Life is a marathon, not a sprint
In life, we do not see the finish line,
we just begin each day anew,
perhaps conscious of our seeking,
or if not, perhaps wondering what compels us,
to continue in spite of failure and loss.
Joy, love, family, and friends help give spice to our days,
a healing balm more often than not,
giving us reasons to continue our quest,
that is often not understood.
Our faith is light that shines on the deepest meaning of life,
if we have the ears to hea
Letting go allows more life
When we die to something, something comes alive in us.
If we die to self, charity comes alive; if we die to pride, service comes alive;
if we die to lust, reverence for personality comes alive; if we die to anger, love comes alive.—Fulton Sheen
In Monastic Life, in the Cistercian order, we take a vow of ‘Conversion of Manners’. Vows can be life-affirming if used as a compass on how to traverse the many situations we meet up with on a daily basis.
The Reality of His Presence
“For you I must be everything. Everything! You understand?
Your life is mine…Move out of yourself; I’m living in you.
Do you grasp what I mean? I take up all the room.”
(From the book “He and I”) Author: Gabrielle Bossis
Pauline Press 6 Feb 41
(From the book “He and I”) Author: Gabrielle Bossis
Pauline Press 6 Feb 41
God accommodates us when He speaks. Using language that we can understand, when speaking of the incomprehensible, the ineffab
Some things are out of our control
There is a lot to life that is out of our control. Our aging, for instance, time makes sure that we keep on moving on. One second, day, week, month, year and decade at a time; the ride does not stop until we do. It is like an apple that drops from the tree; once it starts it won’t stop until it lands. We all have to deal with this until we have our landing day. I guess being a pilgrim could be visualized as our being born (falling from the tree) and going u
Impossible human situations
(The Abortion Issue)
The abortion question is divisive, and I approach it with a certain level of fear and trembling. It is not a simple matter at all. I have friends who are pro-choice. They focus on the mother, her plight, and wish to protect women from procedures that are illegal and perhaps a threat to their lives. I do believe that abortion is not something that will ever go away. However, there are deep moral implications when it comes to this subject.
Tenderness and Relationship with God
January 20—Le Fresne church. . . . “Don’t be afraid of being too tender. Or of saying too much to your beloved. Complain about yourself. Say to Him, ‘When will You heal me, My great friend, of this or that?’ So many things in you are unworthy of Me. Humble yourself as you think of this. Hide all your ugliness in My heart. It’s a hospital, you know, and doesn’t one sometimes come out of a hospital cured? Trust in Me with all your heart since I am your great
The little ones
I believe that we are all little ones,
not the childish children who rebel,
but those who know of their need for grace
and understand that we are called to servanthood.
To seek those who are overlooked and forgotten,
just as there are times when we need to be sought out,
for we are all walking a path towards mystery, eternity.
The more trust is embraced, chosen, and lived,
the deeper we go into the heart of mankind,
into the very Heart-Of-God,
revealed in Jesus C
We Would Die of Joy
All things pass,
that can be consoling,
stay calm and take the next step,
we have this moment
then it is is gone, so important the 'now',
even the bad times,
especially the hard painful situations,
for when present, we are face to face
with the deepest mystery,
revealed to us as Infinite Love,
a love so profound that if we felt it
for even one second in all of its power,
we would die of joy.--Br.MD
The Fatigue/Lethargy of Life
Grace is everywhere, it can be seen working in the hearts of many men and woman, who may not have faith, but seek to relieve the suffering of those they encounter.—BrMD.
“I do not measure time as men measure it, nor do I judge the intensity of suffering as men do. I know what I am doing, even when I hide My plans from men in order to test their faith in Me, and cause that faith to grow strong and indomitable. There are, alas, many souls who, in There are,
I am an unprofitable servant
This past Sunday we had our Lay Cistercians at our retreat house. It is a monthly affair. Below is a homily that he shared with the Lay Cistercians by our Fr. Cassian. He always has an interesting slant when he speaks about the parables in the Gospel. Hope you all enjoy and get something out of it.—BrMD
Preached to the Lay Cistercians
October 6, 2019 by Fr. Cassian OCSO
I am an unprofitable servant. An unworthy servant. An unnecessary servant.
What we all seek
What remains after we die?
Our money goes first,
perhaps fought over by our loving family,
if we have it is soon gone,
and if not what does it matter(?),
a picture in a book
or in many books means little when dead.
Perhaps it is the seeds planted in loving service,
giving life to others
producing much fruit,
is what remains.
For love is what we all seek
like plants rising up to the sun
seeking light and warmth.-
Letter to Michael who died in 1958 (my little brother
The most common experience for most of us, if we live long enough, is to experience the loss of loved ones, be they family, or friends. Over the last few years, my family has experienced the loss of three siblings. It is not easy, but a normal part of life. Losing a sibling at birth, and not having any experience of knowing, loving, holding, or simply being with, is something different altogether. Below is a letter I wrote to a brother who
Holy Feast of St. Therese 2019
Only God can see what is in the bottom of our hearts;
we are half-blind.—St. Therese of Lisieux
Two great sins that are very common, so common in fact that they are taken lightly. Something is sinful when we fail to love as commanded by our Lord. It is something that we do to ourselves, and along with it comes a self-wounding that leads to alienation from ourselves, others, and sadly in the end, if allowed to grow in our souls, from God. Self-hatred leads t
Faith can be bare-boned at times, with trust being the only operative ingredient working. Chaos seems to be part of life, though if I had my way I would do away with that. Then again, I feel if that wish came true, perhaps I would disappear, or just become flat, like a lake with no ripples; for struggles seems to be needed by our species. Like the salmon striving to go upstream to breed, so we do the same, often for reasons that are veiled. An inner compass guides me, and I
I wrote this ten years ago. A very beautiful memory about a day I spent with Fr. Luke, and a visit with Claire a dear friend, and a very funny lady. To spend time with her is to lalugh.--BrMD
A day out with Luke
Took Luke, who is 96 years old,
to see a good friend yesterday,
I combine trips,
he had a dentist appointment,
and Clair lives 15 miles away,
she loves Luke very much, which is not hard to do,
he is a gentle soul,
always smiling and helps to take care of people 30
What is real, and most important in our lives?
January 13—Le Fresne church. I said, “Truth, I adore You.” “Yes, I am Truth. Sin is falsehood, error, darkness. “Every form of goodness is truth: the desire for good, work for justice . . . You will see later that only one thing matters and that is truth, for God alone matters. Attach no importance whatsoever to anything apart from Me, however pleasing it may be. Happiness is found in Me alone. “When I created man I placed deep within him a s
A convict with a rough background
Most people, I believe, have a rough background, or at least a period of time when things were not optimal for healthy growth. For some, it can be a lifetime of living with their chaotic past, which can actually be generational. That is, passed on from one generation to the next. For others, it can be from being in a home that is temporary, like many foster homes. While there are most likely many foster parents, perhaps the majority, that
A beautiful Chapter
(A talk on the common will in Monastic Life)
Br. Philip, our Sub-Prior gave us this chapter talk this last Sunday. I found it extremely well done, as well as insightful. I would like to share it with my friends. Any path that seeks to lead us deeper into union with the Divine Will, is by that very fact counter-cultural and will be often misunderstood.
However, as the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. To live deeply one’s faith, no matter the vocation will draw
This weekend Br. Cassian asked me to give a talk on the working of the Holy Spirit in the world and evil. Since my world for almost 50 years has been living in a monastic world, that was the only world I could speak on. Below are some thoughts on the subject.
Monastic life and the Holy Spirit
(the struggle with evil)
The Good Zeal Of Monks (The Rule Of St. Benedict – Chapter 72)
Just as there is a wicked zeal of bitterness which separates from God and leads to hell, s
In consolation or desolation, we are called to trust
Adore Me is to give Me the freedom to act within you and upon you
Monday, September 5, 2011: There is no need to force your prayer, as if it were something of your own doing. It is enough to remain with Me, content to be in My presence as I am content to be in yours. Adore Me and trust Me to restore your energy, your health, and your joy in My service. Those who adore Me know that My presence renews the soul and the body. Experience th
The Exultation of the Cross feast day
Preached September 14, 2019, Fr. Cassian OCSO.".
"Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live." And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."
Here we are given an example of how scripture reverberates with scripture. Seeking these scriptural reverberations was the preferred method of exeges
She talked about her time in Rwanda
A kind, peaceful looking woman,
not one to draw attention to herself,
spoke to our group for a few minutes,
a very powerful presentation
given in a soft, gentle, even, loving voice.
She talked about her time in Rwanda,
she was a member of the Tutsi tribe,
she went through hell, lost most of her family.
She hid with a few young family members, children,
her nephew was almost thrown into the river,
yet she said they were spared.
A case of self-deliverance (healing)
The struggle with fear can be one that is hidden from others. It can happen when alone, really alone, like on a country road in the country with no one within miles.
A good friend of mine related this story to me”
She was going to a church in the country here in Georgia for a talk. The road was a dirt road, no street lights, and no homes within sight. It was then that she suddenly started to become filled with fear. It was so bad that she felt almost
The challenge that fear presents
Fear is a gift, like all emotions and feelings,
If we listen to what is being presented to us
it can lead to greater freedom, and healing.
To fear what can hurt or kill us is of course wise,
yet irrational fear, mistaken as real, can lead to an inner prison.
Harmful cycles in our lives have a life of their own,
always ending in the same situation of pain, fear, and depression.
They wrap us in inner chains and drag us.down.
If we do no
Stepping over the wall of fear
Fear is a great gift given to us to help us stay alive in a world where anything can happen in an instant. Rational fears need to be listened to and followed.
It is irrational fears that can cause havoc in life. We can freeze, almost go into a fetal position on an emotional level, and be undone. Often over things that are not that big of a threat, or what is being asked of us, that is in reality life-affirming.
It is possible for people to allow fear to so d