Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hidden with Him

Be glad, find joy there, gathered together and present to Him who dwells within, since He is so close to you; desire Him there, adore Him there, and do not go off looking for Him elsewhere... There is just one thing: even though He is within you,
He is hidden.

Saint John of the Cross

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Here our Brother Robert prepares the incense for the entrance procession on a solemn feast. We always use incense during the Mass on Sundays, Feasts, Solemnities, and other important celebrations such as Ordinations. As we celebrate Christ’s fragrant self-offering to the Father on our behalf during the Divine Liturgy, the use of incense heightens our awareness of the beauty and grandeur of His wondrous oblation. How fittingly does the Psalmist ask that his prayer arise before the Lord as incense (Ps. 141:2.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Brother James assists Father Laurence the Abbey archivist. Father Laurence in his nineties still goes to his work in the archives each morning.

A monk follows the common life in his monastery. The law of the common life is this: unity of spirit in the charity of God, the bond of peace in the mutual and unbroken love of all the brothers, communion in sharing all goods.
from the Constitutions of the Monks

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Abbey in Spring

The beauty of the Abbey in springtime calls us to prayer.

The beauty of spring reminds us of the Beauty of God.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mary's Month

May is Mary's month.
She is never far from from our hearts and our prayer.

In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal.

Virgin and Child with Two Angels; Verocchio, c. 1475
Text: Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Here is our Brother Patrick making bread as he does many mornings each week in the quiet of the Abbey kitchen- whole wheat, plain white, sweet Portuguese-style or studded with plump raisins. After Mass the wonderful smell of baking bread fills the cloisters.

We still use some of the ancient Trappist sign language. The sign for God is the thumbs of both hands touching each other with the index fingers touching and pointing upward- a triangle for the Blessed Trinity. The sign for bread is the same joining of the hands making this triangular shape but pointing outward and parallel to a table top- the shape of a wedge of fresh bread. It is delightful to notice the similarity. God is our Life, our true Bread, our Nourishment on the way.