A little more than two months ago, on a cold and windy February afternoon, we “buried the Alleluia” ...
Dear friends and family,
A little more than two months ago, on a cold and windy February afternoon, we “buried the Alleluia” carrying out the medieval yet now-familiar custom of placing in the ground the most festive word of the liturgy. For two months, we banished that word from our psalms, our prayers, and even our study – replacing it when it came up with the words “Canticum Domini (the Canticle of the Lord).” Without that joyful word, the world also saw the beginning of a destructive war. As Christians, war does not surprise us, since we can detect the depravity which leads to it already in our own hearts. The battle to put God first – which would bring true peace – is always waged in the interior life of faith. By rising from the dead, He brought hope of ultimate victory. May each of you enjoy in these days the hope that only Christ’s Resurrection brings.
Dom Benedict Nivakoff, O.S.B.
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BELOW: The Burial of the Alleluia; Palm Sunday; Holy Thursday, Procession to the Altar of Repose; Good Friday, Adoration of the Cross; Holy Saturday, The Blessing of the Fire
As spring arrives in Monte, construction progress continues apace on the cloister and interior of the monastery.
THE HOLY MASS: A NEW PRIEST'S REFLECTION
By Dom Bernard Baca, O.S.B.
As a newly ordained priest, I have begun to know in a new way the beauty and richness of the faith we love. The greatest of all mysteries, the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass is where I experience this most powerfully. Every time I say “Hoc est enim corpus meum: this is my body,” I am reminded of the Last Supper. It was there in the Upper Room where Christ instituted the Mass, the sacrament of His Body and Blood, and it was there where He asked His apostles, “Do you know what I have done for you?” A priest’s life serves God for the salvation of souls, and it is through this ministry that we witness the work of His grace. The mystery of our redemption in its fullness is too powerful for us to understand entirely through words, but our faith gives us what we need to be inspired and docile to God’s truly otherworldly ways.
One of these daily inspirations for me has been the intentions for which I offer each Mass. I find the faith of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, to be a constant inspiration reminding me that God works through mysterious ways. When I see the fruit of the sacrifice I offer on the altar, I find myself being taught by Him in a priestly way the answer to His question: “Do you know what I have done for you?” My prayer as a priest is that every Mass prayed leaves me more disposed to offer the next Mass with even more of the devotion and thanksgiving God deserves. Please know that the monastery happily accepts these intentions as a way of remaining faithful to St. Benedict’s holy exhortation to “prefer nothing to the love of Christ.”