This is the last post from Abbot Gregory J. Polan’s Circular Letter. You can read the three prior parts on our website under “Articles of Interest”: www.benedictinesistersoffl.org. The Abbot’s brief bio is at the beginning of the first post.
The following is from Abbot Polan’s recent Circular:
The conclusion to Chapter 4 of the Rule of Saint Benedict on the “Tools of Good Works,” reminds us that we must never despair of God’s mercy (R 4:74). This speaks to the passage of the Gospel according to John. Jesus’ teaching about peace (and we note that this is the first time the word appears in the Fourth Gospel) is not sugar-coated. It calls us to faithful endurance, to hope in what God will accomplish through difficult times and how it will end in God’s unique expression of peace – a kind of well-being that touches every part of our existence. And because the unfolding of this peace is part of a divine plan, its unfolding will be unique, accomplished in God’s time and offering us a teaching that is for the good of our eternal soul. Patient waiting is not an easy task. We live in an age of immediate results and instantaneous gratification of our needs and wants. That is not how the spiritual life unfolds. Rather, in God’s time, divine grace unfolds in a perfect way that leaves us in wonder at the wisdom of God’s plan – touched by heavenly perfection.
The challenge of this pandemic cannot be lived in vain. What have we learned from this time? What is the good that we have found hidden in the sadness of these times? What are some of the paths forward that we have considered as we look to the future? I invite all to consider these three questions and to share your thoughts. We can inspire one another with our reflections. May God guide us forward with deep faith, genuine hope and generous charity as witnesses to God’s presence in our midst “bringing us all together to everlasting life” (RB 72:12).