‘Tis the season when ‘Sister chefs’ beyond the usual ‘Sister chefs’ begin wandering into the monastery kitchen and start pulling recipe books off the shelves and rummaging through the spices and reaching for rolling pins and measuring spoons and butter and eggs. These days, the kitchen lights are on at odd hours. Cookie sheets seem to be running a relay race into and out of the oven. And any random shortcut through the kitchen just might yield a fresh-baked something or other still warm and gooey from the oven’s heat.
Even as Advent continues, we’ve begun preparing for Christmas. Trees are up (even if not yet lit), wreaths have been hung, banisters are beribboned, and creches have been devotedly arranged. Up in the chapel, the first rehearsal notes of Christmas music have been sounded. Out front, the monastery mailbox has been as stuffed as a Christmas goose with greeting cards a-coming and a-going. All is nearly ready for a festive Christmas celebration to soon begin.
Wish you could be here to see the monastery all dressed up in Christmas finery. Wish you could hear the early notes of “Greensleeves” floating down the chapel steps. Wish we could hand you a fresh-baked something or other still warm from the oven’s heat. Instead, just imagine a stroll through the monastery kitchen. Imagine the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg and toasted pecans. Imagine a dog-eared page from a well-used recipe book. Imagine a dusting of flour scattered across the baking counter. Imagine one of us offering you a brownie fresh from the oven, a cup of hot tea, and warmly wishing you and yours all the blessings of the season.
May peace and joy be with each of you as we await with great anticipation the coming of our Lord.