Fr. Harry led a retreat last weekend at the Guest House:
"Covenant: Our Relationship with God in Christ."
Fr. Joseph has been serving as our Mass heb this week. Here some
excerpts from his homilies:
Sunday: With the end of the world there would
be no more sickness, terrorism, poverty, abuse, famine or sin. The
world is still here and predictions and theories of the end of the
world still abound. It is a good idea to see what Scripture says
about the end. We read that we don't know the day or the hour, but
we should always be prepared.
We should look at our own lives to see how Christ is present
every day. We are to watch and wait and suffer until the Lord comes
again. God is Lord over this suffering, which ultimately leads to
hope and oneness with the Lord. Our lives should be lives of
vigilance and preparation. We can be watchful with compassion, love
Tuesday: Two things led to Zacchaeus'
salvation: his initiative and God's grace. With his initiative he
was actively seeking Jesus. He had a great desire to see the Lord.
He was able to see Jesus and welcome him into his home as a
He was blessed with God's grace as a descendent of Abraham,
Father of Jesus' lineage. The gift of God's grace and Zacchaeus'
repentance led to his salvation. You and I have the gift of grace,
and we are called every day to act on that gift for our good and
the good of our neighbors.
Thursday: In Jerusalem halfway up Mount Olive
is a church named Dominus Flevit: Jesus Wept. The dome looks like a
teardrop and the altar overlooks the city of Jerusalem. In the
Gospel of St. Luke, we hear about Jesus' lament while looking out
The word for peace is shalom, which also is understood as
entering into wholeness in relationship. Peace is a blessing on
several different levels. We concentrate our prayer on intense
areas where peace is needed. Peace starts with us, and we can give
peace to others.
Fr. Rupert celebrated his 94th (94th!) birthday on Saturday. He
sat at the abbot's table for our evening meal and we enjoyed
talking (colloquium) in his honor. We also had some
birthday cake, too, for dessert.
Abbot Justin gave an Abbot's Conference on Wednesday afternoon.
Some notes from his conference:
He shared that two of our Advent Conferences will focus on mercy
this year as the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy approaches.
The Mystery of the Incarnation is what makes Advent happen. We
are dealing with a liturgical mindset, not a historical mindset.
Advent takes its place as a seasonal completion of what the
Incarnation began. In this sense, Advent is above all and
rightfully, so it's the season of hope.
Advent asks us to live in the present. To live in the present is
to take things as they come and be present to the moment. If the
virtue of hope doesn't help us live in the present, then it's an
empty idea. Hope comes alive in us when we live in the present with
faith. If we fail here, we fall pray to deceit.
Advent also asks us to look to the future. This hope allows us
to look forward with joy to full communion with God and full
communion with one another. If we fail here, we fall prey to
Advent hope allows us to live in the present because of what is
yet to come.
Here is a
reflective prayer by St. John Paul II that Br. Francis
posted on his blog. Very timely.
Also timely in light of recent and ongoing world events is an
excerpt of a Psalm we prayed last Friday:
I cry to you, O Lord
I have said: You are my refuge
all I have in the land of the living
Listen, then, to my cry
for I am in the depths of distress
We might hear God comforting us and know his steadfast love if
we do as Psalm 131 encourages, which we prayed this Tuesday at
Truly I have set my soul
In silence and peace.