Thursday, December 24, 2015

End of Advent; Christmas Eve

I've had a blessed Advent: last week, I made a five-day silent retreat in Bowral, N.S.W., run by two priests from the Abbey of St Joseph de Clairval in Flavigny. What a marvel that such an orthodox Benedictine monastery flourishes, and has as its apostolate the giving of a condensed form of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius to men, in conformity to the spirit of its founder and first abbot, God rest him, who was converted after making such a retreat in 1940, and in due course became a monk after the death of his wife, with the resolve to give to others what had so changed him. It was easily the best retreat I have ever done, really brilliant, and, I hope, marks a milestone in my spiritual life. I would heartily recommend these retreats to one and all.

Either side of the retreat, I spent the weekend in Sydney, and went to High Mass at Maternal Heart, Lewisham. Since my return home, I've prepared for Christmas in the commercial sense, by buying gifts for family and friends. Tonight, just after sunset, Mass at St Canice-in-the-fields, Glengarry, then Midnight Mass at Carmel; tomorrow morning, back to Carmel for the Day Mass.

My prayer is for all readers and friends to receive every holy blessing from above, with hearts opened wide to Christ Whose glorious Nativity in the flesh we celebrate on this most holy feast.