Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Peace to you all.
We are coming close to the Thanksgiving Holiday and the beginning of Advent - I think this year has passed by so quickly. My mother always told me that this would happen, as I got older. The 'Holiday Season" will indeed be upon us.
Every year at Thanksgiving I recall my first one celebrated with friends at Big Bear in Southern California - they had a cabin up there and I was invited to go with them for the big Thanksgiving Day dinner - and it was indeed a big one.
There were other people present, and it was a lovely occasion. This was back in 1979, soon after I had arrived in the United States - I am now in my fortieth year of living in this great country. And God has blessed me so much!
I had not heard the phrase 'Holiday Season' prior to coming to America. In the UK we just looked forward to Christmas Day and the day after, referred to as Boxing Day. So it was a whole new experience for me arriving here and enjoying this time of the year.
In our world today we know that there is so much change - nothing is quite as it was, especially way back in the late 70's and early 80's. When I first arrived in Los Angeles, gas was around a dollar per gallon, and that was with full serve! Now we pull up to the pump and gas up ourselves - and pay much more than we did back then - and no opening of the hood to check the fluids, no tire pressure check, no windshield cleaning. I suppose one has to move with the times - and try to keep up with all the changes.
However, in our changing world, one thing is consistent for us - and of course it isn't a thing it's a person - and that person is God. He will never change, He will always be with us. He is our hope and stability in a world that seems to be changing so fast. He is the light of the world, a light that breaks through the darkness and our own dark moments, and it is because of him that we draw close to Advent and then celebrate the birth of Jesus on that Holy night.
As we gather around the Thanksgiving table with our family and friends, let us not forget those who go without, and there are many. Let us give thanks to God for all the blessings we receive, for living in this great country, for having such an abundance of everything.
And during the Advent Season, let us be reminded of the real reason we move through the Season of Joy. The celebration of the birth of Jesus, and let us give thanks to God.
I pray you have a Happy Thanksgiving, a joy filled Advent Season, and a blessed and holy Christmas with those you love. As always, we appreciate all you do for us, and all the love you show us, especially from our local community of Pecos.
You are remembered in my daily mass intentions.
Abbot Aidan, OSB oliv