Posted by: fvbcdm | January 28, 2015

Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas (28 Jan 2015)

On the front page of our local newspaper, the Lufkin Daily Times, there is an article today telling us that some scientific research has determined that today is the emotional low point of the entire year. Why? For several reasons: the weather is usually bad, and up in the north that can mean ice and snow and terrible driving conditions. Then all the social life of the holidays is over, and all the exciting athletic events like the bowl games are likewise ended and so we have nothing in particular to look forward to for a while. In addition to that, the typical citizen is faced with all the bills to pay because of all his unwise spending during the Christmas shopping sprees. And besides THAT, he has already begun to break his New Year’s resolutions, proving to himself that he has little or no will power.

On the other side of the coin, we who have the tremendous advantage of living in a monastic setting have a different outlook entirely. Our dear Dominican Sisters here in this monastery and I who have the great privilege to be their chaplain are spared all those causes for depression or emotional funks. Since we live and work in the same place, we need not be particularly concerned with the weather since it is outside, and we are snug and warm and comfortable inside. We didn’t do any Christmas shopping, so have no unusual bills to pay. We usually don’t make New Year’s resolutions because our entire life is a system of intelligent, moderate, and prayerful living so we don’t have to try to improve upon it with the beginning of each year. And in terms of having social events to look forward to, we have the wonderful cycle of feast days in our liturgical calendar to refer to with each passing day and week. Today, for example, is the feast of our Dominican brother and luminary, Saint Thomas Aquinas, of whom we are so proud and grateful. And so on through the church year and the secular year as well.

As we arise each day, we are very conscious that God is giving us another day in this beautiful love-affair that we are having with Him—a love affair involving our holy faith and identity as Christians and Catholics by reason of our baptism and confirmation and the practice of our religious life, and then involving our special relationship with God by reason of our religious vows as Dominicans, and my ordination to the priesthood. How can we not be grateful, joyful, and at peace when all these things have been given to us from the generosity of God’s goodness?

I think of these things, and I remember the words of Jesus: “Come to me, you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will refresh you.” I hope that those for whom this day is indeed an emotional bummer will turn to the loving and merciful Savior, and find in Him all they need to turn a blue day into a day of deep joy and contentment. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note: This message was composed some years ago.

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