“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1Thessalonians 5:16-18
In everything that we say and do we should give thanks to God! The month of November is here, and it is a time of giving thanks for the blessings in our lives. There is a distinct turning point that seems to happen within the monastery during November. The solemnity of All Saints on November 1 welcomes this shift within my spirit each year as we celebrate first Vespers on October 31. The sun has almost set, and the Basilica is adorned with the relics of the saints. The monks are lining up for the procession into church and there a sense of calm as one contemplates the Saints that have gone before us. On the feast of All Saints, I give thanks to God for my vocation as a monk and priest of Conception Abbey.
As we move through the month of November, we are reminded of all the souls that have gone before us into the Eternal Kingdom. During the first week of November I like to walk through our cemetery and pray for the monks who have died. I also give thanks to God for their vocation, and for the work that they had done to make Conception Abbey a beautiful place to live and worship Him.
The week of Thanksgiving all the monks on mission come home for meetings and to celebrate the jubilee of profession or priest of confreres celebrating. The junior monks put together a program to honor those monks who have dedicated their lives to the work of God. Of course, Thanksgiving Day is the highlight as we give thanks to God for the many blessings we have received, with the celebration of the Eucharist, and then move to the dining room to give thanks with a delicious meal.
My brothers and sisters, may we take time these days to be mindful of the many blessing that we have received. May we take time to recognize that God is at work within each and everyone of us. May we take time to pray, and most importantly may we take time to give thanks. On behalf of all the monks and the staff at The Printery House; we would like to wish you all a Blessed and Thankful, Thanksgiving Day!