Soon To Arrive
About a year or so ago we added a flock of chickens to our barn behind Bethlehem along with a couple of goats already there. The idea was to supply eggs for the community and the retreatants and is working out very well. Plans are ‘on the table’ to expand our farm operations a bit as we are able to manage with the help of our employees.
Recently this message this message arrived from an interested employee dubbed ‘Farm Manager’:
We are undertaking an exciting new venture this summer-raising Pigs! We have 10 Yorkshire pigs arriving on Saint Patrick’s Day. We’ll be raising them on pasture behind the Bethlehem retreat house where they can enjoy access to sun, grass, and bugs. If you are interested in purchasing a pork share please contact Adam for details at firstname.lastname@example.org 
Due to the monastic meatless diet they will be unavailable to the community but when they mature they will be offered for sale to anyone interested in fresh pork.
Although we had our share of high winds and 10″ or more of snow we were spared the worst of the record breaking nor’easter, also known as ‘cyclone bomb’, that struck the East coast on Friday receiving only high winds and some 10″ or more of snow. Traffic was snarled along highway 63 a couple of miles to the north of the abbey. We had to cancel baking operations and the monthly GLC meeting. Speaking of the GLC’s there have been a few minor updates to their web page on the Genesee Lay Contemplatives page. 
This Wednesday we’ll have our hermit day for the month of March and as of next Monday will begin our annual community retreat, but more about that next week.
With God in sight at all times, one faces the reversals and misfortunes of life with new eyes. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ, neither cancers, nor death, nor hurricanes, nor earthquakes, nor betrayals in the community.
In fact, these “bad” things can become good things, or if not good, then blessings, if they lead us to plumb further the depths of God’s love. This new vision defines more clearly what it is to be in this temporal world by letting us see that it is no longer an end in itself, but the gateway, and the only one at that, to God and his heavenly kingdom.
Four Ways of Holiness for the Universal Church
Abbot Francis Kline, OCSO