Once a month during Ordinary Time, we celebrate the Office and Mass of the Dead, praying for our deceased brethren, relatives, friends, and benefactors. And so once again on this very chilly, autumn morning, it was our duty and privilege to pray these prayers.
In his Rule, Saint Benedict admonishes the monks, "keep death daily before your eyes." The Abbey cemetery is located outside the south cloister and provides a fitting memento mori. As we pass through this cloister, back and forth all day long, we can look out at the crosses marking our brothers' resting places. They are still with us. Death is not fearsome but part of our monastic rhythm, a gateway to deeper intimacy with Christ Jesus who died and rose for love of us.
Requiem aeternam, Domine, dona eis.