Christmas 2021

2022-01-15T15:55:46-06:00December 25th, 2021|Homilies of Father Abbot|

Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given. (Isaiah 9:6)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

My Very Dear Brothers of Our Lady of the Annunciation,

These words, which are taken from the Prophet Isaiah, found their perfect accomplishment in a little cave near Bethlehem some two thousand years ago and have continued to echo down through the ages. Indeed, a Child is born to us, and what a Child! Son of Mary, He is also the very Son whom the Father, in the brightness of eternity, before the day-star, engenders as God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God. This Messiah, whom many kings and prophets had longed to see and did not see, longed to hear and did not hear, was delivered into the arms of the Blessed Virgin, not only to be seen and to be heard, but also to be carried, to be […]

All Saints 2021

2021-11-01T16:15:44-05:00November 1st, 2021|Homilies of Father Abbot|

After this I saw a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and in the sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and they cried with a loud voice saying: Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb. (Apoc. 7)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My Very Dear Sons,

Today we celebrate All Saints’ Day, the feast, not of just one Saint, but of the entire heavenly court. Saint John, in his Apocalypse, sees them as a “great multitude which no man could number” (7:9). In every age God has raised up these heroes of the Faith, both to do battle with the powers of darkness that deceive the great number of men and, more positively, to bear witness to the justice and mercy of God.

The word “saint” comes […]

St. Benedict 2021

2021-12-23T16:00:55-06:00July 11th, 2021|Homilies of Father Abbot|

At that time: Peter said to Jesus: Behold we have left all things, and have followed thee: what therefore shall we have? (Matthew 19:27)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My Very Dear Sons,

It is all so simple. Our Lord promised and still promises the hundredfold of good things on this earth and everlasting life to those who renounce all earthly advantages to follow Him. Saint Benedict took Our Lord at His word and followed it. What did he get in return? According to a respected Catholic encyclopedia:

At the beginning of the fourteenth century the order [founded by Saint Benedict] is estimated to have comprised the enormous number of 37,000 monasteries. It had up to that time given to the Church no less than 24 popes, 200 cardinals, 7,000 archbishops, 15,000 bishops, and over 1,500 canonized saints. It had enrolled amongst its members 20 emperors, 10 empresses, 47 kings, and 50 […]

Pentecost 2021

2021-05-23T15:05:49-05:00May 23rd, 2021|Homilies of Father Abbot|

Veni, Sancte Spiritus, / Et emitte coelitus / Lucis tuae radium. Come, O Holy Spirit, come; / And from thy celestial home / Shed a ray of light divine (Sequence of the Mass of Pentecost).

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My very Dear Sons,

In our time of no small social upheaval and spiritual confusion, the gift of the Holy Spirit, God’s special gift to us, is all the more precious. Saint Charles Borromeo tells us how to prepare our souls for this incomparable gift. Let us listen to him attentively:

Since great kings and princes planning a stay in someone’s house are accustomed to send ahead servants who furnish it with tapestries and draperies, in a similar way, my children, humbly beseech the Son of God today, that he may send His Holy Spirit into you. That he who is ready to do this, may do it more willingly, dedicate yourselves […]

Ascension 2021

2021-05-13T15:19:18-05:00May 13th, 2021|Homilies of Father Abbot|

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My Very Dear Sons,

The solemn but simple words of the evangelist Saint Mark that we just read tell us little more than just the essential fact of the Lord’s Ascension into Heaven: “And the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them [about the preaching of the Gospel to the entire world], was taken up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19). The Book of Acts adds some details, speaking of a cloud that hid Him from their sight and a vision of Angels: “And while they were beholding him going up to heaven, behold, two men [Angels] stood by them [the Apostles] in white garments, who also said : ‘Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as you have seen him going into heaven’” (Acts 1:9-11).

Easter Sunday 2021

2021-04-04T15:02:35-05:00April 4th, 2021|Homilies of Father Abbot|

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My very dear sons,

In his powerful discourse delivered on Solomon’s porch near the Temple of Jerusalem following Pentecost, Saint Peter plumbs the depths of misery and joy that constitute the Paschal mystery: [Y]ou denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you. But the author of life you killed, whom God hath raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses (Acts 3:14-15). Could there ever be a more striking paradox than this capital punishment inflicted upon the very Creator and Sustainer of all life? Has there ever been a more astonishing reversal than the subsequent triumph of the Prince of life over death itself? And, like Saint Peter, we are witnesses of this great mystery, the mystery of life.

Now we are experiencing the season of spring, with its welcome warmth, after the cold of an intense winter. […]

Maundy Thursday 2021

2021-04-01T16:06:41-05:00April 1st, 2021|Homilies of Father Abbot|

Before the festival day of the Pasch, Jesus knowing that his hour was come, that he should pass out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end. (John 13:1)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My Very Dear Sons,

Many are the facets of this great mystery of Maundy Thursday; multiple are the aspects under which we might contemplate this entry into the Passion of the Lord. In past years we have considered some of these aspects, including the institution of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the great and new commandment of fraternal charity that Jesus gave to His Apostles during the washing of the feet, and the very Passion of the Messiah itself that occupies the heart and mind of Holy Church during the entire Triduum.

This evening I thought we might focus on the imminent departure of the Lord, on […]

Annunciation 2021

2021-03-25T11:00:29-05:00March 25th, 2021|Homilies of Father Abbot|

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My very dear sons,

The Annunciation or “announcement” to Mary, proclaiming God’s decision to make her the very Mother of God in the mystery of the Incarnation, is not only a scene from the Gospel and a mystery of the liturgical year; it is not simply an exquisite and larger-than-life icon of God’s majesty and loving kindness—though it is all of that (it is certainly all of that); it represents something more, more even than an encounter between Heaven and Earth in the fullness of time, at the dawn of Salvation; it is really a kind of school, a school of supernatural life—and, perhaps, just the school, the very school, the Church and the world stand in great need of these days. So, what can we learn at this school?

To begin with, starting from a more external aspect of our human existence, the Annunciation teaches us about courtesy. In […]

St. Benedict Transitus 2021

2021-03-22T15:08:16-05:00March 22nd, 2021|Homilies of Father Abbot|

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My Very Dear Sons,

Today we celebrate the transitus of Our Blessed Father Saint Benedict, that is to say, his death, which was for him the “transit” or “transition” from mortal existence on this earth to the blessed life of Heaven. Unlike most human beings, this Saint, not only was fearless in the face of dying, but looked forward with unmistakable joy to what was to follow his experience here below. In this, he had a predecessor in the Greek philosopher, Socrates, who, although without the grace of the Christian faith, understood something of the enigma.

…[I]t seems to me natural, said the great man, that a man who has really devoted his life to philosophy should be cheerful in the face of death, and confident of finding the greatest blessing in the next world when his life is finished (Plato, Phaedo, 63e-64a).

It is striking, furthermore, […]

Christmas 2020

2020-12-24T00:00:36-06:00December 24th, 2020|Homilies of Father Abbot|

But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My very dear sons,

So deep is the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God, that even the trivial and seemingly secondary elements of the narrative become larger than life on this night, whether it is the mention of a feed trough, a manger, of shepherds keeping watch over their flocks, or of some swaddling clothes for a baby. Amid this wonderland of marvelous things (that is to say of trivial things become wonders) there is a need not to miss the central point of it all, the great revelation to which all the rest is pointing. Christmas is, perhaps, the best time of year to exercise that most excellent faculty of the human soul, one too often neglected, what we call the act of contemplation. Why don’t we pause for just a moment to […]

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