Dear Blog Viewers, We would like to share with you a brief excerpt from an open letter to the monks and nuns concerning the CoVid-19 pandemic by the Abbot General of the Order of Cistercians, Dom Mauro-Giuseppe Lepori, O. Cist, whom we have had the honor of receiving at the Abbey on two occasions:
As we are journeying in Lent, in this month of March we also commemorate a special day on March 19 for Saint Joseph, the foster father of Jesus. In the infancy narrative, Matthew’s Gospel tells us that St. Joseph was a righteous man (Mt 1:19).
In last week’s blog I shared on the Joy of Lent. One of the ways the Constitution of our Order describes our Trappist-Cistercian life is one of “joyful penitence”. Usually people do not immediately associate penance with joy! Penance, self-denial and mortifications may be more readily associated with sorrow and pain and seen as a burden to be avoided or at best a duty to be endured. Certainly sorrow for sin, what the monastic tradition calls ‘Penthos’, a sorrow leading to Compunction of Heart, is an essential element. However another element of the practice of penance is truly
Dear Friends, Br. William relates a Lenten sharing on being “Imago Dei”, in God’s Image:
“Jesus Christ, the Beloved Son of God, is the Face of the Father’s mercy.
In receiving the Body of Christ at the Eucharist, I see the Face of God the Father and receive the imprint of His image in my soul.
In preparation for the the Sacrament of reconciliation, I confess my catalogue of sins based on the seven inherent “demons” as listed by Evagrius Ponticus. The sins of pride, avarice, gluttony, lust, envy, sloth and acedia (listlessness)
Dear Friends, Br. Christopher speaks on the joy of Lent:
This Wednesday the Church entered into the penitential season of Lent. The word “lent” comes from the Old English word for “Spring”. I used to consider that Lent got that name because it always comes around in the springtime, but now I realize that Lent is a spring time for our souls, a time of hope and new growth. That is why it is exciting and joyful. In his Rule for Monks our father St. Benedict describes Lent in exactly the terms of joy:
Br. Peter Damain reflects on the Journey of the Three Kings:
"The story of The Three Kings or Magi is narrated only in the Gospel of Matthew. The more I read the story, the more I fall in love with the Magi and their journey. Their journey is to seek the Infant Child Jesus and worship Him.
Welcome Blog guests! In this week's blog, our Fr. Thomas takes up for us the essential unity between Christ’s Baptism in the Jordan and our own:
"We more fully comprehend the Baptism of Christ and our own baptism as a magnificent and new revelation when they are viewed in conjunction with the baptism of John the Baptist. John was sent by God to prepare for the arrival of Christ. His baptism was a call to conversion, that is, a turning away from sin and orienting oneself towards God by a good life style, living faithfully according to one’s responsibilities in life.
A Reflection by Fr. Paul Mark Schwan on the time of year:
January is upon us. I have always experienced the month as the in-between month of the year. The Christmas season is over, the new year has arrived and been celebrated, and what used to be labelled the January white sales that had a certain hype, certainly not like black Friday or cyber Tuesday but still generating some distracting excitement for the housewives of a bygone generation, have come and gone.
On January 15 we celebrate the memorial of Saints Maurus and Placid, disciples of St. Benedict. Our Fr. Placid comments on an event of his patron that is recorded in the Life of St. Benedict, written by St. Gregory the Great: the episode of St. Placid’s miraculous rescue from being drowned in a lake.