Friday, December 30, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
photograph of stone Madonna by Brother Jonah
Sunday, December 18, 2011
The Lord’s approach is so often unremarkable, so quiet that we need to keep watch, that is the essence of our life as monks. For we are always learning God's way of doing things, how he moves in silence and obscurity. Hidden first of all in the warm womb of a very young, virgin mother; he then lives a hidden small town life as a carpenter and wandering preacher. Then in the excruciating hour of his death on the cross, all his beauty and divinity will be obscured by the blood and spittle of his passion. And even after his resurrection he will sneak in quietly through locked doors and whisper to his disciples, “Peace.”The Lord is disguising himself in our ordinariness over and over, hidden in mystery. But rest assured it is our love and desire that give us clear vision. Love is knowledge and assurance, because if we want to be with him, see him; he wants it more than we do.
Truly God in Christ is hidden and yet revealing himself over and over, doing anything at all to get our attention; “playing in ten thousand places,” in nature and grace all day long. We must keep watch, willing to be surprised at every corner of the cloister, as St. Bernard would say, because angels will be there reminding us, as one did our Blessed Lady, that Someone is here. Someone is coming. Someone wants to take our flesh. Someone we love has seen our sad predicament and is coming down to be with us now.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Do listen, do be assured of it, my littlest one, that nothing at all should alarm you, should trouble you, nor in any way disturb your countenance, your heart. For am I not here, I, your mother? Are you not in the cool of my shadow? In the breeziness of my shade? Is it not I that am your source of contentment? Are you not cradled in my mantle, cuddled in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?
Thursday, December 8, 2011
A garden enclosed is my sister, my bride; a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up. Song of Songs 4
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
No one can celebrate a genuine Christmas without being truly poor. The self-sufficient, the proud, those who, because they have everything, look down on others, those who have no need even of God — for them there will be no Christmas. Only the poor, the hungry, those who need someone to come on their behalf, will have that someone. That someone is God, Emmanuel, God-with-us. Without poverty of spirit there can be no abundance of God.
Artwork by Elisabeth Jvanovsky