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.
...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.
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
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.
This tiny window in a door in our cloister depicts Saint Blaise with wild animals. According to The GoldenLegend 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.
In light of our commitment to monastic silence and solitude, these journal entries we share with you have not been designed for comments/responses to be made to them. The tiny envelope icon provided below each entry allows you to send that particular journal entry to a friend.