21 December 2009

Christmas Schedule

Using my "Feedjit" widget I saw that a few people were searching for the Mass Times for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I will leave this up until after St. Stephen's Day (Boxing Day) 26th December, 2009... At least


4:00 PM - Vespers
10:15 PM - Vigils
11:30 PM - Carols
12:00 AM - Midnight Mass


8:00 AM - Mass for the people
9:30 AM - Community Mass (Sung High Mass)
5:15 PM - Vespers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

A Blessed Christmas to you.
God's Peace and Blessings!


My 21st Birthday... In a Way

How can a man that is 41 years of age and Someone born in September say that today is his 21st Birthday? Today is the 21st Anniversary of the bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. My sincere prayers go out to the families of the victims, the people of Lockerbie, and the members of the RAF Mountain Rescue and Emergency Services who assisted in the aftermath of this tragedy.

In the spring of 1988, I was a sophomore in college. I was looking forward to a semester in London. I thought if I stay until December 21st, I can have Christmas in England and in America. My father's travel agent got us a pretty good deal on Pan-Am. Some time in either June or July of that year, the travel agent switched the tickets to Northwest Orient because he heard a rumor that Pan-Am might go on strike. That is why I am alive! It is atleast the reason I did not die on that plane 21 years ago today.

In pre-Christian Europe there was celebration after December 21st passed. A celebration of a "new" Sun. A celebration of life-renewed. Maybe there is some residue of a primordial pagan essence that links their celebration with my avoidance of such a dire tragedy.

But as Christians we all have Life-Renewed. We all have a "New Sun." We have this in the person of Jesus Christ. The darkness has truly passed: we live in the light of his New Dawn.

I am truly grateful to God that I did not perish 21 years ago today. But without Christ in my life, why would I be living? For what purpose? Those who do not share my Christian Faith may not understand that point of view, and that's ok. I genuinely respect that. To those that do share a Christian faith we know that Jesus came that we might have life, and life in its fulness.

God's Blessing to you all and Peace!

13 December 2009

CHRISTmas Carols

A log of people complain about our modern age and things like Political Correctness. I am one of those people. Somehow the idea of “diversity” was transformed to mean to pulverize anything that can be considered religious into a non-descript shade of beige. Now that I am in my dotage, I can cast my mind back to a simpler time when diversity was about allowing and respecting differences. Well a beacon of hope has shone brightly from the North West Leicestershire District Council. They asked Mount St. Bernard Abbey to host the Council’s Service of Lessons and Carols.

The service lasted about an hour and there were seven lessons (Scripture readings) and seven carols. On top of that we were all treated to some carols performed by a choir from Holy Cross School in Whitwick. The prayers were led by our about abbot and the lessons were mainly read by the Council members.

It went very well and about 260 people attended. The abbot is hopeful that we will be asked to host this event next year. I liked that it was definitely Christian, and there was no incursion by Santa, elves, or Rudolph. Now if there separate events for Hanukkah, Eid, or a secular celebration, I would support that too. Now they may already do this, and I am just unaware. (We are enclosed after all.)

08 December 2009

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

One of the unexpected benefits of abbey life is that the seasons, the church's and nature's, follow their own pattern. It does not matter that shopping for Christmas (Hanukkah, Kwanza, El-Eid, Winter Solstice, etc.) is in full swing. No TV, no newspapers, no advertisements. YEAH!!! For m the begnning of Advent, for once, has been about the Second Coming of Christ and not the trappings of the secular season.

Today being the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception was a holiday. With no classes or manual labour, I took a stroll after the Office of None (pronounced like known).
I started by visiting the calves. I am glad we do not eat meat here, because they are so docile. If I point to one, it comes rght up to me. Even our bull Remus, who must weigh the best part of a ton, comes up for a scratch behind the ears when I call his name.Little Bridget

It was also nice to see that during this grey time of year some plants still flower. I am not sure what this green prickly plant is, but it has beautiful little flowers. If anyone knows what plant that is please drop me a line.

There are even wild beasties roaming out side the security of the enclosure. Actually that is Mitzy and she is only yawning. She hangs out by the pottery.