The morning silence of Advent was dashed with bright exclamations of "Merry Christmas!" As we met each other in the hallways, refectory, and spaces in between, the quiet greetings of a nod and smile were replaced with cheery wishes of a "Merry Christmas" or "Christmas Blessings" and hugs . The joy of the day flowed into our prayer at Lauds; the simple chant tone for the Benedictus was replaced with a festive mode. Smiles were contagious as we faced each other 'in choir' singing the Psalms and praises of the Benedictus to each other and God. The celebration of our Christmas Eucharist continued the prayer of praise as our guests of family, friends, and visitors from town settled into the Chapel to join us in prayer.
The remainder of our day is fairly open to allow for sisters to gather for games, retreat to their rooms for prayer, and just rest in the blessings of this day. We will come together this afternoon (after the sisters return from singing at the Christmas Mass for the Federal Prison in town) to sing Christmas Carols, share some treats, and open some community gifts. A celebratory supper will be followed by a solemn Vespers for our evening prayer. It is simply a gift to be together as a family of Benedict in Christ.
Merry Christmas...May God Bless you during this new year of life in God's Spirit.