Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sr. Antoinette Purcell gives us a message of hope using words of wisdom from Chapter 4 of the Rule of St. Benedict

So much is happening all around us at this time. In nature we experience the leaves changing in color and raining to the ground; the fields, too, look different as they are harvested; and daylight comes later and leaves again much earlier now. Here at the monastery, we gather for Chapter this weekend to begin the discernment process for the election of a new prioress that culminates at our March Chapter meeting. In the world around us, we know that change comes as new people take public offices, and we, too, feel the pain as our country continues to struggle with efforts to bring peace to our world, our cities, and our families in the midst of a serious financial crisis. In our liturgical cycle we hear readings about the end time.

How are we to live in the midst of all this? St. Benedict offers us two lines, both of which appear in Chapter Four, The Tools for Good Works. In verse 14 he says, "Place your hope in God alone." And in verse 74, he writes, "Never lose hope in God's mercy." In just a few weeks we move into the season of Advent/Christmas, the season of hope. It is not too early to begin to reflect on the source of our hope...God alone! How wondrous that this God who loves us comes into our world as an innocent baby, taking on the form of human flesh and living like us in the person of Jesus the Christ. We know that he gave his life for us and then rose in majesty to show us that there is something to live for that is beyond what we see and know now. This is our hope. Let us be beacons of hope to those around us!

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