Prisoners are Beloved Children of God
Every once in awhile I like to share something about my experience in writing prisoners. I fell into it by accident, if truth be told. One day the abbot brought me a letter from a prisoner about 5 years ago and requested that I write to him. It is been rewarding for me on many levels.
Some of the men I write to, actually need to be in jail. Others got caught doing something very stupid when they were young. One prisoner will never get out for w
Mary's role iln the Christian Path
Every since I was a small child, I have had a devotion to the Blessed Mother. I do think because of that, my devotion has not interfered with my intimacy with Christ Jesus, but only over the years deepened it. This is the experience of untold numbers of Christians from the old expressions of the Christian faith. Also, I have met many non-Catholic’s who have admitted to me a love of Mary, as well as of the Rosary.
There will perhaps never be a time when
Fr. James’s funeral
All the years that I have been here, we have never had such a crowd for a monk’s funeral. It was a touching, and beautiful, experience for the whole community. Our lives are interesting, we go through our lives meeting others on a daily basis. We interact with one another, yet for the most part, it never occurs to us how we have influenced those around us. We do remember those who have touched us deeply.
What we become is made by one choice at a time. There is no su
Receiving Fr. James’s Behrens body
When a member of our community dies, we gather the day before the funeral to receive the body. I guess this is around my 55th time for this, and a very powerful liturgical event.
Family, and friends of the Monastery gather for the ‘Vespers’ for the dead. The body is placed in our bier, and 8 men are the pall-bearers. The body leads the procession to the front of the church, where it is placed beneath the Paschal Candle. The candle that is lit at the East
Riding the waves
Emotions rise and fall,
fueled by unruly thoughts,
like ocean waves, we learn to ride,
knowing that it will pass,
and calm restored.
There are storms and lightning,
we may feel like we are drowning,
then it calms and we find peace for a time.
There is love and friendship,
the waves beautiful and they carry us,
over the rough eddies that we must traverse,
carrying us into deeper love and trust,
learning forgiveness and compassion.
In the midst of the whir
How we respond or react
We can sit, or stand or lay down,
really we don’t have to do anything,
time still flies, what to do?
Getting through the day can be rough,
yet each moment precious,
how we respond and interact
with those we meet carries more weight
than we may ever know.
Freedom or free will is a seed
that can only grow by the choices we make,
small ones are practice for the big ones,
when pressure builds,
emotions arise in all their force,
it is then we are called to
Assumption of Mary 2019
“While she lived on this earth,, Mary could only be close to a few people. Being in God, who is close to us, actually, “within” all of us, Mary shares in this closeness of God. Being in God and with God, she is close to each one of us, knows our hearts, can hear our prayers, can help us with her motherly kindness and has been given to us, as the Lord said, precisely as a “mother” to whom we can turn at every moment.” Benedict XVI
I have given up trying to e
We must not underestimate how tribal and primitive and fearful we can become. All through history we have reacted with brutality. Thereby continuing the cycle of violent behavior. Often this reaction is indiscriminate. If we must fight radical Islam, let’s not bring all Muslims into this war. If we do, we will only make things worse and radicalize more Muslims, who will then through their actions, radicalize more non-Muslims.
The so-called ALT-Right or certain groups, like
The importance of journaling
(for writing and Journal Retreat this weekend 8/2-8/4))
Writing down one's thoughts can be a very helpful way to search the depths of the inner life, and in doing so learn what is believed and known by the one writing. Our everyday consciousness is there to keep us grounded in the world around us, to allow us to relate to those around us in such a way that we are not perceived as a threat, etc. When living around a great deal of people,, working in crowded work
Dealing with a con-man hopefully in the right way
We can't help everyone, yet we are called to have compassion. For some, it will be through teaching, or giving spiritual direction. For others working in food kitchens, or going to the homeless and giving food and water. Our gifts are pointers in how we can be of loving service to others. Too overdue, or to try to 'save' everyone from themselves will most likely bring one to exhaustion and burn out. Faith and trust in God's love for all and kno
My Friend Janet’s Continuing Journey
(now that I am old and gray, O lord forsake me not)
Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted;
but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead
you where you do not want to go."—John 21:18
I have written about Janet (not her real name) quite a few times over the years. Our first meeting was in 1992, so we have been fr
The Intimacy/Love of God for all of His Children
After Second Vespers of Our Holy Father Saint Benedict Adore Me in My humility and I will make you humble. Adore Me in My obedience and I will make you obedient. Adore Me in My prayer to the Father and I will begin to pray My Father in you. Adore Me in My merciful love for sinners and I will save sinners through you. Adore Me in My weakness and in My poverty, and I will make you strong in My grace and rich in heavenly blessings.1 Adore Me, and
We are freer than we know, but in ways that we may not understand
“Dear children! My call for you is prayer. May prayer be a joy for you and a wreath which binds you to God. Little children, trials will come and you will not be strong, and sin will reign but, if you are mine, you will win, because your refuge will be the Heart of my Son Jesus. Therefore, little children, return to prayer until prayer becomes life for you in the day and the night.
Thank you for having responded to my call.”
The folly of arguing about religion
‘Overcoming evil with weapons of love becomes the way in which each person can contribute to the peace of all. Christians and believers of different religions are called to walk this path, together with those who accept the universal moral law. Dear brothers and sisters, promoting peace in the world is our common mission!’
Homily on 38th World Day of Peace, January 1, 2005
As a Christian, I do believe that Jesus Christ is a revelation given to t
(Photo by Patrice Lannett)
Nothing in life is unimportant
May 24—“Endure the daily thorns for love of Me.
This prepares your soul for acts of heroism.
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 2286-2287).
Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.
One day as I was sitting in my room trying to read, I began to feel very impatient, tired, and so fatigued that I did not even want to rest. It was as if my whole body was in pain, but so diffused that I could not pinpoint it. Sud
Letter by letter, word by word,
Writing allows the soul to speak,
Bringing to consciousness,
Letter by letter, word by word,
What lies beneath,
The joy unspoken,
That would remain hidden forever,
Without this divine gift.
Both giving glory
To the true artist Eternal,
Lavish in giving gifts--Br.MD
he wrath of man
“I saw no wrath [in God} except on man’s part,
and that He forgives in us”
(Julian of Norwich reading 99)
When I was meditating on the above quote from the book “Revelations of Divine Love” it brought to mind one of my greatest struggles as a man who wishes to grow in my openness to the Spirit of the Lord. When I am hurt, or the times when I wish things would go my way, or when someone does a great evil towards others, my first instinct is to seek to bestow wrath on the
We are called to love beyond family
When anger, contempt and stereotyping are in play, it can act as a wall of protection from seeing ourselves in others, in their pain, isolation and their many forms of suffering. It lessens our own humanity, for si n is a way that is used to escape the most central truth of life….that others for us, especially those we do not identify with, those with which we have a natural antipathy towards, are in fact for us an encounter with Christ Jesus. For me, it is
Get out of the damn boat
The burden of our interior freedom
(In the end, we all choose)
The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is—trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is My desire to give much, very much. On the other hand, I am sad when souls ask for little, when they narrow their he
Listening to God retreat
Listen carefully, my child, to your master's precepts, and
incline the ear of your heart.
Receive willingly and carry
out effectively your loving father's advice, that
by the labor of obedience you may return to Him from whom you
had departed by the sloth of disobedience.(Rule of St. Benedict Prologue)
What do obedience and listening have in common?
“Personal Infallibility”, I believe is a great cause for many of the problems that we have in the
A woman outside the lines
When I meet someone who is absolutely sure that they are right, and have the truth, I tend not to argue. I let them be, and go my way. Sometimes I meet people who are ‘really’ sure of themselves in such a way that they have no one to really relate to since they are people who live ‘outside of the lines’ of what is considered rational, or normal in such a way that there can be some connection if worked at.
About three years ago, I got a call from a woman who want
Our inner world and prayer and trust in God
Prayer opens up many doors to our inner perception. When we seek to grow in love of God and do not just pray to get something from God, the good fruit can at times have a bitter taste to it. Yet we must experience the bitter along with the sweet on our inner journey towards ‘home’, that place where we are at peace because we have found our hearts deepest longing.
We are often told about how good we should be, or perfect, and how anger and lust and
What we can experience only from deepening our trust
“But My close friends, why, why don’t they call louder to Me from their heart’s depths?
If only their belief were less like unbelief!
If their hope were fixed upon My help . . . And if, in all simplicity,
their love loved Me more. I should be there looking after everything in their day,
and when night fell, their eyes would close again on My face.
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 2260-2262).
Pauline Books and Media. Kindl