Dialysis waiting room
I came in and sat down in the small waiting room,
The people there were waiting their turn to be called in.
Quiet, low key, perhaps tired,
Some are better at dialysis than others,
Many give it up since it is so hard on their bodies
I sat down with my book and started to read,
Then ever so softly I heard a soft humming,
Gentle in its sound,
Haunting in its unknown melody
That touched me deeply.
She was a small woman with a round face,
Beautiful, with her skin bla
Peace Prayer of Saint Francis Part 2
So the second part of the Prayer of St. Francis is the fruit of working through the first part. The necessity of self-knowledge and an ever-deepening trust in God’s mercy. This allows us to listen so that we truly become instruments of peace in God’s hands.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive
(some memories from 1969-70)
When I was in the Navy (1967-71) I met many interesting people. Most were of course in my age range, 18-25, most enlisted men and women. All shapes and sizes, some brilliant, others not so much so. There were always some that I thought were trapped in ways of dealing with reality that were very destructive and a few ran with my crowd, as small as the group was.
Drugs were a big deal then, and I guess they still are. I met one yo
Anticipation and joy
When I was in boot camp in 1967, (I was in the Navy for four years)…I felt locked up there, and when I looked out at the people driving along the freeway, I thought how wonderful their lives must be, how free and in my mind’s eye, how easy. It was because I was in a very stressful place. I was 18 and it was the first time I was away from family. I did my boot camp in San Diego. It got better after a few weeks, but I never lost that moment of looking out at all the
An expanding awareness of interconnectedness
“Beginning today I entrust you with a particular grace of intercession for the souls I will send to you. You will intercede also for all those whom I shall make you see in your prayer. Pray, pray with confidence and boldness, and I shall answer you each time.”
― In Sinu Jesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart--The Journal of a Priest at Prayer
It is easy to forget as Christians, the need to strengthen our connection with our brothers and sisters.
This is a beautiful essay by my good friend Fr. James, who has been a monk here since 1994.
His insights and poetic prose make him a popular writer. He is the author of a number of books.
Not only is Fr. James a gifted writer but he is also a very good photographer. Below is his book on Amazon.
Peace Prayer of Saint Francis Part 1
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
The human experience for everyone is a rough journey. We can often hide from others what is going on inside of us; we can smile when in reality there is a war going on within. We experience injustice, injury, doubt and yes despair. We can also go through periods where we are filled with darkness and sadness. In some instances, these inner variations can be a mystery to us. So how can we be instruments
Our search and our faith
When things get dark, then it is time to draw on faith. If difficult, no matter, for our faith though a gift, is also a choice, one that needs to be made over and over again. We live in a world wherein any belief system has to be based on a certain level of faith. We also have minds, intelligence and I believe we should use it to grow deeper in our understanding of our relationship with God, as well as with those around us. If we don't ponder and grow, then the
A humorous yet serious essay on aging, his canes, and humor in dealing with it all by Br. Elias, our novice master here:
ALL THE DAY I THINK ABOUT IT
I use a walker.
But first came the cane…..
Months ago, when my neurologist said that my body was tilting to the left, had bad balance and risked a fall, she told me that I had no choice. I had to use a cane.
But I waited three days before I decided to use it. Why?
Trust is essential in our waiting
“One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along, that while we need to be reassured of God’s arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust,
to have faith, but it is God’s grace that gives us that faith. As with all spiritual knowledge, two things are true, and equally true, at once. The mind can’t grasp paradox; it is the knowledge of the soul.”― M
Aging is quite an adventure. When I was young, my going to the doctor was routine, in and out, “your fine, see you in a year”. Well that was the way it was when I started going to the VA when I was in my early 50”s. Then one year it started, my liver enzymes were elevated and they did not know why. So they started playing with my meds, which were also increasing. They took me off one cholesterol medicine, and put me on something else, which did not help, so they took me off
Going against the current of fear
Befriending fear Retreat
February 24-26 (Weekend)
18 Then Jesus said, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall compare it. 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches. Luke 13: 19-20
There is always a beginning, a seed, planted in our deepest selves, often against our will. Jesus talks about the Kin
Dead air time (Time, how to deal with it)
We might not advert to it every day but our experience of time and extended time – that is duration - does influence us.
In the monastery, we might have too much time on our hands. Or try to escape the boredom of long stretches of time.
Or the classic case of the Atlas monk Br Luc who persevered by promising himself each day that he would
crash the joint the next day.—Dom Gerard
When I was a young boy growing up I always foun
This is an essay written by Fr. James Behrens, a fellow monk here and a good friend. and has a number of books published. He has given me permission to share his writings.
I will be sharing more of his writings.
There are certain little mantras that I think to myself when a day’s
load seems too heavy to carry. Of course I have always managed to get
through all my days, mantra or no mantra, but that thought does not
easily come to mind when a day arrives that seems to
Sin or ignorance
‘Sin’ is a difficult concept to understand. Today the word itself is in disrepute and I can understand that. Here I am 65 years old, and I still struggle with the term. In some religious traditions the concept of ‘ignorance’ is used when it comes to seeking to understand the plight of mankind. People can embrace the above states, of sin and ignorance, or they can be victims of them, yet the outcome is the same.
I was talking to a man in the 12th step program and he
We just have to have FUN!!!!!!!
Gail, came for a visit yesterday. She brings Banana Cake, and we have strong coffee with it. It is a very nice ritual that we have and we sit and talk. She is like a large minority of the population that is thoughtful and in this thoughtfulness, being aware can cause some concerns for her. This important group of people are often overlooked because their perspective is a call to introspection, and if I may use the word, conversion.
She lives in the t
Fear is important but can also be a hindrance
We need fear in our lives to protect us. Fear can also build up such high walls around us because anxiety keeps us within a limited zone that some consider comfortable. Some walls are there to keep us out for good reason; others are made to be stepped over before they become too high to climb. To take a chance can seem threatening but to not take the opportunity to step over that wall of fear can lead to a life of backtracking. Failur
Not something owned
One of the weaknesses of religious people is the all too human tendency to make their own path the true one, others being left out. When in fact, all images of God are limited and need to be stretched. God is not something owned, not an object to be carried around, nor can God’s work in the world by deduced by certain scripture verses, over used, in order to simply back up ones special place in the scheme of things. No, God is equally involved in all lives, for in God we
(Good Friday 2018)
I got up at my usual time this morning, made coffee, filled a cup and went outside to drink it. The moon at this time is almost full, beautiful glow from its gentle light as well as a gentle breeze. There is nothing that is for me more beautiful than a morning such as the one we had today. After my coffee, I went into the Church and as always on Good Friday, it is always a shock to enter without the Blessed Sacrament not being present. J
To rekindle our ‘Child-Soul’
April 15—I was listening to some children playing. “I love children. It is I who gave them all these delicate thoughts and feelings: complete trust, docility, a thirst for Jesus, candor and purity, absolute surrender and the forthright glance. You must keep the same sentiments with you right through life. For they come from Me and I so love to find them again in you when you are grown up. So find your child-soul again and give it to Me.”
Serving one another
Chapter 71: Mutual Obedience
1 Obedience is a blessing to be shown by all, not only to the abbot but also to one another as brothers, 2 since we know that it is by this way of obedience that we go to God. 3 Therefore, although orders of the abbot or of the priors appointed by him take precedence, and no unofficial order may supersede them, 4 in every other instance younger monks should obey their seniors with all love and concern. 5 Anyone found objecting to this sh
+Most Holy Trinity, I trust in Your infinite mercy. God is my Father
and so I, His child, have every claim to His divine Heart;
and the greater the darkness, the more complete our trust should be.
(357 Sister Faustina’s diary)
Sentimentality is one of the biggest obstacles to living a life of trust towards God. Or towards friends as well, for life will place before all of us trails (or test if you like) that need facing in order to deepen any relat
A simple but very powerful Near Death Experience
(my time with a retreatant)
“What could ever harm you? You are God’s child and Christ is your brother. Isn’t that a wellspring of joy? Escape from yourself. Forget all earthly cares. Return unceasingly into the eternal womb that bore you. Give yourself to the Spirit. He will quicken you. He will interpret you to the Father. You can’t understand this; so knowing that you know nothing, give yourself all the same, and the smaller you are the more
The bottom of the matter
There is nothing so easy as to judge,
in one moment all is known and understood,
so that some sort of designation can be stamped,
or engraved, or tattooed, on another’s forehead,
stripping away their humanity and becoming
a simple ‘thing’ to be set aside.
Contempt is the first step towards violence,
physical and verbal abuse both deeply emotional and destructive,
a poisoned drink for both body and soul
that can destroy the ability to love an
Prayer for the dead
O Lord this day we pray for our beloved dead,
for those we know as well as for those we don’t,
men, women, children all before your throne
we asked that their souls may by healed
by your soothing balm,
the cooling touch of your infinite love.