Our little Paschal Candle Department did a beautiful job with this year’s artwork. Sister Ancilla masterminded the unique pelican design, and Sister Fidelis the parting of the Red Sea design. Since about the 12th century the pelican has been a symbol of the Passion of Christ, since the mother is known to pierce her own chest to provide blood for her young if there is no other food available. The parting of the waters is reminiscent of the Catecheses by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop:
The Israelites witnessed marvels; you also will witness marvels, greater and more splendid than those which accompanied them on their departure from Egypt. You did not see Pharaoh drowned with his armies, but you have seen the devil with his weapons overcome by the waters of baptism. The Israelites passed through the sea; you have passed from death to life. They were delivered from the Egyptians; you have been delivered from the powers of darkness. The Israelites were freed from slavery to a pagan people; you have been freed from the much greater slavery to sin.
We are now in our second week of “lock-down” at the Abbey. Thankfully, none of our Sisters have shown signs of the coronavirus yet, but our hearts go out to all those who have suffered and died from this disease. We hope that it will quickly come to an end, and that in the meantime we may use this trial as an opportunity to grow in deeper, more intentional love for each other and for the Lord, fixing our gaze on those things that are eternal.
With 43 calves down and only one to go, our calving season is almost over! The only scare we had was a premature calf born in the middle of the night, which we found in the morning fighting for his life. Thankfully, after nursing him back to health in our barn for a couple days he is now running with the rest of them and rapidly catching up in size, too.