As we continue Lent, I would like once again to share with you one of my favorite stories on forgiveness— An older man was sitting comfortably in the commuter train quietly reading his morning newspaper when he felt a sudden tap on his shoulder, and turned to see a young man who had gently scooted into the vacant seat beside him. “Pardon me, sir,” said the young man shyly, “I’m sorry to disturb you, but may I ask you for a favor? You see, the next stop of this train that we will be reaching in a few minutes is my hometown.
A sharing from Fr. Thomas on a form of monastic meditation very appropriate for Lent: "Back in 1952 as a novice in the Abbey of Gethsemani, I first came to hear of the monastic bishop, Isaac of Nineveh (c 613 – c 700). Since then, I’ve dipped into Isaac from time to time. He speaks of two forms of meditation. One is simply reflecting on any aspect of the life of Christ. He refers to aspects of the life of Christ as mysteries. That the Second Person of the Holy Trinity should take on a human nature and go to the extent of a passion and death on the cross is, indeed, a mystery.
A message of Importance from Br. Christopher: “Do not put a limit on the importance of each little act, each little prayer. We have the temptation to succumb to a human way of thinking about prayer: that a little cause equals a little effect. However in prayer this is not true. The effect is measured rather by the One we pray to: Unlimited Grace! Each little prayer is like putting a little hole in a dam, but behind the dam is the full power of the overflowing ocean of grace that will burst through!
Br. Peter Damian shares on the Journey of Lent: "The forty days of the Lenten journey reminds us that the people of Israel spent forty years in the desert, a long journey in which they were struggling with themselves, but at the same time a period in which they experienced the closeness of God and of special grace for them. The Lord cared for them and accompanied them moving forward to the Promised Land (Deut. 27).
Father Paul Mark comments on the General Chapter and the new normal: “I traveled to Italy this past month of February to attend our international Order’s General Chapter, Part I, held in Assisi. The General Chapter, Part II will resume this coming September. It was my first international trip in three years. I was not overly enthused about the trip given the paper work to prepare, Covid testing required, and the possible cancellation of flights, which indeed did happen. On one hand the trip was rather perfunctory, that is, drive to the airport, board a plane, land in Rome, board a bus t
Br. Christopher speaks on preparing for Lent: “In a few days it will be Ash Wednesday, and we will once again be entering the penitential season of Lent. Our thoughts turn to the usual question: what will I do this year? What offering will I make? What will I give up? Often Lent calls to mind such acts as giving up chocolates or putting a few extra dollars in the collection plate. While these are fine observances, it might be well to spend the next few days in prayer reflecting and asking God the following questions: What might be our biggest obstacles to growing closer to Him?
Br. William shares on the Grace of Baptism and the Trinity: “Springs of water were made holy as Christ revealed his glory to the world. Draw water from the fountain of the Savior, for Christ our God has hallowed all Creation.”
The above antiphon at Lauds used with reference to Ezekiel, chapter 36, on the regeneration of the land and the regeneration (rebirth) of the people.
Fr. Placid asks us how we hear the Gospel this year: “Ordinary Time has us journey liturgically through the life and ministry of Jesus. Following the Lenten and Easter seasons, which have moved us through the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, we find ourselves again in Ordinary Time, moving toward eternity and the implications of participating in the life of Jesus and what that means specifically and personally to us.
Fr. Thomas shares a reflection preparing us for the upcoming Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, celebrated February 2nd: “Chapter Two of Luke’s Gospel speaks of the presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple; this is familiar to us. Simeon, guided by the Holy Spirit, enters the Temple and meets the parents of Jesus with their Child. This meeting fulfills a life-long prayerfully passionate desire of Simeon. Actually, this Holy Spirit had made a special revelation to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Anointed One.
Br. Christopher shares on Christian Unity: "We are in the midst of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18 – 25). The very fact that this intention has a week in the liturgical calendar shows how important the Church takes this, how much God wants it.