Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Peace to you and I trust you are doing well. Here we are in the remaining days of Christmas, and soon we will be in Ordinary Time for a while before Lent begins. I hope your Christmas was blessed in many unexpected ways, sharing time with your family and friends as we all like to do at this time of the year.
As is our custom here - I gave out gifts from under the Christmas tree to the children who were at mass on Christmas Day. At the beginning of Advent the children give me a Christmas wish list, and then I go out and about trying to find all the many requests on those slips. It's always so much fun to see the look on the children's faces as they come up, at the end of mass, to receive their gift. Our desire of course is to have the heart of a child, and to really enter into the beauty of Christmas, and remember just what it's all about - the birth of our Savior, the true light of the world.
In the recent DVD Pope Francis: 'A Man of His Word', our Holy Father talks about the importance of looking to the other, to those who have so much less than we do, those who struggle in so many ways. He talks about the environment, and what we are doing to it. It is indeed a call to humanity that is timely and necessary for us all to hear in the world today. So many of us have so much, more than we really need, even more of us have so little, what is it we can give to those who have so little?
Perhaps as we draw close to the end of this year we can search our hearts and discern, what is it I can do for the other. How can I help my next door neighbor, can I visit a Nursing Home or Hospital, can I help out at the local Shelter. Do I really need this or that? How much am I putting in the trash every day, that ends up in a land fill? There is such a great need, and we all have so many God given talents that we can share with others. What can we do?
At this time of the year, with snow on the ground and single digit temperatures, we, as a monastic community, are very grateful to all those who help us and show us so much love, in so many ways. Especially I want to acknowledge and thank those who sent donations in response to my winter appeal to help with the winter utilities bills, those who bring wood for our wood burning stove that heats the community room, those who bring us tamales and other New Mexican goodies.
Let us try to hold onto the message of Christmas as we move into the new Year, and then share that message with all we meet as we go about our day. And the message is - love.
May God bless you all, and I do thank you for your generous support in so many ways. You are remembered each day in our prayers and in the Mass.
Fr. Aidan, OSB oliv
In Christ, Abbot Aidan, OSB oliv