Prayers from the Abbot

March 16, 2020

The following is the text Abbot Philip used to speak to academy students about the coronavirus during the last hour of the school day before the emergency school closure was to begin.

As you depart today, I wanted to address our students.

We are now living in the time of the coronavirus. Even though this is a time of disruption, it is also a time to live and act as faithful people of God…Please take care of yourself and your families. Do not take unnecessary risks. Do your part to flatten the curve as each of us continues to do our part to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Your actions will make a difference. This is a time for all of us to pray more for each other. In these difficult and uncertain times, we can find strength, consolation and hope in prayer. Please join me and pray for those affected by the coronavirus, for the medical community, for our civic leaders, and our entire St. Bede Family.

May God bless you and your families abundantly.

And may the rule of St. Benedict be our guide, May the spirit of St. Bede stay with us forever

April 5, 2020

The following is a text of Abbot Philip’s homily given on the occasion of Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020

In the gospel of John we read, “There is no greater love than this, to lay down your life for your friends.” As I see all that is going on with the Coronavirus I am deeply moved by the generous efforts of those who are seeking to help people they don’t even know and, in fact, to risk illness and their life to minister to others.  I am astounded by their tireless generosity and selflessness. I am likewise moved to tears myself when I see others weeping when a person to whom they have been ministering dies. We need to pray for all those suffering from the virus and all those serving them.

We are not all called to minister to our seriously ill brothers and sisters, but I think that we can reflect on the fact that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ which includes every one of God’s children. Imagine what the world would be like if we looked at everyone as a beloved brother or sister. If we would do that we would see the world as God sees it.

So I would suggest that during this week when we celebrate God’s universal love, we pray for all our brothers and sisters, especially those we have neglected or are alienated from. Let us pray that the hearts of everyone in the world recognize God’s love for them, and then share that love for all in the world, especially those who are most in need.

Working together as God’s loving and obedient children we can create the kingdom of God where all are loved and cared for. God has given his Son to suffer and die on the cross so we would know the depth of God’s love for each of us. God continues to show that love by feeding us with the Body and Blood of Christ, an example of divine love par excellence.

May we share God’s vision of a world where all God’s children are embraced in love and cared for. You might say that the dream will only come true in heaven. In this Holy Week when God’s love for us is so evident, may we commit ourselves to create God’s kingdom. None of us can do everything, but all of us can do something. Let us pray for the dying and especially for all those who are willing to rick their lives to serve people they have not met, people they do not even know. If you think about it, then they are only imitating the example of Jesus who was willing to suffer and dies for us.

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