In keeping with a Lenten practiced prescribed by St. Benedict: During this time of Lent each one is to receive a book from the library, and is to read the whole of it straight through. These books are to be distributed at the beginning of Lent (chapter 48, 15-16) our Lenten books were distributed to each one in chapter this morning. The Lenten reading is a community excersize held about 40 minutes before Compline during every weekday during Lent.
Earlier this week the community voted on some some proposed changes for our gatehouse/ reception room renovation project. Because of the expense involved the project will be divided into two phases: Phase 1 will include moving and enlarging the bread/book store and enlarging Merton Hall and providing a separate entrance for this area. Phase 2 involves renovating the reception room at a later date.
The vote was overwhelming in favor of going ahead with Phase 1. The final plans have been drawn up by the architect and will be put out for bidding by contractors. It is hoped work can begin shortly after Easter
Going and Coming
This past Thursday Fr. John left for our Trappistine Sisters at Wrentham, MA where he was invited to give the community a series of Lenten talks. As he returns tomorrow Fr. Gerard will depart for a few days st our Brothers at Berryville, VA for a mini-regional meeting to discuss the publication of a North American OCSO regional website in an attempt to make our life better known. He will return on Friday. The proposed website will include some information for each of the houses of nuns and monks in the American Region along with contact information as an aid in vocational promotion. Finally, next Saturday Fr. Isaac leaves to give our brothers at Berryville their annual retreat. He’s due back on March 2nd.
As the body is to be chastised at the beginning so that sin may not reign in it and we may overcome temptations, so too when the temptations have been overcome we must persevere in the same practices not only for fear of falling back but also out of desire for progress.
Thus through the mortification of the flesh the spirit may thrive the better and, the lighter and more slender the fetters which attach it, the more freely it may rise to spiritual things.
Guerric of Igny