Monday, January 3, 2011


New Year's Reflections

I spent the night of New Year’s Eve in church, ushering in the new year as I’ve done each new year’s eve since the turn of the millennium.

During the quiet hours I re-read my prayer journal for the year 2010, the place where I write my thoughts, emotions, hopes and fears. The experience of rereading those many loose leaf pages in one sitting gave me a real sense of perspective on the year. I had forgotten how I had grieved for certain people when they died, and forgotten, too, how enthused I had been when the Morehouse Publishers told me that they wanted to publish my book. I really experienced the value of jotting down various emotions, reactions, thoughts and so forth.

Certain specific events during the past six months gave me special opportunities to look back on my life. My fiftieth anniversary of high school graduation was one of those occasions, as was the writing of my latest book of reflections, due to come out next month, in which I reflect on five periods of struggle and pain in my life.. Then there was the publication of a book entitled Miracle on High Street: The Rise, Fall and Resurrection of St. Benedict’s Prep by Tom McCabe, a former teacher here. That book brought back vivid memories of the 1970’s as we monks struggled through the closing and re-opening of St. Benedict’s Prep. Then just last week I was interviewed twice by a couple of documentary filmmakers who asked me to reflect on that exciting but nerve-wracking time in the abbey’s history.

So, this has certainly been a time for getting some perspective on what the Lord has done in my life and in the life of our monastic family. Over and over I keep marveling at how good God has been to me in so many ways. Reflecting on the marvels the Lord has worked in my life has been a truly life-giving experience.

My the new year be filled with many blessings for all of us!

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