"Why does 'green' have to look so Commie?"

Got that question in an email today along with this link to a story and video showcasing the move by the Benedictine Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey (a venerable, beautiful and historical monastery) to their new digs:The community is used to upheaval, having moved five times in its 385-year history, including an 18-month stretch behind bars during the French revolution. The latest move was prompted by a need to down-size.An overall decline in Catholic vocations has left the community with 22 … [Read more...]

Office of Readings; Bliss

I've focused a lot about Morning Prayer and Vespers in my writing, as evidenced by the podcasts, and I have certainly loved praying the Hours out of my Christian Prayer Breviary for the past ten years.I used the breviary to pray all of the hours, of course, but Vigils (or, what is now called the Office of Readings - OOR) was limited therein. Some years ago I had bought the full 4 volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours (used, for a great price) but I'd never used the set because I thought I … [Read more...]

Just breathe…

A bit of serenity from the Desert Fathers and Mothers1) Evagrius Ponticus wrote, "A prisoner in chains cannot run. Neither can a mind incarcerated by emotion discover the place of spiritual prayer. Impassioned thoughts abuse it roughly. It cannot be resolute and serene." He also wrote: "When your attention wanders, pray. As Paul wrote, 'pray with fear and trembling' sincerely and carefully. This is the way we should pray, because evil forces are attempting to hold us back."2) Brother … [Read more...]

You really can get anything at Amazon!

While looking at my Amazon reports this morning, I note that someone bought this, and thought, "wow, you really can get everything at Amazon!" Then I whispered up a prayer for your intention, whoever you are!I love to check out the Amazon reports, because people order things I would never have known exists. Like these adorable little bowls and this egg poacher. My egg poacher first belonged to my birth mother. It's about 60 years old and beaten up, and two of the little poachy cups are … [Read more...]

Feast of St. Gregory the Great – UPDATED

The Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ, (the great soap and hand creme nuns and best lipbalm evah) announce the arrival of another new postulant into their growing novitiate. Although Sr. Janlyn arrived to their house on the feastday of St. Dominic, they've announced her today, on the Feast of St. Gregory the Great.This seems fitting, actually, since their new postulant is a trained vocalist who will add much to the nun's daily chanting.Since we credit St. Gregory the Great with the Gregorian … [Read more...]

The Leadership Void; we need St. Benedict – UPDATED

Deacon Greg sent this my way, noting, "this is extraordinary, and the piece mentions you, too!"Such a star, I am!What is "extraordinary" is the lengthy post Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley put up in his blog, addressing the criticism he has received for presiding (in a very minimalist way, it must be said) at the Funeral Mass of Sen. Ted Kennedy.For the record, I wasn't one of those suggesting Kennedy should not have a Catholic funeral; my gripe was with the sanctification of the man by … [Read more...]

As a child rests in his mother's arms…

Two terrific "must read" stories, one at the start of a life, and the other at life's culmination, bring to mind verse 2 of Psalm 131:Truly I have set my soul in silence and peace. A weaned child on its mother's breast, even so is my soul.First up, consider the mother who saved her daughter's life by cuddling her in anticipated death:When Carolyn Isbister put her 20oz baby on her chest for a cuddle, she thought that it would be the only chance she would ever have to hold her.Doctors had … [Read more...]

Passion, Passion, Passion – UPDATED

Our friends, the Passionist Nuns of St. Joseph Monastery in Kentucky, (whose joy-filled tribulations we followed through last winter's media-ignored ice storm) having recently clothed their postulant as a novice were rejoicing last week as they announced the upcoming reception of yet another young aspirant to their cloister.It was lovely to read of their new aspirant, but then reader Robert H passed along this very moving post from that convent-minded young lady, as she closed her blog to … [Read more...]

Equality of Opportunity or of Outcome?

Let's look some more at this piece by Jillian Bandes, on Obama's new "Chief Diversity Officer," Mark Lloyd.I was a bit snarky yesterday when I wrote of this newly-created office:Does it seem to you that the Obama administration makes up titles and offices the way Bluto made up new names for Animal House Pledges?“You’ll be…the Chief Diversity Officer!”“Why?”“Why the hell not?”It certainly does seem that the Obama administration is interested in creating a million little bureaucracies … [Read more...]

On Retreat; You can retreat too!

I will be on monastic retreat and out of e-range until August 16, but please check back, as I have scheduled two reposts, each day, of some "oldies but goodies" you may not have seen.Comments will be turned off until I return, and if you email me, well...I'll try to get back to you in as timely a manner as I can!Meanwhile, if you could please pray for me as I take a scary drive (I hate driving when I don't know where I'm going), I'd appreciate it!If you are interested in taking a little … [Read more...]