September Mass for the Dead at Mississippi Abbey
It is often said that life is short. Not true. If it were short we would not be celebrating this Mass for the departed. We would not be a Cistercian monastic community if Robert, Alberic, and Stephen had not gone to Citeaux and if women from Glen Carin had not come to America. And then Columba, Augustine, Gail, Joan, Regina, and Mary Ann came here from Wrentham.
A life is long in its effects. These women discriminated between desires that were basic to their sense of self… and those that were not. They took vows to strengthen that discernment. They were attuned to those desires that were constitutive of their core selves…and they stood by them…and they preferred dying to self to betraying what they stood for. This deepest impulse felt natural and unforced. It propelled them forward into a future that expressed a life they found worthwhile.
And to this day their lives affect the lives of those who came after them. Let us remember that as we live ours.