Thirteen years ago, I chose for my abbatial motto: ut in ominibus glorificetur Deus. That in all things God may be glorified. (RB 57:9; I Pet 4:11). That is my ultimate desire: for God alone to be glorified at the Abbey. Yet God said to me from the beginning, “You cannot do it alone.” And I have seen that from day one. So I take this opportunity, as 2023 comes to an end, to say:
Thank you! from the depths of my heart for all you have done to help Saint Andrew’s Abbey be a place where God alone is glorified. Thank you for your faithful daily prayers and sacrifices made on behalf of the monks and the Abbey; from all the get well cards, feast day cards, sympathy cards, to the deliciously homemade treats, chocolates, cookies, breads, to the various natural health remedies, to donating generously and faithfully to all the Abbot’s Appeals, to your monthly donations, to the new Stewards Circle. Thank you very much!
The image of St. Paul’s “one body with many members” (I Cor 12) comes to my mind when I think of the work and presence of the Abbey. It is truly the hand of God working through the hands and hearts of many people to touch and transform the lives of all who come here.
May our merciful Lord who sees all the good you do for us and the Abbey “bless you with every spiritual blessing in the heavens.” (Eph. 1:3)
As the new year begins, headed our way certainly with its own specific set of challenges, disappointments, joys and blessings, I encourage you to remember that whatever this new year may bring, He is with you for He desires only one thing: YOU! He orders all things for your good and for your salvation because you are the center of His life.
May we always remember, as 2024 slowly unfolds before us, that He is ever in the midst of our daily joys and challenges. “I will be with you always, even to the end of the age,” He said. (Mt. 28: 20). Yet, Jesus is not simply with us, but He is in us. He did not simply become one of us to save us, but He became one of us to be with us. Emmanuel is His name. God With Us. Happy New Year!
Abbot Damien and the monks