Fr. Thomas continues our series on What is one thing I have learned in the monastery? "As I celebrate seventy years of living in a monastery, the one thing I’ve selected comes from Saint Benedict’s Rule, Chapter 7 on Humility. Establishing himself on the Gospel of Luke 14:11 – persons who exalt themselves shall be humbled, and those who humble themselves shall be exalted – Benedict defines humility as the antithesis of pride, which he describes as self-exaltation.
Devotion to St. Joseph was late in coming in the Church: for many centuries he was largely overlooked, a somewhat functionary figure in the background of Gospel story. More attention was given to more dazzling figures, like the Apostles and St. Paul, great preachers of the Word and to the martyrs, who testified by the public shedding of their blood. But now in naming this year ‘The Year of St. Joseph’ I think the Church wants to shine forth for all something different: the sanctity of ordinariness, and perhaps as well the ordinariness of sanctity. The greatness of our St.
We begin a new series in which the some of the brothers answer the question, “What is One Thing you have Learned in the Monastery?” Abbot Paul Mark gets us started: “It is not uncommon for me to be asked what it is I have learned in the monastery these past 41 years within the walls of this Trappist-Cistercian monastery.
A monk of New Clairvaux comments on Divine Mercy Sunday: "Today we celebrate the final day and conclusion of the Easter Octave with Divine Mercy Sunday. It is truly the conclusion, because this is, in fact, the whole reason for the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus: so that He could pour out His Divine Mercy on us and draw us back into the unity and love of His Most Compassionate Heart.
A monk of New Clairvaux shares a Lenten reflection on the Little Things: “Usually we focus our attention (or fears!) on the big crosses and sacrifices of life that we can offer up to God, things like a serious illness, relationship problems, financial crisis, or the like. I want to say that there are tremendous, transforming graces available to us every day in the LITTLE trials that life continually offers us, things that are not at all big in themselves, things as mundane and ordinary as misplacing ones wallet, being caught in a traffic jam, and a million other annoyances and minor fru
As we continue Lent, I would like once again to share with you one of my favorite stories on forgiveness— "An older man was sitting comfortably in the commuter train quietly reading his morning newspaper when he felt a sudden tap on his shoulder, and turned to see a young man who had gently scooted into the vacant seat beside him. “Pardon me, sir” said the young man shyly, “I’m sorry to disturb you, but may I ask you for a favor? You see, the next stop of this train that we will reach in a few minutes is my hometown.
Brother Christopher comments on the Spiritual Battle: We sometimes hear, especially during Lent, that the Christian life is one of Spiritual Combat. What does this mean? One thing we might say is that the Christian life is a daily battle for FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE. These oppose the tactics of our spiritual enemies, namely: DOUBT (in God, His Goodness, and even His Existence), DESPAIR (over the state of our world, ourselves, our salvation) and SELF-ISOLATION (or self-centeredness). All these have the aim of SEPARATING us from God. Faith, Hope and Love, on the other hand, UNITE us to God
Br. Peter Damian comments on good works for Lent:
“The beauty of a good life lived for God” (Saint John Chrysostom).
In the quote above, Saint John Chrysostom did not say the ugly life lives for God, but the beauty of a good life does. The good life consists of good attitudes, good intentions and good works. In the Lenten Season particularly, almsgiving, fasting and prayer are the good works. These three traditional practices make our lives beautiful.
FACEBOOK FRIDAY- Dear Facebook Friends, Br. William shares on the Prophets:
Prophet Jeremiah: Born c. 650 BC. Jeremiah resisted God’s call, initially pleading that he was too young. Then the Lord touched his mouth and placed His words in Jeremiah’s mouth and he became a great prophet preaching all over Israel.
God instructed him to write those early oracles: “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, -oracle of the Lord- plans for your welfare and not woe, so as to give you a future of hope. When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to
Abbot Paul Mark comments on the Papal Encylical Fratelli Tutti:
Pope Francis recently issued a new encyclical letter entitled Fratelli Tutti, rendered in English as Brothers and Sisters All. I have only begun to read the encyclical and will not venture a summary. In any case this blog does not allow the space to give even a brief summary of this deep, rich, meditation and I encourage you to read it for yourself. But here follows a few thoughts inspired by the encyclical.