Father Bertrand (Elric) LaNoue, O.S.B., a monk of St. Benedict’s Abbey, Atchison, Kan., died unexpectedly on November 16, 2013, at the Abbey. Father Bertrand was born on October 18, 1927, in Aurora, Kan., the son of Napolean and Bertha (Murphy) LaNoue.
On July 10, 1945, Elric LaNoue entered the novitiate of St. Benedict’s Abbey, receiving the religious name Bertrand. Following his novitiate he professed vows on July 11, 1946. He completed his BA degree in philosophy and mathematics in May 1949 and in July of the same year he professed his solemn vows as a monk. He then studied for the priesthood at the Abbey, being ordained a deacon on December 22, 1951, and ordained to the priesthood on May 22, 1952.
Jesus tells us that we can peer into the future by accurately reading the signs of the times. When you see new sprouts and buds on trees, then you know that spring is coming. When you feel a wind blowing from the East, from the Mediterranean Sea, then you know that rain is coming. The context for today’s Gospel passage is the end of time but it has broad connotations.
Jesus uses many signs and symbols to help us understand His great plan for us, and for all of creation. He is from above, from another and greater universe. We are here below, placed in this material and transient universe. Jesus draws upon our experience to find signs and symbols that point us beyond this world to an unseen, unimagined and undreamed of universe, a universe that is God surrounded by his friends. We can know something about God’s great plan. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words, my great design, will never pass away."