The Holy Season of Lent has begun and we monks, along with all Christians, see it as a special time of prayer, fasting and good works. Saint Benedict says a monk’s life should always have about it a “Lenten character,” implying some degree of asceticism and sacrifice year round, but especially so during the forty days of Lent. Why do we do this? In order to draw closer to God and to to build up the Body of Christ on earth.

The reception of ashes on Ash Wednesday takes place during our morning Conventual Mass, which ended at about 7:00 am. At our meeting at 8:30 am, we listen to a chapter of the Rule of Saint Benedict and finalize the morning work, then we each receive from the Abbot a book from the Bible for our Lenten “lectio divina,” or “holy reading.”

This year we  monks will be reading, meditating, praying from and contemplating on the New Testament “Letter to the Hebrews.” We invite all who read this to do likewise. The Letter to the Hebrews is a wonderful text with the general theme of salvation won for us by Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, who gives us grace to avoid sin and to draw nearer to God in holiness. That is our Lenten task, a kind of pilgrimage toward our proper and lasting home in God’s Church now and in Heaven for ever.

A blessed and holy Lent to all. You are in our prayers and we are grateful for yours.

Abbot Christian and the monks