckloads have been removed and distributed over a nearby field.
Advent means a presence begun, the presence being that of God. Advent reminds us, therefore, of two things: first, that God’s presence in the world has already begun, that he is present though in a hidden manner; second, that his presence has only begun and is not yet full and complete, that it is in a state of development, of becoming and progressing toward its full form.
His presence has already begun, and we, the faithful, are the ones through whom he wishes to be present in the world. Through our faith, hope, and love he wants his light to shine over and over again, in the night of the world. That night is “today” whenever the “Word” again becomes “flesh” or genuine human reality.
“The Christ child comes” in a real sense whenever human beings act out of authentic love for the Lord.
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