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Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother” (Mk 3:35).  Whoever does the ‘will of God’ is in intimate communion with the Divine Presence.  As followers of Jesus, we are to do as he did: placing the will of God at the center of our lives.  Nothing is more important […]

Today we commemorate the beautiful Feast of the Visitation when Mary visited Elizabeth.  Mary was pregnant with Jesus and Elizabeth with John the Baptist.  Scripture tells us the child in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for join in the presence of the Jesus, the son of God and Mary. What a beautiful Feast to select as a […]

In May and October of 1968, Thomas Merton gave two extended conferences at our monastery.  It was literally taped on a reel to reel tape recorder.  The sisters had kept these tapes in our archives.  David Ordorisio, PhD, of Pacifica Graduate Institute, with much scholarship and patience, faithfully transcribed the over  twenty-six hours of previously […]

Jesus says in today’s gospel (Jn 15:9-17), “Remain in my love.”  This is a declaration….it is spare in words, simple on one level to understand.  Imagine yourself in an encounter with Jesus in prayer and out of the silence these words come: “Remain in my love.”  Jesus goes on to tell us ‘how’ we remain […]

The risen Jesus never tires of offering himself to us over and over, now under one image, now under another. What he wants to be for us is such a mysterious and profound reality that it cannot be reduced to only one image. Last Sunday he presented himself as the Good Shepherd who lays down […]

In John’s gospel Jesus bends down two times.  The first is the scene with the woman caught in adultery (Jn 8:1-11).   In this encounter with the upholders of the law Jesus bends down contemplating, listening.  And then the Word of life, of healing, of truth emerges as he suffers their challenge.  The bending down into […]

Did you see it?  For a few days – the rain stopped – the skies cleared and there she glowed –  beautiful in all her glory – the Easter Moon.                           According to the Julian Calendar, Easter is calculated as the first Sunday […]

“I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah…This is the covenant that I will make…I will place my law within them and write it on their hearts” (Jer 31:31,33).  According to the scripture scholar Fr. John Donahue this is the only time in the Old Testament that […]

“Because my soul has left itself and entered into the divine life, it has become great and expansive” (Essential Writings, p.65).  What do these words from Edith Stein mean: ‘Because my soul has left itself…’? Because my soul has surrendered my will…because my soul has died to my small narrow self…because my soul has placed […]

In the reading we had at vigils from the homily for the Third Sunday of Lent (Jn 2:13-25) by the Latin Patriarch, Cardinal Pizzaballa, he made this striking comment: “Jesus overturns the money-changers counters, but first of all he overturns an image of God and a way of believing”.  This is a stunning statement: ‘Jesus […]

“Surrender is the highest act of freedom,” wrote Edith Stein/Sr. Teresa Benedicta (Essential Writings, p.145).  This profound statement encapsulates what Jesus embodied in his life, death, and resurrection.  Looking briefly at the trajectory of Jesus’ journey here is what we witness.  Following the Christmas season we immediately have the Baptism of Jesus.  At his baptism […]

In his Message for Lent Pope Francis wrote: “The call to freedom is a demanding one.  It is not answered straightaway; it has to mature as part of a journey” (2024).  There are so many windows to look through for focusing our Lenten journey.  What if we take the image of ‘freedom’ which Pope Francis […]

Fast from hurting words … and say kind words, Fast from sadness … and be filled with gratitude, Fast from anger … and be filled with patience, Fast from pessimism … and be filled with hope, Fast from worries … and have trust in God, Fast from complaints … and contemplate simplicity, Fast from pressures … and be prayerful, Fast from […]

Will we ‘back into our future’ or will we walk into our future ‘face forward’, with heart and mind living in the present and leaning into the future, the future where grace is antecedent, already present, ready to bestow on us the Divine help we need as we live into this New Year.  The prophet […]

With the gospel of the Annunciation (Lk 1:26-38), we sit on the threshold of Christmas.  This breaking-in of God into human flesh, beginning with Mary, becomes the paradigm for God’s continual incarnation into our human lives.  In a beautiful poem titled “How can this be?” the author John Shea gives a poetic expression of the […]

This year the season of Advent is only three weeks. Yes, we do have a Fourth Sunday of Advent, but the very next day is Christmas.   How can we get the most out of this precious time of preparation?  If you can, go to daily Mass, but if this is impossible, the Advent Daily […]

The refrain or the ‘mantra’ if you will for this Second Sunday of Advent is “Prepare the way”.  We hear it in the first reading of Isaiah (40:1-5, 9-11), and it is repeated at the beginning of the gospel of Mark (1:1-8).  What does it mean to prepare ourselves for this new manifestation of God’s […]

Advent means ‘coming’…the God who is to come.  The Latin word for Advent is ‘Adventus’ and the Greek word ‘Parousia’.  Building on the early Patristic Fathers, the Cistercians of the twelfth century spoke of ‘three comings’: the first, the birth of Jesus in history; the second the coming or birth of Christ in the human […]

In the recent newsletter from Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey, the sisters had a tribute to D. Godefroy (shown above) following his tragic death this summer.  To quote D. Godefroy from the newsletter: “The fruitfulness of monastic life, of which our seven brothers of Tibhirine are a shining example, is less a matter of […]

How do we reach ‘spiritual effectiveness’?  On the solemnity of All Saints at our second Vespers we heard a profound text from Evelyn Underhill where she poses this to us: “If we ask the saints how they achieved spiritual effectiveness…” (Concerning the Interior Life).  The reply she gives is that “in so far as they […]

The unconscious drive to power can become an obstacle to our service and impact our relationships with distrust and suspicion.   This reality happens not only in the political realm since it is part of our human make-up.  Thus, it happens in all institutions, in our religious institutions and more specifically in our communities.  We can […]

Two sons, to the father’s request to go labor in the vineyard (Mt 21: 28-32 ) one say’s immediately ‘yes’ and the other quickly ‘no’.  Let’s observe the attitude, or demeanor or posture of both.  The one who quickly says ‘yes’, never thinks about it again; his ‘yes’ is shallow, not truthful as he never […]

A magnanimous heart: Is this the meaning of the parable of the workers in the vineyard, where some come early and others late in the day, and all receive the same wage from the landowner? Or is it the ‘mystery’ of God’s ways, which we cannot comprehend and yet stirs us to ponder, to stretch […]

Cool nights and changing maple leaves herald autumn’s approach. Yet the summer lingers in fond memories of rich encounters with special guests and monastic interns.
Pope Francis calls ‘fear’ “one of the most terrible enemies of our Christian faith” (Angelus, June 21, 2020).  This Sunday’s gospel (Mt 10:26-33) exhorts the disciples and exhorts us to ‘fear no one’.  Jesus continues and says twice ‘Do not be afraid’.  When we are in the grips of fear and are not aware of this ‘enemy of faith’ it can easily turn into hopelessness, despair even.  Our interior attitude can turn sour with such thoughts as: ‘why bother, it is not worth it’.  Or ‘I have nothing to give’, or ‘whatever I have to offer is never accepted any way’.

Chapter Talk – Corpus Christi – June 11, 2023, cycle-A  When we feel barren, empty, hungering for something more, where or to whom do we turn?  What do we do?  Do we ignore, or run from these experiences in our life’s journey?  The point of the first reading of Deuteronomy centers around this poignant text: […]

Chapter Talk – Pentecost Sunday – May 28, 2023, cycle-A My talk this morning essentially will be sharing with you excerpts from a homily by Pope Francis given on Pentecost Sunday in 2020 when we were in the middle of the pandemic. What are we receiving, what are we being reminded of on this solemnity […]

Chapter Talk – Fifth Sunday of Easter – May 7, 2023, cycle-A ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled’ (Jn 14:1).  These words open the gospel for this Sunday.  Of course, our hearts are going to be troubled.  This is part of our human nature and being ‘troubled’ will happen over and over again for […]

Chapter Talk – Fourth Sunday of Easter – April 30th, 2023, cycle-A “…They hear his voice”; “…They recognize his voice”…and they follow.  For the Fourth Sunday of Easter the gospel reading is from St. John’s gospel on the theme of the ‘Good Shepherd’ (Jn 10:1-10).  In the selection for this Sunday there is emphasis on […]

Chapter Talk – Second Sunday of Easter – April 16, 2023, cycle-A  This is Divine Mercy Sunday, and it is the Second Sunday of Easter.  This gospel is always given for the Eucharist following Easter.  It describes two encounters: the first is the appearance of Jesus to the disciples where he first says, ‘peace be […]

PASCHAL VIGIL 2023 Jesus’ death is torture for me! I prefer his life to his death…. While he was alive, he brought only three dead persons back to life. Now, thanks to his death, all the dead come back to life, and trample me as they rush out through the gates of hell. The 4th– […]

Palm Sunday Procession: Holy Thursday On Holy Thursday, Sr. Kathy opened the Triduum with a chapter talk for our reflection: What is the horizon of the mind and heart of Jesus?  How would you describe it? What is the horizon of the Christian faith?  These questions come into central focus on this Holy Thursday which opens […]

Chapter Talk – Holy Thursday – April 6, 2023 What is the horizon of the mind and heart of Jesus?  How would you describe it?  What is the horizon of the Christian faith?  These questions come into central focus on this Holy Thursday which opens the Triduum.  Foundational to Christian faith is love, the primacy […]

Chapter Talk – Fifth Sunday of Lent – March 26, 2023, cycle-A The Divine cry: ‘Lazarus, come out’ (Jn 11:1-45).  The cry of God calling us all out of the tombs of death.  Yes, we will all physically die someday.  But here we are the so-called ‘living’ who in many ways live like we are […]

Chapter Talk – Fourth Sunday of Lent – March 19, 2023, cycle-A That we may see…That we may see as God’s sees…Do we ever pray for this?  In personal situations, in situations of community life and beyond into the larger Church and world, do we pray with the whole of our heart to see as […]

Chapter Talk – Second Sunday of Lent – March 5, 2023, cycle-A Commenting on the Transfiguration, Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar indicates the reality of what it will mean for Peter and the other disciples to follow Jesus: “To truly hear and really be overshadowed will be their lot only after Easter” (Light of the […]

What began as a beautiful dusting of snow, soon became a blizzard.  It is taking days turned into weeks to recover.  We are all fine and most of the trees are too, though there are many branches and small trees down.  We thank all those in emergency services for their diligence and pray for their […]

Chapter Talk – First Sunday of Lent – February 26, 2023, cycle-A  “Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn” (Joel 2:13).  What is the prophet Joel saying?  Clearly it is a poetic metaphor: God does not desire to hurt us…this is about enlarging the heart…converting the heart, making the heart as wide and […]

Chapter Talk – Fourth Sunday of the Year – January 29, 2022, cycle-A With paradox there is tension between two seemingly opposing realities.  This tension is like a golden thread linking the two, sending divine impulses as one experiences either side of the polarity.  What does this have to do with today’s gospel of the […]

Chapter Talk – Solemnity of Sts. Robert, Alberic & Stephen, January 26, 2023 What was the larger horizon that guided our founders’ decision to leave their monastery of Molesme to the wilderness of Citeaux?  We may ask the same question in this way: what was their dream? Dreams form the landscape, the horizon of our […]

Chapter Talk – New Year’s Eve – December 31, 2022 New Years Day in the Catholic liturgical season (the Roman calendar) opens the new year with a solemn feast dedicated to Mary Mother of God.  Why Mary?  Why the feminine vessel of God’s life, the Divine new life?  She embodies the posture of receptivity to […]

Chapter Talk – Christmas Eve – December 24, 2022, cycle-A ‘And the Word became flesh’ (Jn 1:14).  Behold reality: ‘God is now all in all’.  This is the miracle of Christmas: God has become flesh of our flesh, embodied in the totality of human life. God’s total gift of his own life given in his […]

Chapter Talk – Third Sunday of the Year – December 11, 2022 – cycle-A The gospel reading for this Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, asks us to behold who the Coming One is.  John the Baptist, who is now in prison, is hearing about the works Jesus is doing.  He seems a bit puzzled […]

Chapter Talk – Second Sunday of Advent – December 4, 2022, cycle-A “‘But what is this darkness?  What do you call it?  What is its name?’  The only name it has is ‘potential receptivity’, which certainly does not lack being nor is it deficient, but it is the potential of receptivity in which you will […]

Chapter Talk – Christ the King – November 20, 2022, cycle-C How would we describe who Jesus is?  And for more perspective: How does Jesus exercise authority in his ministry?  The gospels themselves are revelatory and reflect the type of ‘king’ Jesus is.  One’s normal understanding of ‘king’ is turned upside down, inside out in […]

Chapter Talk – 32nd Sunday of the Year – November 6, 2022 We just celebrated All Saints.  It is a profound solemnity of the Church.  Each year our first Vespers opens the solemnity of All Saints with this amazing text from St. Symeon the New Theologian: “The saints in each generation, joined together to those […]

Chapter Talk – 31st Sunday of the Year – October 30, 2022, cycle-C The gospel for this Sunday is uplifting as we behold the gift of salvation in the encounter of Zacchaeus with Jesus (Lk 19:1-10).  To see, in order to see Jesus, Zacchaeus, who is short, and because of the crowd, climbs a sycamore […]

Chapter Talk – 30th Sunday of the Year – October 23, 2022, cycle-C In the gospel of today Jesus tells the story of two men who went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the upholder of the law, and the other a tax collector (Lk 18:9-14).  The prayer of one is received […]

Chapter Talk – October 9, 2022 – 28th Sunday – cycle-C Today’s gospel is the healing of the ten lepers (Lk 17:11-19).  There are several themes that one can draw out of this gospel.  One being ‘thanksgiving’ and how gratitude keeps the heart wide open as it acknowledges the extravagant gifts of God upon us, […]

Chapter Talk – 27th Sunday of the Year – October 2, 2022, cycle-C Right now, let us ask Jesus, like the apostles: “Increase our faith”.  To ask something, to desire something beyond our ego demands, what would this be like?   To desire and thus to ask from the depths, ‘Out of the depths I cry […]

As part of the OCSO General Chapter, participants, Abbots, Abbesses and delegates attended a Papal Audience.  In his talk, Pope Francis spoke about the importance of dreams.  Dom Bernardus, our newly elected Abbot General, opened this year’s chapter by inviting all the Superiors of our Order to share their dreams.  Over the course of the […]

Chapter Talk – Synodality in the Rule of Benedict – 8-21-2022 How does an ancient Rule, specifically the Rule of St. Benedict, offer a perspective and ways forward in implementing ‘synodality’ for the present and future renewal of monastic life and of the Church?  This is the subject of a short essay by the Abbot […]

Berry time at the Redwoods is a team activity.   It begins with thriving bushes loaded with luscious berries.  This year we added a new feature to the garden; a wire cage that houses the blueberries and currants and protects the fruit from hungry birds and other veracious animals.  Interns, guests, and sisters gathered the berries […]

Chapter Talk – 19th Sunday of the Year – August 7, 2022, cycle-C Stay awake… for what?  For whom?  Be aware…vigilant…have your lamps lit…why? Fears, anxieties, confusion, uncertainty…. silence. Imagine an encounter: I and Christ…or Christ and I: fears, anxieties, confusion, uncertainty: in the living encounter of faith what happens to these ‘pulls’ of the […]

Chapter Talk – 17th Sunday of the Year – July 24, 2022, cycle-C St. Luke’s gospel for this Sunday has three pericopes, all on the theme of prayer.  The gospel begins with one of the disciples asking Jesus to teach them to pray.  And Jesus’ reply is the Lord’s prayer.  Jesus spoke in Aramaic, and […]

Chapter Talk – 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 10, 2022, cycle-C  ‘For this command that I enjoin upon you today’ (Dt 30:11)….and what is this command?  It is one simple word, a word so multi-faceted and complex, and still simple, straight-forward….something we all know from very young.  We are stamped with the Divine […]

Summer Interns have arrived!  We are hosting three young women in June and July and two more are expected in August.  The women come from different backgrounds and educations: this year, several interns have come to us from divinity schools around the country.  At Redwoods, they participate in a different sort of school, a schola […]

Chapter Talk – Trinity Sunday – June 12, 2022, cycle-C What word or words would we use to depict the mystery of the Holy Trinity, the mystery we are celebrating today?  The one essential word is ‘relationship’.  And endemic within relationship is the power of ‘love’.  The love reality is what makes relationship true, opening […]

Chapter Talk – Pentecost Sunday – June 5, 2022, cycle-C ‘Come Holy Spirit, kindle in us the fire of your love.’  Let us ponder: Is it not the fire of love that alone brings true and lasting change?  Pope Francis has said: “The Spirit frees hearts chained by fear.  The Spirit overcomes all resistance.  To […]

Chapter Talk – 6th Sunday of the Year – May 22, 2022, cycle-C We are still in the Easter season: the gospel reading of this Sunday and the gospel readings we heard during the week give us profound images for lectio, indeed for our lives. Some of these images are peace, abiding, the commandment of […]

Chapter Talk – Fifth Sunday of Easter – May 15, 2022, cycle-C We meet the Risen One in the encounter of love, an encounter that includes forgiveness, receiving a deeper, fuller truth, and a way of being that is broader than the one we are living now.  The encounter is about meeting the One who […]

Chapter talk – 4th Sunday of Easter – May 8, 2022, cycle-C “Jesus said: ‘My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they shall follow me’” (Jn 10:27).  And then this later passage from John’s gospel: “I shall not call you servants any more….but friends” (Jn 15:15). We are friends because we are known […]

Easter Vigil. All is silent, but full of hope.The last Adam grasps the hand of the first Adam,And yanks him out of his grave.The Mother of God wipes away Eve’s tears.All around the mortal rock of the tomb, the garden of Eden blossoms. (Bartholomaios I, Ecumenical Patriarch) Here are some highlights of Easter Celebrations at Redwoods: […]

The Triduum is a sacred time.  We spend Thursday, Friday and Saturday in a solemn ritual following the Lord as he undergoes his life-giving passion death and resurrection.  We begin with the Tenebrae which is a special prayer on Wednesday evening.  This service sets the tone for these days with the theme of alternating darkness […]

Chapter Talk – Holy Thursday – April 14, 2022 Today, Holy Thursday, which opens the Triduum, gives us two important rituals that reflect the heart and meaning of these holy days, these final days building towards Jesus’ death and resurrection.  These rituals are Jesus washing the feet of his disciples and Jesus offering his body […]

Chapter Talk – Fifth Week of Lent – April 3, 2022, cycle-C How does the Word of God speak?  In what way or ways do we hear the Word of God speaking to us?  Is God’s word a silent word, silent though still speaking?  What happens if we separate out silence from the word?  Do […]

Chapter Talk – Fourth Sunday of Lent – March 27, 2022, cycle-C There is no Christianity without love and forgiveness!  There is no true Christian love that does not include mercy and forgiveness.  In the gospel parable of the so called ‘Prodigal Son’, Jesus reveals the nature of God as unconditional love and compassion.  And […]

Chapter Talk – First Sunday of Lent – March 6, 2022, cycle-C “Without communion there is no mission”…Communion communicates mission….“Communion is the substance of mission”.  What are these words of Dom Mauro Giuseppe saying to us?  Is not the core of our mission as monastics communion, communion of heart and mind with God and one […]

Today, Ash Wednesday, we begin our Lenten observance with the reception of ashes.  In this photo above, Fr Simeon, from St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer Massachusetts, distributes ashes to the sisters. Fr. Simeon reminded us in today’s homily that Lent is about new birth. It mirrors the natural environment and our experience of Spring. Like […]

Chapter Talk – 8th Sunday of the Year – February 27, 2022, cycle-C The first reading from Sirach for today’s liturgy says: “The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had; so too does one’s speech disclose the bent of one’s mind” (24:6). Our speech, our words are revelatory.  Do not our words […]

On February 11, 2022, Abbots and Abbesses from all over the world gathered in Assisi (Italy) for the first part of the General Chapter, elected Dom Bernardus Peeters as our Abbot General.  The session began days earlier, on February 7th, with the Mass of the Holy Sprit to pray for guidance in the selection of […]

Chapter Talk – Third Sunday of the Year – January 23, 2022, cycle-C For the readings of this Third Sunday, it is striking that two great voices and thinkers converge around one word: ‘today’. Those voices are Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar and Pope Francis.  Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar in his commentary on the […]

Chapter Talk – Second Sunday of the Year – January 16, 2022, cycle-C With the wedding feast at Cana, we are given the third manifestation of the Incarnate Word, the Word made flesh.  God has united with humanity in sending his beloved Son to and for us, fully human and fully Divine.  The other two […]

Chapter Talk – Baptism of Jesus – January 9, 2022 – cycle-C When Jesus descends into the baptismal waters there is an encounter. What prompted Jesus to go to John and to be baptized?  What was in his heart as he descended into the waters of baptism?  What was his desire?  What was his longing? […]

Year of the Family “Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love” World Day of Peace First Saturday of the Month  Readings of the Day RB: Prologue 1-7  Mass: Nb 6:22-27; Resp Ps 67; Gal 4:4-7; Lk 2:16-21 May He let His face shine upon us. LET PEACE BE YOUR QUEST AND AIM. (Rule of Saint Benedict, Prologue […]

Chapter Talk – New Year’s Eve – December 31, 2021 The ‘new’ is already stirring, are we humble enough to perceive it inside and out?  First in our immediate landscape, meaning within ourselves and within our sisters.  Then the ‘new’ lingers well beyond us.  The nature of God is love, which includes change, transformative change, […]

Year of Saint Joseph Year of the Family “Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love” In other years: Saint Stephen, the first martyr Readings of the Day RB: Ch 68 The Assignment of Impossible Tasks Mass: Sirach 3:2-7, 12-14 or 1 Sam 1:20-22, 24-28; Resp Ps 128 or Resp Ps 84; Col 3:12-21 or 1 Jn 3:1-2, […]

Chapter Talk – Christmas Eve – December 24, 2021 On this Christmas eve morning I offer several texts that create a collage where the writers depict the mystery of the Christmas event, of God’s incarnate gift in Christ.  Along with Scripture, there is so much amazing art depicting the event for us, and then writers […]

Chapter Talk – Fourth Sunday of Advent – December 19, 2021 “If you wish to meet God, go as far as your own heart”.  Dear Sisters, these words of St. Bernard were appropriate at the beginning of Advent, and they are as appropriate right now.  Our gospel reading for this fourth Sunday of Advent is […]

Chapter Talk – Third Sunday of Advent – December 12, 2021, cycle-C Listen to these excerpts from the first reading for this Third Sunday of Advent: “Be glad and exult with all your heart” (Zeph 3:14-18a).  “Fear not…be not discouraged…”.  “God will renew you in his love…”. And now listen to similar words from the […]

Chapter Talk – Second Sunday of Advent – December 5, 2021, cycle-C There is a ‘voice’…do you hear it?  A voice that is crying out in the center of our longing.  What is that voice saying that cries out, that yearns for our attention, that yearns for us to open our hearts even more now […]

Chapter Talk – First Sunday of Advent – November 28, 2021, cycle-C Both Bernard of Clairvaux (12th century) and Thomas Merton (20th century) describe Advent as the ‘sacrament of the presence of God in the world’.  God is with us and still God will come again, God will once more be born within the human […]

Chapter Talk – 33rd Sunday of the Year – November 14, 2021, cycle-B The orientation of the apocalyptic gospel for this Sunday is toward “the complete fulfillment of the reign of God”.  Sometimes it is important to look towards the end in order to help us live in this precious present moment.  Here is what […]

Chapter Talk – 32nd Sunday of the Year – November 7, 2021, cycle-B The gospel of this Sunday offers a paradox:  giving from one’s poverty is praised over giving from one’s abundance.  Let us apply this to ourselves.  What does it mean for each of us to give from our poverty?  And what is that […]

Evocation – All Saints – Solemn Profession of Sr. Gertrude Feick – November 1, 2021 Let us run to learn How to love and run; Let us run to Love. (WH Auden, A Christmas Oratorio) Dear Gertrude, You have been ‘running’, not running away but running towards.  ‘Running’, a striking symbol for the monastic journey […]

Evocation – All Saints – Solemn Profession of Sr. Gertrude Feick – November 1, 2021 Let us run to learn How to love and run; Let us run to Love. (WH Auden, A Christmas Oratorio) Dear Gertrude, You have been ‘running’, not running away but running towards.  ‘Running’, a striking symbol for the monastic journey […]

Chapter Talk – 29th Sunday of the Year – October 17, 2021, cycle-B We want ‘glory’ but there is a cost.  This is the essential message of today’s gospel.  Jesus is addressed by James and John, two of his disciples, as ‘teacher’…and they add, “We want you to do for us whatever we ask of […]

Chapter Talk – 28th Sunday of the Year – October 10, 2021 – cycle-B Within the ‘love command’ of God there is a ‘demand’…the demand is to ‘sell all’. This ‘demand’ to sell all is not easy…still ‘with God all things are possible’. It seems that ‘virtue’ is not enough, that is the virtuous living […]

Our beloved chaplain, Fr. Maurice Flood, died suddenly at his monastery of the Holy Cross in Berryville, VA.  He was 85 years old. He had served as our chaplain from 1999 – 2014 and was known by all for his big smile and even bigger heart.  Funeral Mass Information– September 4, 2021 *In the photo […]

Chapter Talk – 19th Sunday of the Year – August 8, 2021, cycle-B “It is written in the prophets: ‘They shall all be taught by God’.  Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me’” (Jn 6:45).  If we took just this sentence into prayer, how are we each being addressed […]

First came the raccoon. He quickly ran away perhaps when he heard the bear coming.  Now the bear did not go in search of apples on the tree, but rather decided to lay down and take a snooze!  He woke up a little later, wandered back over the fence.  Then the raccoon seeing that the […]

Chapter Talk – 16th Sunday of the Year – July 18, 2021, cycle-B The readings for the Mass today center on the ‘shepherd’ theme.  Jesus realizes that his disciples need some solitary, silent time and space.  As they retreat to a lonely place, they see before them a crowd of people who arrived there just […]

Chapter Talk – Sacred Heart – June 13, 2021, cycle-B Jesus: the icon of God’s love, the icon stamped upon our hearts. Thus, this is our end goal (telios) to become fully open, arms outstretched in mercy and compassion.  “Acquire a heart and you shall be saved”.  This desert saying coming out of the fourth […]

Chapter Talk – Trinity Sunday – May 30, 2021, cycle-B Holy Trinity: God-love.  ‘God-love’ is how Pope Francis addresses the Triune God.  This name he gives for God reveals in a terse, poetic way the nature of the triune God: Love, unconditional Love.  Pope Francis writes: “Jesus made manifest the face of God, in substance […]

Chapter Talk – Sixth Sunday of Easter – May 9, 2021, cycle-B  Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar comments on Sunday’s gospel: “‘Remain in my love.’  These words are to remain alive in the hearts of believers, permitting Jesus to address us inwardly in heart and conscience long after he no longer lives among us outwardly” […]

The bridge at Redwood’s entrance is getting a whole new surface, courtesy of Robbie McKee and the crew from Whitethorn Construction.  The guys have done an incredible job making our bridge safer and more beautiful. Other Spring projects include a new outside cloister walk and a refinished paneling on the guest house.  Thank you Ben […]

Truly, He is Risen! Sisters and brothers, we are being ‘summoned’; we are summoned to an ‘encounter’, to a living encounter with Jesus.   This summoning, as Fr. Casey told us on Palm Sunday, asks that we come with our whole being: ‘our minds, our hearts and our feet’.  The backdrop for our encounter with Jesus […]

Chapter Talk – Fifth Sunday of Lent – March 21, 2021, cycle-B Listen to God speaking to the prophet Jeremiah: “This is the new covenant I will make: Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts” (Jer 32: 31,33).  What is a covenant?  It is a relationship between God and […]

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Surrendering to the Will of God

Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother” (Mk 3:35).  Whoever does the ‘will of God’ is in intimate communion with the Divine Presence.  As

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Monastery Lentils

Monastery Lentils A popular Guest House recipe that is vegan, easy to make and packed with flavor.  Recipe calls for dry herbs – but use fresh for extra flavor. Serve

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Today we commemorate the beautiful Feast of the Visitation when Mary visited Elizabeth.  Mary was pregnant with Jesus and Elizabeth with John the Baptist.  Scripture tells us the child in

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