Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

Christmas is the season of light and peace par excellence. Its light is that from Heaven, and its peace a peace not of this world. But there is another aspect of this incomparable mystery and celebration, the fact that, while God was always present everywhere and in a special way to His people and to His prophets of old, He now comes to earth, not merely with the presence that is mediated by the Divine grace of revelation, but with the presence which belongs to God in Person, the Real Presence of the Son of God made man, appearing at the humblest spot in all creation, a locality transformed in an instant into the noblest of places beneath Heaven.

Recently at Clear Creek we had the joy and grace of receiving a spiritual retreat from His Eminence Gerhard Cardinal Müller. His theme, laid out before us with magnificent erudition in a spirit of deep faith, was that of the Real Presence. In a world slipping into the coldness of the remote and virtual presence of persons and things, we need, he told us, to rekindle the awareness of this true and concrete contact with the divine.

In the hidden depths of our Lady’s immaculate body, as in the tabernacle of her maternal womb, God became present in the world, although in a secret manner. In the night of Christmas, emerging from that maternal palace, here is the Emmanuel, God with us, set out in the monstrance of the Crib for the shepherds and for all the poor in spirit, who contemplate the Christ child and adore in Spirit and in truth.

We monks of Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey pray that you too will be able to enter into the life-giving comfort of the Real Presence as an antidote to the sadness and darkness that have overshadowed our world. May the New Year of Our Lord 2022 bring fresh reasons to hope against all hope, the only attitude befitting us Christians, who still possess in our churches the Real Presence of the Holy Eucharist.

br. Philip Anderson, abbot

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