The Kingdom of God

Chapter Talks

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Mt 13: 44). What is it that we have found and are ready, without much deliberation, to go and sell all we have for the treasure lying within the field of our lives? The next terse parable holds a similar dynamic: “A merchant in search of fine pearls finds one of great price, goes and sells all he has and buys that pearl” (Mt 13:45). Is this not how a vocation is born? Or, minimally, a life dedicated to giving one’s self totally for the ‘treasure’ or the ‘pearl’. We have all bought the field containing the treasure…We took the leap of faith…it was led by joy in the finding and followed by joy in ‘selling all’ for the treasure, the gift. But, how do we keep this dynamic alive?

July 26, 2020 Read More

Living From the Inside

Chapter Talks

The present pandemic has turned our lives, world-wide, upside down. Covid-19 has affected the global community and its economies in ways that none of us have lived through before now. Through the pandemic we see how interconnected we all are. Are not the living ‘saints’ those in the medical field who willingly risk their lives daily to care for us? As we live surrounded by so much uncertainty about the present and the immediate future, perhaps it is good to step back and ponder our lives. What, as a monastic community, do we need to renew or work to change in order to continue to mission God’s enduring word of life, of hope, of love?

(Above Thomas Merton at Redwoods Abbey, 1968)

April 26, 2020 Read More

The Man Born Blind

Chapter Talks

Conversion to a deepened faith: the eye of the heart continually needs this transformation…transformation into a living and growing faith. 

March 22, 2020 Read More

On Becoming Authentic One's Self

Chapter Talks

For the solemnity of All Saints I referred to Thomas Merton who wrote: “to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore, the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and discovering my true self” (New Seeds of Contemplation, p.31).  It is interesting that Merton says it is a ‘problem’ to find our true selves!  Evidently, he is implying that the process of finding our true selves is difficult.  To expand more on this, how do we discover our true self?  This self-discovery is a life-time spiritual adventure.   As we discover more and more of our true self, how do we live from that self that is centered in Christ?  If we turn to Jesus, the ‘key’ to finding our true selves lies in this saying: ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake,…will save it’ (Mk 8:34-35).

 

November 13, 2019 Read More

In Preparation for Lent

Chapter Talks

Next Sunday is Lent. This Sunday’s gospel could well be a good teaching to usher us into Lent.  It reveals Jesus’ remarkable understanding of the human heart and soul.  The gospel contains three periscopes and opens with: ‘Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit’ (Lk 6:39).  We may ponder Jesus’ question with: Who, then, is one who sees?  More specifically, who is one who truly sees his or her neighbor?  And Jesus gives us this reply using a metaphor: ‘Why do you notice the splinter in your brother or sister’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?’ (Lk 6:41).  How do we come to truly see another person?  The key in the parable says that we must first look inwardly at our own heart, at all those quick partial judgments that so quickly rule how we see and how we engage another person.

March 03, 2019 Read More
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