True to form, our Christmas cactus are beginning to bloom. The delicate magenta- colored flowers always appear in December and usually once again in the course of the year.

While the cactus is a distinctive Christmas visitor, we monks don’t start decorating and singing Christmas carols until December 24th. We carry on celebrating Christmas until the Epiphany of the Lord, traditionally kept on January 6th.
These weeks of Advent, leading up to Christmas, are a time of quiet yet joyful expectation for the coming of the Savior.
At daily Mass and the Divine Office, the texts from Scripture, sung to ancient melodies, are distinctive to the season we are now in, being four weeks of contemplative anticipation of the Birth of the Messiah.
May the ususal mad rush that so often accompanies the time before Christmas be redirected for the real “reason for the season” for all those who read this.
With a promise of our prayers and we are always grateful for yours,
Abbot Christian and the monks