Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ringing out the old

I typically counsel spiritual directees to spend some time at the end of each day going over the day, noting the gifts of God in order to give thanks and noting his or her failings and repenting of them. In the morning, then, we should similarly look ahead to that day and its demands and prepare ourselves for whatever challenges lurk, asking God's blessing and help. As Saint Benedict writes, we should begin every work with a prayer for God's blessing.

The end of a year is another good time to take a spiritual inventory. What am I thankful for from the past year? Of what do I repent?

For my part, as always, I am grateful to God for the gift of knowing Him and the tremendous gift of being close to Him at the altar and in a cloistered community. With somewhat more difficulty, I also praise God for the strains of this part year (I have specific ones in mind!). One brother noted that in two years as superior, I have grown more patient with the brothers. As I am fond of noting, to be patient means that I patior, that is, I suffer. God prunes that we may bear more fruit, and so I accept.

I am particularly grateful for my brothers and their witness, as well as the witness given by the communities that I have visited this past year: the Poor Clares in Lemont, the Benedictines in Virginia Dale, Schuyler, Conception, Collegeville, Lisle, Aurora, Farnborough, Quarr and Ryde, and Gloucester. It was a special grace to participate as co-visitor at two monasteries and to be present at the blessing of Abbot Cuthbert Brogan at Farnborough.

I am grateful for the many persons who contribute to our monastic life in many ways: for our Oblates, friends and families and benefactors, and for those who serve us in city life: especially for our alderman and policemen (we haven't had to lean on the fire dept this year, and I am thankful for that, too!).

I am grateful that my desk has managed to stay relatively uncluttered for the better part of this year! This will be part of my resolutions as well.

I lament not having progressed more in the life of holiness. I will spare the public the details, but I suppose here I am in decent company. I hope for more time away from adminstrative duties so that I may spend more time in prayer, contemplation and study. But I will save resolutions for tomorrow.

For what gifts in 2006 do you give thanks?

No comments:


This blog is published with ecclesiastical approval.

If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
and the Rule of the Gospel so that I become a scandal to you, The Church, then
may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.

Origen of Alexandria
Locations of visitors to this page