Friday, February 25, 2011

Living Water

To come to the living water of Christ, you do not need merit,
all you need is thirst.
Blessed Guerric of Igny, Twelfth Century Cistercian Abbot

A pond in the Abbey woodlands photographed by Brother Jonah.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Truly Monks

Work is an essential part of our day. Saint Benedict says in his Rule, "they are truly monks when they live by the work of their hands." Our Constitutions remind us that at work we follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
This hard and redeeming work is a means of providing a livelihood for the brothers and for other people, especially the poor. It expresses solidarity with all workers. Moreover work is an occasion for a fruitful asceticism that fosters personal development and maturity. It promotes health of mind and body and contributes greatly to the unity of the whole community.

Brother Francis at work in the Trappist Preserves kitchen.

Brother Jonah gets a saw ready before heading out to trim trees and clear pathways in the Abbey woodlands.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What God Wants

...the more He wants to give, the more He makes us desire, until He leaves us empty so as to fill us with blessings...God's immense blessings can only fill a heart that is empty. They come in that kind of solitude.
Saint John of the Cross

We pray that our solitude will be a space for Christ, a space that He can fill with His presence and His very Self.

These photographs of glass in the Abbey cloister by Brother Daniel.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Our Lady

This painting of Our Lady at the entrance of the Abbey church reminds us that Mary is Gate of Heaven, our Way to Christ her Son. All the houses of our Order are dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. And the name of our monastery is actually Our Lady of Saint Joseph Abbey.

In a spirit of compunction and intense desire, monks devote themselves frequently to prayer. While dwelling on earth, their minds are occupied with heavenly things, desiring eternal life with all spiritual longing. May the Blessed Virgin Mary who was taken up into heaven, the life and sweetness and hope of all earthly pilgrims, never be far from their hearts.

from the Constitutions of the Order

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Father Vincent

Brother Vincent Rogers was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester in May of 2010. Family and friends gathered with the community in prayer and thanksgiving.

Bishop McManus greets the newly ordained Father Vincent in the sacristy after the Mass of Ordination.

Father Vincent gives his first blessing to his father Robert and his wife Mary.

Father Vincent presided at his First Mass on the following day.

We rejoice in his new ministry, grateful to the Lord for His abundant blessings.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Abbey Snows

The snow keeps coming. The brothers are shoveling and plowing and longing for spring, even as we enjoy the beauty of the Abbey in winter.
Frost and chill bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Ice and snow bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Daniel 3

A collection of photographs taken by Brother Joseph.


One of the many gifts of monastic life is the blessing of noticing the goodness and holiness of our brothers in community. We are edified- literally built up- by their example. And we want follow in their footsteps as we make our way together to the Lord.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Through the Intercession of Saint Blaise

This tiny window in a door in our cloister depicts Saint Blaise with wild animals. According to The Golden Legend gentle Blaise dwelt in a hermitage in the desert where birds came to feed him. He befriended and protected all manner of beasts, and hunters were not able to take any of them. Known for his goodness and gifts of healing, the sick often came to Blaise to be healed. We pray on his Memorial for the health and well-being of all in need.