Unless you have been pulling a Rip vanWinkle and have been asleep for some time, you have been bombarded with two particular events, COVID-19 and the election, to the extent you wish you could crawl up under a tree and take a nap until both were over.
At the risk of sounding like I’m sticking my head in the ground and not wanting to get into the politicizing of the pandemic nor the election, I would rather direct this newsletter in a totally different direction.
As St. Benedict would seem to want us to being doing during this time of upheaval and national and international stress is to look at what we are and what we are really about. The events of today are not too different from the times when our saint physically walked on this earth. The society of both times have become morally corrupt, the Church has forgotten its purpose and direction and there is violence and decay in our cities.
Benedict chose to withdraw from all of this and to promote a way that could maintain the small but still burning light of Christ in a dark and brutal world. His method was to construct a small society centered on the presence and power of Christ, to construct a place of prayer and positive life within but separate from the destructive world of his time.
We, as a religious community, a congregation of religious communities, have a vital task that we are called to do: to pray. We, and all others like us, are called to be the flickering candle in a dark and stormy night; to be the calm and quiet voice of Christ in the cacophony of this modern society.
We, our group of seven or eight, are small but we are here on this small and fragile planet to remind all others that it is God who is still in control and it is in God that we put our trust in not any particular group or individual. My brothers and sisters, we are not alone. There are others out in this world just like us, living our lives centered in God and prayer.
The movement that Saint Benedict started so long ago is still alive and well and we are part of it.
WHAT’S GOING ON….
Life here at the Hermitage is still quiet. Each day seems to blend into the next. Each week of psalms seems to come around too fast. “Didn’t we just do that psalm.” The chapel, our Oratory, is pretty well complete with our new, permanent altar. We recently formally blessed the Oratory and the new altar and formally noviced Sister Corydon.
The garden started out well but the excessive amount of rain we received this Summer did a number on it with the consequence we did not have a good crop. We did manage to put up some pickles but didn’t have enough tomatoes, peppers or beans to save for this winter.
Our property backs up to some thirteen acres of woods which are mainly common areas of three subdivisions. There is a deer trail at the foot of our property which slopes down into the woods. We often have wild turkeys congregate there as well as all sorts of “critters.” There is the old papa racoon, the Bandit, and his family who raids our bird feeders, Ol’Possum and an occasional fox.
Earlier this year a young buck deer brought his harem of two beautiful does into out back yard just to look around, casing the place. Recently we have been visited by the individual does, one bringing her twin fawns, the other to bring her one fawn to spend the afternoon resting. She laid down in one spot while the fawn went and slept in out wooded space next to St. Francis.
We hope all of you are coping well during this rather strange period of time.
Send us your prayer requests. That is why we are here.