Monday Musings - A Different Kind of New Year's Exercise!

Those who visit here, know how blessed I have been over the years to spend time in retreat at the Abbey at the Genesee in Piffard, New York. [If you missed those posts and wish to take a peek, you can find them here, herehere and here.]

(Image Source: Abbey at the Genesee)
This present post was prompted by an e-mail I received last week from the Abbey’s Retreat House manager, reminding me of what a perfect time of the year it is to visit this Trappist monastery. He enclosed this breathtakingly beautiful image of our Blessed Mother located near the entrance door to the Abbey.

Since death can occur at any time and since we must always be prepared for it, the beginning of this new year seems an appropriate time for me to highlight some of what Father John Eudes, O.C.S.O. shared when I last made a retreat at the Abbey.

He began his presentation by reminding us that “there are many surprises in life, that some are life-changing, and that our life in this world is uncertain.” This gifted monk told us to be keenly aware of these truths since no one ever knows when God will call them to stand before His Throne of Justice.

In order to live and die well, Father insisted, as have countless other spiritual directors, that we  have to "meditate on the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death.” We must make time for God and the study of God in our daily lives. "We must always,” he emphasized, “be prepared to give God an account of how we have lived our lives." 

Here are some questions, this gifted monk, suggested we ponder:

Have you ever stopped and seriously thought of the consequences of an unexpected death other than in a general sense?

What if you died today? Are you prepared?

If today was your last day, how would you live it?

To help us harvest the bountiful fruits that await our mediating on these questions, Father Eudes also recommended that we write down how we spend every hour of every day. Then ask ourselves: What am I becoming by living this way?”

Maybe this exercise should replace those yearly resolutions we often make but fail to keep. 

What do you think?

May our loving Lord grant you a blessed and faith-filled New Year!

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