Friday, April 29, 2011


We rejoice in the always unexpected beauty of a New England spring. All of creation speaks to us of the wonder of the Resurrection. We join the great English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins in his prayer, “Let Him easter in us, be a Dayspring to the dimness of us.”

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Wonder of the Resurrection

The Lord is risen from the dead, "trampling down death by death." We monks rejoice for the next fifty days of Eastertide, singing Alleluia over and over in a seemingly endless variety of ways. Alleluia expresses our wonder at the beauty as well as the incomprehensibilty of the Resurrection of the Lord. Jesus wounded, full of the holes and marks of His Passion, is risen and among us.

Wonder happens when we allow ourselves to be disarmed by God’s in-breaking and respond with reverent awe. Wonder requires us to acknowledge what we do not know or understand. It is a different kind of knowing that leads to a hidden humble faith. We wonder and we believe. Like being in love, wonder is a way of being that colors all we know. It lets us acknowledge miracles.* Like love, wonder allows all things, believes all things. It lets God be God, magnificent, extravagant and sometimes incomprehensible. Wonder says, "Yes." It does not demand certitude. Instead, wonder says, “Why not?”

Wonder allows God to be God- absolutely Other, beyond and also nearer to us than we know- allows us to be amazed at God's marvels in us, all around us. Wonder says, "You are God, you can do all things." Only a loving, faith-filled wonder can comprehend God’s incomprehensible power and beauty enfleshed in the wounded risen Christ. Let us give "thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds" for for He has broken the bonds of pain and death for us, forever. The Lord is truly risen; let us rejoice.

Icon written by Brother Terence.
*Some ideas from Peter de Bolla

Monday, April 18, 2011

With Jesus

As we accompany Jesus our Lord in his Passion and Death, we are aware as well of our own sufferings, the burden of our sinfulness and the pain of so many of our sisters and brothers throughout the world. Jesus gathers all of this into His Passion and will not allow it to have the last word. Jesus goes to His death, knowing that by enduring the horror of it all He can expose it for what it is- utterly powerless when Love endures it, when He endures it trusting in the Father's inexpressible love.

In freedom Jesus goes to the place of mockery and scorn and pain to show us that it does not have ultimate power over us, for we belong to God. And so the event of Jesus’ lifting up on the cross obliterates impossibility. Now nothing is impossible. Jesus, God crucified, draws us into the beauty of God’s desire for our good, our peace, our freedom. Jesus smashes the barrier, so that we can hear the Father say over and over to us, “I know well the plans I have in mind for you, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, and I will change your lot.” (Jeremiah 29.11-14)

Jesus reveals a God who is always drawing us into life and the reality of our own belovedness; all this through His disfigured humanity, the disfigured divinity of God. Death no longer has the last word in His life nor in ours. The compassion of Jesus envelops us and so we need not be afraid ever again. The wounded, risen Jesus makes the tenderness of the Father available to us at every moment.

Image of Christ by Fra Angelico.
With thanks to James Alison for some of the insights included above.

Monday, April 11, 2011


This morning our journey toward Jerusalem with Christ Jesus the Lord intensified. And at Vigils we began by singing these moving verses from an ancient hymn to the holy cross.

Faithful Cross, O Tree all beauteous!

Tree all peerless and divine!

Not a grove on earth can show us,

Such a flower and leaf as thine.

Sweet the nails and sweet the wood,

Laden with so sweet a load.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In the Monastery Kitchen

Here is Brother Jude in the community kitchen preparing our noon meal. He always manages to come up with dishes that are simple but innovative and quotes Saint Elizabeth of Hungry who once said, "We must make people happy."

Monday, April 4, 2011


Yesterday as every first Sunday of the month was Retreat Sunday with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament all afternoon. This day is set aside as a day of special prayer for vocations.

So I gaze on you in the sanctuary

to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life,

my lips will speak your praise.

So I will bless you all my life.

Psalm 62

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring Snow

An unexpected snow.

Saint Benedict calling us to silence.

Listen my sons.