February 3, 2013
February 3, 2012
During Friday Vespers a number of people were missing from choir. Since Fr. Francis, a resident of the infirmary, was one of them those who noticed he too was absent thought he must be needing some help. When someone called Abbot Gerard from choir we were convinced there was some sort of health problem.
We were correct in our thinking but wrong in who we were thinking of. True, Fr. Francis did need some help and Abbot Gerard was called upon to assist but when he arrived in the infirmary he was experiencing severe chest pains himself. Since he had a history of cardiac problems our diligent infirmarian insisted he go to the hospital via ambulance for a checkup.
In short order the ambulance and EMT arrived and whisked him off. Hardly had they left the Abbey when Abbot Gerard had a minor heart attack in the ambulance. The medical technicians got him to Strong Memorial hospital in good time where he was given immediate treatment. Turns out he had a build up of plaque in two arteries causing the attack. The doctors inserted a stent into each one and so remedied the problem.
Fr. John visited him yesterday in the hospital and found him looking and feeling just great and eager to return to the monastery. At this point it seems he will be released today or tomorrow. Do join us in thanking God for granting our beloved Abbot a new lease on life and for his speedy recovery and continued good health.
After several years of formal scriptural and theological studies our Fr. Isaac returned from Catholic University in Washington Friday in time for Compline surprised to find himself, as Prior, in charge since Abbot Gerard was in the hospital. Having completed the final comprehensive exam for the S.T.L. degree he is now qualified to teach theology in the Roman Catholic Church, a real asset for any monastic community. STL is the abbreviation of the Latin, sacrae theologiae licentiatus, which translates as licentiate of sacred theology.
Our Br. Felix, having completed his six month postulancy, will enter the novitiate next Sunday during a ceremony in chapter when he will be clothed with the habit of a novice. Beginning tomorrow he will be on a five day private retreat in preparation for this next step in his initial formation. Join us in praying that he will have a fruitful and grace-filled retreat.
Year of Faith
One of the ways we’ll be celebrating the Year of Faith this year is by showing the DVD series, Catholicism. Narrated by noted theologian, Fr. Robert Barron, it is a program of ten separate segments of about an hour each. Geared to help viewers discover a fuller meaning of the Catholic Faith it is said to be “a stimulating and compelling exploration of the spiritual, moral and intellectual riches of the Catholic world. This is the Catholic story told from inside, with knowledge, sympathy, and passion, rooted in friendship with Jesus Christ.” A Christmas gift of the late Fr. Dan Ryan we’ll be viewing a segment on the first Sunday of each month for the next ten months beginning today. Previews are available at Catholicism.
Mysticism is a human reality that is not limited to any religion. It is the climax of the encounter between Absolute Being and the human being. There have been mystics everywhere and at all times.
Because of the fact that the human being has been created in the image of God, it is not strange if we think and say that the deepest center of the human soul is capable, under certain conditions, to experience something of the divine presence, even though reason does not understand what is happening.
The Sun at Midnight
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