First Week of the Liturgical Year 
We begin the New Liturgical Year with a double header of sorts. First off there’s the hermit day for the month this Wednesday which is followed by the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of The Blessed Virgin Mary and Patronal Feast of the United States on Friday. Because it is a holy day of obligation the Mass for the day will be celebrated at 10:00.
In chapter this morning Fr. Gerard brought us up to date on a number of issues facing the community. One of them was a progress report on the renovation of the reception room and bread store. Because of the complexities and costs of the project it has been decided to divide the renovation in two phases: the store, Merton Hall and related rooms and the reception room and church entrance.
The plan is to proceed with the first phase, the store, etc. which will be relocated to the north end of the building. Once this has been completed we will proceed with the second phase. Most final design plans are in place. The next step will be to put the job out to contractors for bidding. It is possible the work could begin in a month or so. Here’s hoping. . .
The virtue which distinguished our Blessed Lady among all women, cannot but be a most necessary virtue. Note first that Mary’s meekness is, as it were, a reflection of God’s. Mary is, indeed, a pure mirror, so free from all shadow of self, that the divine Essence finds its perfection fully reflected in her humility. That is why the Immaculate Virgin can be an object of contemplation, since her purity so mirrors that of God that we see him, who is Pure Act in her.
Mary is all-obedient, and it is in her total abandonment that she comes very close to God’s omnipotence. To abandon all pretensions to self-love without a struggle; to consent quietly to all that is asked of us: it is this that makes us resemble Mary, and allows us to partake of her graciousness and power. For God refuses us nothing – he can refuse nothing – provided we abandon ourselves to him with all our heart.
The Prayer of Love an Silence