Exclusion comes from man, not from God
…44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even tax collectors do the same?… Berean Study Bible-Matt 5:44-46
God does not exclude. That is a human attribute I believe. When I judge in the way that Jesu
The Emmaus and Damascus event
There is the Emmaus experience that many Christians have. The story in the New Testament is an interesting one. Two men, followers of Jesus, walking away from Jerusalem, leaving behind a life that was filled with hope in their expectations about Jesus and what they thought he would accomplish. They were discussing what just happened, no doubt with great sadness and maybe even despair over the dashing of their hopes that they placed in Jesus. They also heard of
(written about 15 years ago)
Sometimes when I awake in the middle of the night, and can’t go back to sleep, memories often rise to the surface, that I usually don’t revert to in my normal waking life. I guess when just awakening, and lying there doing nothing, allows thoughts from the unconscious to present themselves to my waking mind, and perhaps are asking to be dealt with, or to just simply be remembered. They are often very powerful, surprisingly so, since like I said I do
Praying when anxious
“We get anxious more with imaginations than actuality.”
― Abhijit Naskar
When I was a bit younger, I would often grapple with anger, which would frequently rise like a torpedo, and simply try to sink me. I guess that made me very cognizant of the power of the unconscious mind. This would often happen when I was praying or attempted to settle down in order to focus enough to be present to the moment. Which is not always easy for me to do. I easily get pulled under th
A Woman Prophet
(This an older piece that wrote in 2016)
One of the brothers asked me to drive him to the International airport to pick up a monastic guest. He has never been there and does not know the city too well, so I was glad to do it. It was also the one day a month that the community helps a woman out who lives in town. I go to Kroger usually on the last day of the month or one of the first three days. So today was my day to make my ‘run’. It takes about an hour, no problem, and the
Malchus, a Life Turned Upside Down in an Instant
The chief priests had come for Christ with a detachment of soldiers. They were about to haul him away, but Peter tried to show his loyalty to his master. He was probably aiming to kill but because he was merely a fisherman, he may not have had a lot of sword practice. Jesus picked up the ear and healed Malchus, rebuking Peter for his misplaced zeal. - David Miller
Over the years my fascination with Malchus has grown. When p
The Gate of Bone
“The worst prison would be a closed heart.”
― Pope John Paul II
For many people, dreams are important indicators of what they need to do to deepen their walk with the Lord. Some dreams present a choice that is important, imperative, and must be made with full awareness. I had one such dream that perhaps saved my vocation, and my soul, but also showed me some deep issues that I needed to face. Even if at the time of the dream I was not cognizant of what these actually were
A poisoned dagger
Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create.--Pope John Paul II
Violence comes under many guises. It is easy to come up with a good reason for doing just about anything. We can confront someone with the truth, not to help them, but to hurt, confuse, and as an act of domination. Christians can forget that easily enough. It is as easy as falling off of a log…..at least it is for me.
People don’t often think of words as weapons
(Feast of St. Thomas)
A faith without some doubts is like a human body with no antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask the hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic. A person's faith can collapse almost overnight if she failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after
The threads of our lives
Sometimes when I think of God, the image of a weaver comes into my mind. Then I imagine an infinite number of threads being brought together to make some sort of tapestry. All kinds of threads; some thick, others so thin that you can barely see them, some of the strings so strong that they can’t be broken, and others so fragile that the gentleness touch would destroy them unless handled with the greatest of care. Colorful strands, as well as plain. Som
Anxiety and Depression- A Spiritual Rx
-----Below are some notes for the retreat giving this weekend. It was a good group and they were easy to interact with. I was nervous before giving this retreat, it was the first time for me dealing with this subject, so I hope that I did not say anything that caused anyone discomfort that attended. I make some notes, but do not usually read them, so there are times when I may say something that is actually way off base. One participant this
Like Peter, We Need To Get Out of the Boat
Your subjective dispositions do not impede the action of My grace in your soul. Learn, then, to trust in Me to do the things that you cannot do of yourself, and allow Me to work in you secretly, in a manner perceptible
A Benedictine Monk. In Sinu Jesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart--The Journal of a Priest at Prayer (p. 126). Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.
Most of us have in our lifetime have most likely meet someone who seems to see
Monastery Retreat House Newsletter June 2021
Life at the Monastery
“Although the life of a person is in a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.” — Pope Francis
Hello Dear Friends,
Well June is here. The year of 2021 has now entered middle age and is moving rapidly towards 2022. We are hoping to reopen the Retreat House in September, God willing! At this time we are planning a deep cleaning, t
Uneasiness in prayer
You think that your inability to pray without distractions is an obstacle to My grace. Were that so, I would not have been able to sanctify a great number of those whom My Church honors as saints. Distractions, when they are not entertained willfully, are no obstacle to My work in a soul. My grace passes through them to touch the center of the soul wherein all is still and in readiness for My healing and sanctifying touch. Come to Me
A Benedictine Monk. In Sinu Jesu:
He who sees into the depths
(Yet I Keep on Truckin)
If love is the greatest spiritual gift, then it would seem that if Christians want to be healers of hearts and souls, then we should pray for this gift, greater even than miracles, which can be flashy and then forgotten in time.
However, to experience being seen and loved by another, to understand that one's depths have been gazed upon and still loved, brings about the deepest of healing; for nothing needs to be hidden.
Inattention towards faith
We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
We can lose something valuable by inattention or carelessness; these are actual choices. In order to keep what is precious alive and vibrant, it must be worked for. Be it friendships, marriage, career, and for me what is most important, faith. People can live without being aware that they have a Spirit and that it needs to be attended to. If not it remains childish becaus
The struggle with self
It is a true honor to meet the many people who come to the Monastery to make a retreat and to be able to share and learn from them. I have yet to meet a man or a woman who is not going through some sort of deep interior struggle. Some may not always know that until they slow down and begin the road to deeper self-knowledge and a desire to connect deeply with God. Sometimes, it is when people discover that there is another way that the pain that they take for normal bec
Hobbling along but thankful
I got up this morning, hobbled over to shut off the alarm, then tried to stretch my stiff, painful back, then keeping my balance re-hobbled over to my bed and put on my shoes. As I was on my way to my mediation in the church, I suddenly realized that everything hurt today. I started laughing, what a sight I must be in your eyes, Lord. So now my body, my aging body, resembles my soul, which is often stiff, in pain, and hobbles along.
Yet lord I lau
When the ego is weak
“It is your faults, My children that make you unhappy.
Recognize when you are in the wrong. Let your thoughts probe to the depths of your misery.
He and I by Gabrielle Bossis Pauline Books of Boston
When the ego is weak it is difficult to admit faults. Our habitual actions or reactions that we develop in our lives can keep us in a state of perpetual struggle with others. If we struggle with those who are in the same boat we are, then it can become even more violen
A small but important matter
Chapter talk given 5/16/21
We all have different vocations, and in our lives no matter what we do, there are always problems. Some problems are big, others small, but no matter, even the small problems can cause frustration and anger. So in families, offices, on construction sites, in the military and the police, etc. the human drama is often worked out in small matters, but nonetheless important. Below is about a ‘small matter’ in our monastic community. I do
Identity is important
January 25, 1937. Today my soul is steeped in bitterness. O Jesus, O my Jesus, today everyone can add to my cup of bitterness. It makes no difference whether they be friend or foe, they can all inflict suffering on me. And You, O Jesus, are bound to give me strength and power in these difficult moments. O Blessed Host, support me and seal my lips against all murmuring and complaint. When I am silent, I know I shall be victorious (Diven Mercy Diary)