"We become what we hate".
There is an old saying "We become what we hate". It is a paradox, absurd, yet when I attack someone on whatever grounds, I tend to become the very thing I am fighting.
It is as if we have seeds laying within, more or less dormant, and they only take root when watered by someone who is out front with their opinions that I do not agree with You have to fight fire with fire, which only makes a very big bonfire.
It is all ver
There are many layers to silence. Silence allows rest, both for the mind and the heart. Silence allows deeper areas in the soul to become known, which would otherwise be impossible to experience.
Silence helps when the inner world is in turmoil, or filled with anxiety, it allows a place to stand from to form in our interior.
It helps with the human tendency to be 'personally infallible', which can lead to all kinds of trouble in the community.
What is life all about?
(Community remembrance for Br. Alan)
“Think of Me in My human life more often, for in this way you will draw the power to imitate Me. You must take all the means: look at Me, call Me, love Me.”
December 11—Holy Hour.
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 3083-3085).
Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.
When a community member dies, after a few days, the community will gather to talk about the departed brot
The sacredness of the human person
“I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life. In the same way, however,
I can and must [state] that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away
when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father.” (Apostolic Letter, 2016)
A sin is an act of self-destruction. Something that lessens our humanity, wh
Br. Alan, RIP
Br. Alan went to the Lord (died) at 11:30 PM on Sunday night. Today (Tuesday) as is our custom, we will receive his body at 5:15 PM from the funeral home, and he will be laid out in our church until his funeral mass tomorrow at 7:30 AM, right after Lauds. The monks will take turns sitting with Br. Alan through the night.
I never have gotten used to receiving the body of a newly deceased member of our community. I guess we each experience the death o
Faith, not a given, and absurdity
August 3—Le Fresne church. Holy Hour. While I was doing a hundred and one things I was thinking, “But I must look after my beloved.” “Your beloved does so much for you. When you are absorbed in other things He is there. When you are putting forth great efforts because your faith is dim, He is there. When you no longer feel His presence, He is with you. And when you think you are deserted, He is right in your very center, alive, watchful, loving. Knowing thi
We are called to share, not force change
We are living in a time of 'endings'. Structures are falling, perhaps even some structures in the Catholic Church. I believe we must speak the truth without worrying about convincing. When we do not do that it leads to arguments, which is not really communication. We all plant seeds, and we receive seeds that if we allowed them to grow could be harmful, others leading to new life.
When we speak truth calmly, understanding
Writing prisoners and using discernment
(But never giving up on them)
I was writing to one of the prisoners I correspond with this morning. I always learn a lot from them. While it is true that from time to time I get a con-man, they soon give themselves away, and then I challenge them, and for the most part, they stop writing to me.
Walter, is a middle-aged man, who is in for a long stretch. When I searched his records there was not much there, so I do not really know what
Janet lived for 82 years,
of those decades I knew her for three,
long years it sounds like,
yet now that she is gone,
it seems like a flash in the pan.
Lots of memories of her laugh,
as well as her many anxious concerns,
most of which never came true.
Also her easy smile,
and how she never let go of hope.
She was deeply wounded,
and yes she did hurt others,
perhaps a legacy we all share,
but not cruel by intent.
Within her world, she learned to
Prayer, the hidden thread
September 14—Le Fresne church. Holy Hour. “Take My heart and press the blood upon France, upon the world, so that its purifying power may change the face of the earth. Everything can work together for good, you know, even evil. And I can make even those who seek disorder and violence contribute to My glory. But you must pray. You see how I am always asking you to work with Me. There again, don’t leave Me alone. Don’t you love to help Me? Try. You will discov
A lovely Baptist Lady Who Loved the Rosary
Mary joins us, she fights at our side. She supports Christians in the fight against the forces of evil.
Especially through prayer, through the rosary. Hear me out, the rosary... Do you pray the Rosary each day? --Pope Francis
Over the years, because I love to read, I had gotten used to the many misunderstandings that people have about the Rosary. I once read an article by a well-meaning Bapt
Janet, at Journeys End
I do believe that people come into our lives that we are supposed to take care of. Most of us have people come in and out of our lives, some we help for a short time, and then they move on. Which is as it should be.
Then there are others, perhaps a very few that we know that we should help them over the long-haul. They can be people who drive us crazy, but we freely help them, without compulsion.
Janet (not her real name) is
Just stop doing it!
One day I was wondering why it is so easy to judge others harshly. I know I can fall into that trap, especially when it is a 'group'. Again, I wondered, what would Jesus say to me about this:
So I begin:
My son, Christians have a habit of judging those harshly who sin in ways that they do not. In doing this they forget their own sins and failures. Any kind of judgment that comes from a p
The more love, the less need to argue and judge
Lord, why do we fight and argue so much?
So again, I pretended the Lord was speaking to me and this is what came up:
My son, beliefs are very emotional, not based on reason. I have given mankind the power of reason to be able to communicate with one another. When respect for the other, your neighbor, no matter who they are, is missing, being reasonable, which is also being loving and understanding i
Br. Alan’s question that made me stop and think
Over the years, before 2013, when I was placed in the retreat house, and was still working in our infirmary, I would at times be brought front and center from either a statement or a question that was asked me by one of the men I was taking care of. So I find that it is happening again now that I am back taking care of Br. Alan.
About two weeks ago, during the morning shift, I was starting to wake up Br. Alan. He is easy to wake up, and
Breathe in Him, move in Him
June 22— . . . “If you knew what the love of God is, it would be impossible for you not to abandon everything to Him and let yourself be lost in Him. You would not dream of not counting on Him in life and death. Even on earth, you prefer to love a superior person, don’t you? Aren’t you attracted by intelligence, warmth, kindness? Multiply by infinity all the gifts that you look for in those you love; God is more. For there are depths of tenderness in M
A good question about how to love God
A woman came to me one day and asked me "How do I love God with my whole heart, mind, and soul? How is it even possible
So I pretended the Lord was speaking through me, for I have few answers to anything. This is what followed:
"When a soul begins to seek me, even at the very beginning when filled with conflicts and inner contradictions,
even then, they begin to love me as much as they are able. So even a drop of love for m
The ‘Eternal Moment”
“Pray for all centuries, all peoples, all sinners” (16 January 1941--Para 3)
He and I --Pauline Press
In all religious traditions, there is a sense of connection, which deepens, if what one professes, is lived out from the heart. For Christians, there can be a healthy sense of sin, in that it brings to mind our calling to become freer and more deeply human….in order to continue the life of Christ Jesus
I have a new philosophy. I'm only going to dread one day at a time.
Charles M. Schulz
“One day at a time”, can seem to be a cliché, but in reality, it brings to mind a deep truth. One so understood and known, yet in spite of that can easily be forgotten. Just today, that is all we have, and every day is ‘just today’. We can get ourselves in trouble (well I do) when I start to think of all the days that are in the future when I do that things can weigh on me. It is however an illusion, for
A way of life
A friend of mine on Facebook, a beautiful soul, as well as a regular retreatant here, sent me a plaque which I liked at once and found it cheerful and encouraging. It is very colorful and has a very wise message said in very simple language.
I hung it up just behind our serving line so it could be enjoyed by all who pass through. You could say it a philosophy of life that looks simple and probably is, but may take some di
The loss of a community friend/employee
Even if I know someone who has a lot of health problems, and has been sick for a long time, it always takes me by surprise. So John D. worked for us for quite a few years. I am guessing about 15 years. He was one of our main drivers for taking people to their doctor appointments. As well as on occasion sitting with monks who were in the emergency room. He was a good driver and for the most part very gentle and kind with the monks that he drove. For a f
Cough it up and out
One day a woman asked me why she needed to forgive her parents, who were very 'cruel' parents. In responding, I decided to use a very graphic image. "To forgive is like spitting up a hairball I told her. 'There is some healing in doing that. Over time, as you have to forgive over and over, the hairball gets smaller, and your pain becomes less. Your parents no longer have a hold on you".
Then we talked about praying for her parents. Why (?), she asked again. So I respon