December 30, 2012
December 30, 2012
It is a grace-filled time we are celebrating these days, not the least being today’s beautiful feast of the Holy Family. Fervently do we join our prayer with that of the whole Church for the preservation of family values in our country and throughout the world.
A white Christmas has been a rarity these past few years but this year was different. A light sprinkling of snow brightened the day and since then we have received well over a fluffy foot of it making every window post card pretty.
The season has not been without its sadness though. First when we received word of the unexpected deaths of Br. Patrick’s brother, Fr. Dan Ryan, on Christmas Eve and then a few days after that of Tad, the son of Ann one of our devoted store cashiers. Join us in praying for the deceased and the members of their families.
Our Christmas video this year was Sophia Scholl: The Final Days. The moving true story of student resistance to Nazi Germany and the trial and execution of three of them provided a good deal of matter for conversation during our Christmas Guadeamus (talking supper) that evening.
Those who join us in praying the Liturgy of the Hours following our Cistercian Ordo will find the 2013 Ordo at Ordo EN 2012-2013.
Abbot Elias of Gethsemani Abbey, our motherhouse, will be arriving on the 7th to begin the regular visitation of the community remaining with us until the 14th. According to our Constitutions: the purpose of the regular visitation is to strengthen and supplement the pastoral action of the local abbot, to correct it where necessary, and to motivate the brothers to lead the Cistercian life with a renewed spiritual fervour. This requires the active co-operation of the community. The visitor is faithfully to observe the precepts of law, the spirit of the Charter of Charity and the norms of the General Chapter. A regular review of life they are normally made every three years and an occasion of grace for the community.
For those of you haven’t noticed our new community photo can be found on our Genesee Community page.
Retreatants at Bethany House this weekend willingly and generously chipped in digging themselves out of the new fallen snow piled up in the driveway by the town snow plow and freeing a car already stuck in it. Nothing like playing in the snow and having some good old fashioned winter fun afterwards. Perhaps that was the ‘treat’ part of their retreat!
Like Good Friday, Christmas is about a God who is merciful to us in our need and sin, who is eager to forgive and to restore us. He does not want us to suffer for being so lost – he wants to draw us to himself.
Surely we must rejoice and be renewed on this day when we hear the angels call, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, goodwill to men!”
Yes, mercy again shines forth over the earth. The Word is flesh and dwells among us. Whoever wants to approach this God will feel a compassion and mercy that raises him up far above everything.
Watch For The Light
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