Journal

Happy Easter to one and all! We wish you every blessing in this joyous season. Holy Week ceremonies and the Paschal Vigil were rich and deep and we hope that it was the same for you. All went well, with no mishaps – as can sometimes happen! We could write a book about things going wrong during these ceremonies. We have been blest in having Sr. Janice of Mt. St. Mary’s Abbey with us for a week. She will accompany our dear “snowbird” Denise back to Wrentham this Tuesday. Fr. Casimir will be leaving us that day, too. It has been wonderful to have them with us to share in Easter joy and celebrations and they will be missed. Our...

Here it is, the final few steps in the journey of Lent. Already the eastern sky is beginning to glow with the promise of the rising sun. We will soon enter into the holy days of Jesus’ merciful love made manifest. May these days be rich with the mercy and love of God for you!  Our trees and flowering bushes are alive with color, especially the forsythia. Our beautiful Bradford pear tree is dropping its petals in the winds we have been experiencing, but the tender spring-green leaves are covering it now. What a glorious sight!! Now we are busy with Easter preparations: singing practices, all sorts of delicious aromas coming from the kitchen, the grounds around the abbey worked...

Lent began early this year, and so did the warm weather.  Some of the trees and flowers are on the verge of opening, but its way too early for them blossom, since we could have another frost any time.  With the sun rising earlier each morning and the days growing longer, it really does feel like spring.  But its only the middle of February.  Anything could happen between now and Easter!  And we're hoping if it does happen, it will be rain.  We did very well with the rainfall last year: 22.7 inches--that's the most we've had in a year since 2000!  So we are hoping and praying that 2016 will be another good year for moisture.   Our raven...

Here we are on the last day of the Christmas Season, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord!  And here is a Christmas photo journal so you can share in the joy of our monastery Christmas. We began our celebration late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve with the annual Christmas tree blessing in our chapter room.  Fr. Casimir did the honors, after which we turned on the tree lights for the first time this season. From there we went straight to church for 1st Vespers of Christmas.  Then we went to bed early, to snatch a couple of hours of sleep, before getting up just after 10:00 p.m. for our beautiful...

Fourth Sunday of Advent The circle of light is complete. The fourth Advent Candle now burns brightly in a radiant ring of light. In five days, Jesus the light of the world, will come among us as God from God and Light from Light. Jesus, the long-awaited One, will once more walk among us, this time incarnate in US. In these days of Advent we have experienced his healing mercy, his tender love and now the beginning and the completion meet in the celebration of his birth in us. Lord Jesus, Light of the world, make us into vessels of your light. O Radiance of the Father be born within us anew that we may reflect your goodness, love and...

Third Sunday of Advent "His reason is love." says Julian of Norwich in speaking about why God created the universe. His reason is love, not punishment, not wrath, not to be a perpetually-insulted God who wreaks judgment on his creatures. His reason for creation is love. And so Jesus, that is why you came and you still come. You want to let us know beyond a doubt who you really are, what the essence of your being is. And today we light one more candle to add to the growing circle of light and ask you to let the fire which you came to cast upon the earth be kindled in us. Help us to open to your coming in...

Second Sunday of Advent "Lead kindly light," says John Henry Newman, "amid the encircling gloom." The encircling gloom which at first seemed so impenetrable yields now to one more small light giving of its substance and surrendering its heart to the flame. Lord Jesus, transform us into persons of mercy. Help us to share and to be the mercy we have received. Two small candles will burn bravely this week, shedding your gentle light. As we light this second Advent Candle, help us to yield our inmost being to the flame of your mercy and to be your mercy this week to all whom we encounter as we journey forward into the full light of your coming.

First Sunday of Advent Here we are again, standing at the threshold of another Advent. In this season of the year when darkness steps to the fore and pushes aside our daylight, we take a step into the liturgy of Advent where we illumine the darkness with the light of a candle in an ever-increasing crescendo of light and presence. It is our time of journey. A journey into the experience of the God whose essence is love and who wants nothing more than to share that essence with us in the person of Jesus. Since all good liturgy carries with it the use of earthy elements and symbols, we light a candle to announce that the God of Gods...

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends! We hope that your day was blessed and full of family, friends and celebration. And probably a football game, too?? Ours was a happy time of relaxing with one another and our two brother monks of Erlac around a table laden with a delicious din ner provided for us by our good friend and dentist, Dr. Escobar. After our celebration at the table of the Eucharist, we all donned our aprons and helped prepare the feast together. Margarita had prepared ahead of time what could be done, and so it didn't take us long at all to finish. I think you can see from our smiles that a good time was had by all.   Now...

Happy Autumn, dear Friends! We enjoyed our annual community retreat the week of October 18-24.  This year our retreat director was Fr. James Palmigiano of St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, MA.  This is the third time over the years that he has been our retreat director and, as always, it was fabulous.  The weather cooperated to provide nice days for long walks in our beautiful high desert or just sit quietly under a tree to read and pray and... enjoy God.   We had a little Halloween fun, too.  Margarita and Fabi applied their pumpkin-carving skills to two of the many pumpkins that our dear friend Leroy brought us.  Here are some of us with our Halloween decorations in the refectory....