This is our titular feast day since New Camaldoli was dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We celebrate it as a liturgical solemnity. There is a beautiful line in the opening prayer: “… that we may be a worthy temple of his glory.” That is a beautiful prayer for a monk, for a monastery, but really for any believer––that we may be worthy temples of God’s glory. Yet that is what we are! That is what we need to realize, that we are already temples of God’s glory. On this feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary we might want to focus primarily on Mary’s purity, though this is more in keeping with the feast of the Immaculate Conception and the mysterious concept of prevenient grace. We might be tempted to focus on Mary’s heart being a fertile garden for the Word to be planted, so that the Word has made a home in her heart, so deeply rooted that it breaks into bloom as the boy-child Jesus, the Word-Made-Flesh. That might be more in keeping with the Feast of the Annunciation. We might also be drawn to reflect on Mary’s pierced heart, the image that is so popular in devotional renderings––as Simeon tells her, “Sorrow will pierce your soul, too”––but that is more the theme of Our Lady of Sorrows. Instead, the Church offers us this interesting reading, the story of the finding in the Temple from the infancy narratives in the Gospel of Luke, which points us to something different altogether. This is not intuitively the first gospel reading that comes to mind when we think of Mary, especially when we think of her “Immaculate Heart” (though her heart does get mentioned right at the end of this narrative: And Mary treasured all these things in her heart…). None of the characters in this story come off looking particularly good. Jesus seems a little naughty (as Michael Fish would say) and has run off; and Mary and Joseph seem a little negligent having lost track of their twelve-year old and are worried. When they do all find each other their main form of dialogue seems to be questions to each other, questions that are rather sharp and pointed. It’s similar to the exchange at the wedding feast at Cana when Jesus says to Mary, ‘Woman, what business is that of mine?’ Here instead Jesus says to the two of them, ‘Didn’t you know that I had to be in my Father’s house?’ You have to wonder how Joseph must have felt about that, cast off to the side again. And then there is Mary, looking at this...

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We were happy to the Hermitage featured recently as one of the “8 Best Vacations for Relieving Stress”, by Trips to Discover! Here’s how the described the Hermitage: “the rooms, private houses with gardens and outdoor spaces, offer wonderful spots for peace and tranquility while enjoying the sounds of the surf and soaking up jaw-dropping ocean views…” Feel stressed out? Pay us a...

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