Brother Sixtus Roslevich reminds us to beware the Ides of March, notorious from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. And precisely a half-year later, this year’s Third Sunday of Advent, six months into our extended pandemic restrictions, comes his latest update.
Brother Sixtus Roslevich reflects on images associated with Advent, seemingly one of the comparatively simpler, more quiet of liturgical seasons. Pitting the Advent wreath against the Christmas Star, the Magi, or even the dreidel or menorah, we find the season understated in its mode of anticipation - but no less significant in the formative memories it contains for us.
While noting that Saint Benedict does not mention Advent, Prior Michael tells us that, “the whole spirit of the Rule is to be a guide for making one’s whole life an Advent looking forward to union with Jesus Christ by living a radical Christ-like life.” And in this year’s season, muted and subdued in our time of pandemic, “the joy of anticipation has an edge to it.” In his Advent message, the Prior invites us to enter into this forward-looking season of preparation.
Brother Sixtus Roslevich, in an October note to oblates and friends of Portsmouth Abbey, offers a reflection on the theme of "words." Inspired by his interaction with some of the texts he has found in his inherited office in the monastery, and their physical link to the community's past, the very tangible experience of words elicits his own attempt to verbalizing an experience of words, of the Word, and of what may be beyond words.
In offering an assessment of our present circumstances, Father Michael draws on Robert F. Kennedy, as well as Grandmaster Flash. The latter, for the uninitiated, wrote the 1982 hit song, "The Message," with its most famous line: "Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge…" The first comment currently posted beneath a Youtube clip of the song (are footnotes needed for that citation?): "This song is SO the cut for RIGHT NOW!" Fr. Michael offers some RFK hit quotations from the 1960's which also address our present moment with unsettling clarity, calling for, after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., "not division…, not hatred…; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another."
by Prior Administrator Fr. Michael Brunner, O.S.B.
Today, on the Memorial of the martyrs St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, we share an Open Letter to the Portsmouth Abbey Community from Prior Administrator Fr. Michael Brunner, O.S.B., on behalf of the School and Monastery.
In an update this week, Brother Sixtus Roslevich comments on various “signs” we might seek at this time: “A popular song from my first year of university had an earworm refrain that went: ‘Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind. Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?’
After consulting with Fr. Michael Brunner and other campus officials last evening, we have come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of everyone’s health and safety that we sadly cancel this Sunday’s (March 15) Lenten Day of Recollection.