Monday, March 30, 2009

She did not cry, 'I cannot, I am not worthy,'
nor, 'I have not the strength.'
She did not submit with gritted teeth,
raging, coerced.
Bravest of all humans,
consent illumined her.
The room filled with its light,
the lily glowed in it,
and the iridescent wings.
courage unparalleled,
opened her utterly.
From the poem "Annunciation" by Denise Levertov

Monday, March 23, 2009

"If there are artisans in the monastery, they are to practice their craft with all humility, but only with the abbot's permission." -from the Rule of St. Benedict

"Only if the brothers prefer nothing whatever to Christ will the brothers be happy to persevere in a life that is ordinary, obscure, and laborious." -from the Constitutions of the Monks

Brother Gabriel (2nd from top) and Father Isaac's (top) dedicated passion to creating fine works of pottery has been a labour of love now for over twenty years. The wood-fired downdraft kiln (bottom) they designed and built a few years ago yields on average, two to three hundred pieces per firing. The photograph taken of the "Klimtarion" 19" vase* has become a popular image these days down at the Abbey Gift Shop where it graces our potters' new business cards. The Abbey Gift Shop, situated to the right of the main entrance road to the monastery, displays and sells a wide variety of Gabriel and Isaac's pottery - powerful testaments to the beauty that is born from lives lived in simple fidelity to work and prayer.

*Photo credit Br. Emmanuel ocso, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

As the snow continues to fall upon winter-frozen land, signs of new life no longer remain buried beneath the ground. Springs early aspirations break the earth's restraints, refusing to be held back from the growing light that draws it. As we move more deeply into the heart of the Lenten season, the early emergence of such flowers is a fitting reminder for our hearts to strain and stretch; to reach ahead with ever greater faith and hope. For they point to and proclaim the promised Easter Bloom and beg us not to doubt God's utter faithfulness steadfastly building to burst forth and embrace us in the triumphant joy of our Lord's Resurrection.