Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

There is much discussion in the Church these days about traveling down a “common road,” synodality. Whatever may be your view on this—and views differ—one thing is clear: the road that beckons to us in this particular season is the one leading to Bethlehem. There we will find Him who would one day announce that He is the road, the way. “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn. 14:6). Furthermore, as we travel during Advent with the Holy Family toward the Little Town in Judea that is to be the birthplace of the Savior of mankind, the Child is already in our midst, as He rides in the womb of His Immaculate mother, perched with her upon the donkey led by Saint Joseph. What a mystery it all is!

Even after the great victory over the evil of abortion won at the level of the Supreme Court this year in the Dobbs decision, overturning Roe v. Wade, the battle for life continues in our country, and, perhaps, with an intensity never before equaled in the history of our world. The very pillars of civilization seem to buckle under the weight of a worldwide effort to wrench from the heart of man the very notion of the family based on Natural Law and on the Sacrament of marriage. It’s worse than the darkest dystopian novel! After the seeming conquests of a Spiritus Mundi that denies the most fundamental facts of life, as the deepest confusion about human life sweeps through our schools and other public institutions, we have to wonder uneasily: what’s next?

There is, of course, a powerful and adequate solution to it all, and it lies in the Manger at the end of the road to Bethlehem. Why not travel there, at least spiritually? We monks will meet you at the foot of the Cradle of Life, along with shepherds, the wise men, and the poor in spirit of every place and epoch. We offer you our heartfelt best wishes for a blessed and merry Christmas and for an abundant measure of the light that chases away the gloom enveloping much of our earth. It is the Christmas joy of men and angels.

br. Philip Anderson, abbot