First Sunday of Advent – November 29, 2015

Chapter Talks
Br. Christophe’s words in his journal entry for the First Sunday of Advent (1994) are these:  “To finish this liturgical year (well), I ask and receive the grace of forgiveness.  You put me back on my feet to walk, to run, upright, toward you who are coming.He comes
and every eye shall see him.
He comes: his face, and that is infinitely everything”  (Born From the Gaze of God, p.117)
He comes: and will we be open enough, awake enough, present enough to receive his ‘face’ that is i
December 06, 2015 Read More

The Will and Humility

Chapter Talks

‘The way is humility; the goal is truth.’  The way, humility and the fruit, truth is profoundly described in St. Bernard’s first treatise On the Steps of Humility and Pride.  Bernard’s other well-known treatise, On Loving God, was written not long after this first work.  I find it interesting to connect these two treatises one to the other:  the way is st
November 01, 2015 Read More

Teachings on Humility by St. Bernard

Chapter Talks

“The way is humility, the goal is truth.  The first is the labor, the second the reward” (p.29).  These evocative words of St. Bernard from his treatise, The Steps of Humility and Pride, offer us a picture of what the monastic is to be about in the ‘school of the Lord’s service’.  Encompassing the learning and the labor involved in this daily walk of humility and t

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September 12, 2015 Read More

Reflections on Silence

Chapter Talks

At our Visitation in May with Abbot Joseph we agreed to review our observance of silence, specifically the various places and times of silence.  Any renewal of the external practice of silence, asks at the same time that we look within, at the inner face of this essential monastic value.  The Word of God co
August 09, 2015 Read More

Chiastic Patterns and the Spiritual Life

Chapter Talks

I have always been stimulated by the different ‘maps’ of the spiritual journey that have been employed by patristic writers and especially by Bernard of Clairvaux in his sermons and other exhortative writings.   For example, in On Loving God, Bernard outlines four degrees of love: we love ourselves for our own sake, we love God for our own benefit, we love God for God
August 02, 2015 Read More
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