Yesterday we received notice of the death of a former member of our community, Fr. Gerald Ragis, who some of you former members may remember. He died yesterday of complications after a stroke. While in the community in the early 50’s he was known as Br. Benedict. Those of us who knew him will remember his infectious, ever-ready smile. After leaving he became ordained and served as a priest in Vermont. May the Lord grant him the fullness of eternal life!
News From Monks’ Bread
In keeping with our regular practice of offering specialty loaves for the changing seasons they are running a special HELLO GOODBYE SALE: $
3.99 – $1.99.
Just in time for the holidays we say hello to our Cranberry Bread at 50% off;
Next we welcome back our Holiday Bread at 50% off;
Finally we say goodbye to our Pumpkin Spice Bread at 50% off.
Christmas Schedule Change Coming
As we continue making adjustments to our monastic schedule we are considering having our Christmas midnight Mass at midnight instead of 1:20 AM Christmas morning. We should have the final arrangement worked out by next Sunday. Keep in mind that our midnight Mass consists of the office of the Christmas vigil integrated with the vigil Mass of Christmas and lasts nearly two hours.
With so much to be grateful for we are looking forward to the celebration of Thanksgiving this Thursday. In keeping with our Trappist style dinner we will have all the trimmings without the turkey. Mass on that day will be at 10:00 AM for those who would like to join us for “Eucharist” = Thanksgiving.
The prayer of Jesus, like any exercise deserving the name of prayer, is first and foremost an act of thanksgiving. The elements in his prayer which, in this particular instance, belong exclusively to his dignity as the Son, should not distract us from the thanksgiving he offers as an essential constituent of prayer. He who prays is Jesus of Nazareth. His prayer is an act of thanksgiving to the Father, pure and simple.
The prayer of his followers, too, can only be that, an act of thanksgiving. In fact this is what it is. Of course, we commonly refer to it as “eucharist”, a Greek work for thanksgiving, even while we persist in our search for ways to pray. The act of thanksgiving is and remains the supreme prayer of all Jesus’ followers.
The Gospel of John
Stanley B. Marrow, SJ