Quote for the Day

Men have not become Trappists merely out of a hope for peace in the next world: something has told them, with unshakable conviction, that the next world begins in this world and that heaven can be theirs now, very truly, even though imperfectly, if they give their lives to the one activity which is the beatitude of heaven. That activity is love: the clean, unselfish love that does not live on what it gets but on what it gives; a love that increases by pouring itself out for others, that grows by … [Read more...]

A Novice and His Master…

Readers of my blog may find this interesting: the story of Randy De Trinis, who explored monastic life at Gethsemani Abbey in the 1950s under the spiritual guidance of Thomas Merton. Although he did not stay at the monastery, his memoir reveals what an impact Merton had on his young life.In his own words: This is an article by Randy De Trinis originally published in The Merton Seasonal, a quarterly of The International Thomas Merton Society. It is a memoir of my life especially focused on my … [Read more...]

Four Dimensions of Christian Spirituality for Our Time

About a month ago I wrote this: I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how my spiritual identity is shaped by the contemplative tradition (as exemplified by the Lay-Cistercian community where I am in formation), my Celtic heritage (of which I have written several books and which continues to inform much of my self-understanding as a Christian), my love for mysticism (primarily Christian mysticism, but extending into all the wisdom streams of the world) and the emergent conversation ( … [Read more...]

The Two Faces of Restlessness

Yesterday at the Lay Cistercian Gathering Day we had a class on the monastic vow of stability (Cistercian monks have three vows: Stability, Obedience, and Conversion of Life). The brother who taught the class spoke at one point about restlessness as a tendency within us to undermine stability. I shared with him and the class that I wasn't entirely comfortable with this idea, because, it seemed to me, that restlessness comes in more than one flavor. Certainly, there is the kind of restlessness … [Read more...]

Monks on Public Radio

I copied the following graphic, paragraph and link from the City Cafe page of the Public Broadcasting Atlanta website. It features a four-minute audio clip that has recently been broadcast on WABE, Atlanta's public broadcasting radio station. Click on the link beneath the image to hear the audio clip; it features chanting by the monks and an interview with one of the brothers from the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia.Click here to listen » Back in 1944 twenty-one Trappist monks … [Read more...]

Saint Rafael Arnáiz

This past Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI canonized six new saints. One of them, Saint Damien of Molokai, has received the lion's share of the attention, because Father Damien (who served a leper's colony in Hawaii in the 19th century until he eventually succumbed to the disease himself) has been a celebrity for many years. But for members of the Cistercian family, just as exciting has been the canonization of a rather humble and largely unknown Spanish Cistercian oblate, Rafael Arnáiz Barón. Earlier t … [Read more...]

Finding the Monk Within

Finding the Monk Within: Great Monastic Values for Today By Edward C. Sellner Mahwah, NJ: HiddenSpring, 2008 Review by Carl McColmanEd Sellner is known primarily for his writing on various aspects of the Celtic Christian spiritual tradition (such as Wisdom of the Celtic Saints). And indeed, one of the most beautifully written chapters in Finding the Monk Within concerns Brigid of Kildare, well known as an Irish saint but also remarkable for being the Abbess of a mixed gender monastery. But in … [Read more...]


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