This week the Community will be making its annual retreat. For the third year in a row it will be a silent retreat since the retreat director we had lined up for conferences had to cancel due to health issues as in the past two years. During the retreat our schedule every day will be a ‘hermit day’ and it will be greatly simplified to allow more time for silence and solitude.
The regular liturgical schedule will remain the same except that the office of Sext will be prayed privately and not in Church. Each of our guest houses will be closed for the week. Do pray for us during this important time especially that we be open and responsive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
In keeping with our usual Lenten practice going all the way back to St. Benedict himself each of the brethren received a Lenten book during chapter this morning. Each day during Lent the time before Compline is set aside for the communal exercise of Lenten reading.
During the past few weeks the Building Committee for the renovation has been meeting regularly to discuss the myriad details involved in the renovation of our reception room/store area due to begin this summer. The design plans have been pretty well worked out with the help of our architect, Tim Brindusi, but before we can proceed with detailed construction plans we have to decide the interior details of each section. These include floor coverings, lighting, furnishings, store layout.
To aid us in this complex phase of the reconstruction we have hired the services of Heather and Mathieu DeMoras of Heather DeM oras Design Consultants. With their expert help we are making good progress in this phase of the project. For further information about company visit their web site at DeMoras Design Consultants. 
Here we see Heather and Mathieu showing the Committee a three dimensional plan of a section of the proposed renovation.
Whoever keeps careful guard over himself, as is fitting during these holy days, will be rewarded with blessings even if it happens that, being human he has sinned either through weakness or carelessness.
You see, God gave us these holy days so that by diligence in abstinence, in the spirit of humility and repentance, a person may be cleansed of the sins of the whole year and the soul relieved of its burden. Purified he goes forward to the holy day of the Resurrection, and being made a new person through the change of heart induced by the fast, he can take his part in the Holy Mysteries and remain in spiritual joy and happiness, feasting with God the whole fifty days. Paschal time, as has been said, is the resurrection of the soul.
Dorotheos of Gaza