Br. Christopher shares on Happiness: “Question: If happiness is missing from your life, with what can you replace it?
Father Paul Mark speaks on Transitions: “The world and its enticements are passing away but whoever does the will of God remains forever”, 1 John 2:17. The phrase “passing away” in Latin is transitus. In English we get the word transition, meaning a change or passage from one state to another. I would like to offer a reflection then on life transitions.
Father Placid comments on care of the sick in the monastery: “Chapter 36 of the Rule of St. Benedict concerns the care of sick brothers. Saint Benedict orients most of the chapter toward those will be responsible for their care; that is, the abbot, the infirmarian and the attendants who serve them directly. However, there is a key phrase in the chapter directed to the ailing brothers themselves that deserves to be well noticed: “Let the sick on their part bear in mind that they are served out of honor for God, and let them not by their excessive demands distress anyone who serves them.” The rest of the chapter then goes on to remind the others to serve the sick as they would Christ (Matthew 25).
Brother Christopher comments on the Hidden Life of Jesus: “According the chronology of the Gospel of Saint John, the public ministry of Jesus took up only 3 of His 33 years on earth, thus 90% of His time in the flesh was taken up by His hidden life. For many years I thought, how much patience it must have taken for Jesus to wait for the call of the Father to begin His public ministry, how eager He must have been to get things started! Then on further reflection, I thought, No. Jesus had already begun His saving ministry. His mission from the Father was to undo the DISOBEDIENCE of Adam by
Brother Christopher speaks on "Mighty Mercy": I think that after “I love you”, the most beautiful words in any language are: “I’m sorry”. “I’m Sorry” means: “I value you. I hurt you, and because I value you so much I’m deeply sorry that you be harmed in anyway. You are precious.” “I’m Sorry” is healing. When there is true reconciliation it restores relationships STRONGER than they were before. One can say afterwards, “Now I know. The relationship, our commitment to one another, has been tested and survived the trial. I know my relationship with you is important to you, to have forg
Br. William shares on the Prayer of Jesus: "Jesus prayed with His disciples and all those followers around Him, as often as it is possible to be away from the crowd and in solitude. The prayer of Jesus in John’s gospel chapter 17, which is also part of the farewell discourses, is often known as “Jesus’ Priestly prayer." Personally, I am always deeply touched by this chapter which has Jesus praying to the Father for his followers and for all humanity. It begins with “Father, the hour has come.
Br. Christopher comment on God's Will: One question almost every Christian faces is- "When making my life decisions, how can I know that I am doing God’s Will and not my own?" Good question! This is certainly one of the fears that can cause us to hesitate, delay and get stuck in making a committed decision about our future path in life.
In this Year of St. Joseph, Fr. Placid explores St. Joseph in the medieval Cistercian tradition: "Saint Aelred of Rievaulx, was a 12-century Cistercian abbot who wrote sermons and treatises in the north of England. He uses Joseph as an example of a mature monk in several ways. midiveal Cistercian tradition: "Saint Aelred of Rievaulx, was a 12-century Cistercian abbot who wrote sermons and treatises in the north of England. He uses Joseph as an example of a mature monk in several ways.
Fr. Paul Mark Schwan shares on the journey home: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. This ancient proverb served as my mantra as I made the arduous 4000-mile journey by car, from California to North Dakota, to spend a week with my aging parents, ages 97 and 94, respectively. While it is our Trappist-Cistercian practice that our families visit us here at the monastery, when health issues and age prevent them visiting we go to visit them.
Br. Christopher shares on Trappist silence: Although it is not as all pervasive as in the old days, silence is still a major value in Trappist monasteries. Perhaps nothing is more counter cultural in our times, in which constant communication in the great virtue. Some people fear silence, others consider it useless. St. Benedict in his Rule tells us that the monk should cultivate silence at all times. Recently I came across an old pamphlet by the Monks of New Clairvaux with some advice about how do so:
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