Meeting Him on the Mt. of Olives

" . . . let us spread before his feet, not garments or soulless olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither, but ourselves, clothed in his grace, or rather, clothed completely in him. We who have been baptized into Christ must ourselves be the garments that we spread before him. Now that the crimson stains of our sins have been washed away in the saving waters of baptism and we have become white as pure wool, let us present the conqueror of death, not with mere … [Read more...]

How Pilgrim Monks are to be Received

Part of my Lent has been re-reading the Holy Rule of St. Benedict, pertinent to the day. It's been speaking to me in very personal and private ways.Today as I contemplate a great decision that involved travel and has me doubting and unsure, the lesson is about stability, which is actually one of the Benedictine vows:If a pilgrim monk coming from a distant region wants to live as a guest of the monastery, let him be received for as long a time as he desires, provided he is content with the … [Read more...]

Difficult Lent – Love, Pain and Balance

It's been a difficult Lent, for me, at least. Lots of things to ponder, and so little free time to really do it. One thing I've learned this Lent is that I am lending more time to work than to the things that matter. Not that work doesn't matter. It certainly does, and I love my job, and I am grateful, every single day to be able to make a living as a writer. But too much work has taken time away from people, from prayer and from the simple duties I have to the people I love and the God I … [Read more...]

Pieta, Signore

Have mercy, Lord, on me in my remorse! Lord, have mercy if my prayer rises to you: do not chastise me in your severity. Less harshly, always mercifully, look down on me, on me.Never let me be condemned to hell in the eternal fire by your severity. Almighty God, never let me be condemned to the eternal fire by your severity. … [Read more...]

Reclaiming Lent

Comments are closed for the weekend. Let us reclaim our Lenten focus.Image SourceWe think that in prayer we speak to God, and we are not wrong to think so. But the heart of prayer is that God speaks to us. It is not God whose mind is changed by our prayer, but we ourselves, if we would but cease to speak, and would instead wait upon God, and listen to him. It is the prayer of silent expectation, whereby we who love God wait upon him, like the prophet Elijah who did not hear the Lord … [Read more...]

In your light we see light

“No destructive action…can ever corrode the substance of Creation . . . there is a divinely guaranteed Goodness of being which no amount of mischief can undermine.” -- Josef Pieper, In Tune With the WorldI saw as in letters of gold this word Goodness, which I repeated for a long while with an indescribable sweetness. I saw it, I say, written on all creatures, animate and inanimate, rational or not, all bore this name of goodness. I saw it even on the chair I was using as a kneeler. I … [Read more...]

Lenten Thought for the Day

In order to arrive at having pleasure in everything, Desire to have pleasure in nothing. In order to arrive at possessing everything, Desire to possess nothing. In order to arrive at being everything, Desire to be nothing. In order to arrive at knowing everything, Desire to know nothing.In order to arrive at that point where you take no pleasure, you must go by a way that gives no pleasure. In order to arrive at that point where you know nothing, you must go by a way you do … [Read more...]

Rob Bell, Common Names and Dominus Iesus – UPDATED

There's something to be said for having an unusual moniker. A few years ago, our family traveled with another family and the husband/father of the other gang kept getting pulled aside for extra searching and occasional questioning; apparently this hard-working fellow shares the same name as a bad-guy and about a million other men. Being good-natured, he did not mind the extra attention, which made him feel like the TSA folk were "on the job."But when one is already embroiled in a doctrinal … [Read more...]

Nun Humor on Fasting, More – UPDATED

By a Benedictine with a sense of humor.Benedictines -- at least the "old school" ones -- are bound by their vow of poverty to waste nothing, even unto making a little pile of their breadcrumbs and such from each meal and consuming it. So, for them every crumb does count...especially in Lent, when the fasting is (again, for "old school" Benedictines and more traditionally-minded monastics) fairly regimented.In his Holy Rule, Benedict writes:The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent. … [Read more...]

Big Fat Tuesday Lenten Linkfest!

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, of course, and today is Shrove Tuesday, aka Fat Tuesday, so let's take a look at the wealth of excellent posts and articles that the internets put at our disposal about these vital, and vitally important days. I suspect I am not the only one who is feeling grateful that this season of repentance, quiescence and discipline is upon us. Personally, I feel like I need it. But it feels like the whole world needs it too, doesn't it? I can't tell you how many emails I've … [Read more...]


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