Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Scripture Readings: Book of Proverbs 8:22-31; Letter to the Romans 5:1-5; Gospel According to Saint John 16:12-15 Each year on the Sunday following Pentecost, the Church celebrates the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, our belief that God is One and yet Three Persons:...

Trappist Hermit

Dear Friends in Christ, As a high school seminarian, from 1969 to 1971, when I was 16 to 18 years old, we students sometimes made retreats at the Trappist Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe, about forty miles from where we lived and studied at Mount Angel Seminary. While...

Pentecost Sunday

Readings: Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13; John 20:19-23 The Solemnity of Pentecost is a splendid reminder of the universality of the love God has for us. At Pentecost, fifty days after Easter, the Church celebrates the powerful presence of God...

Our Calling

Dear Friends in Christ, It has been said that if we spent less time comparing ourselves with others, we would have fewer rivals. And there is the rhetorical question: why do we spend so much time living in the comparison? In making comparisons with others, we may in...

Reflection for Ascension Thursday

What does it matter for us today that Jesus ascended into heaven?  While we hear it in both the first reading and gospel today, we also confess it every Sunday and Solemnity in the Creed: “He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.”  This...

ESL Continues With Energy!

Someone once quipped, “The English language is a work in progress.  Have fun with it.”  The monks at Monastery of Christ in the Desert recognize from a spiritual standpoint, we are all works in progress and language is but one aspect of that work.  We are an English...

Transition Time

Dear Friends in Christ, In a previous Notebook essay, I wrote about being at a public high school in Portland, Oregon, James Madison High, for my freshman and sophomore years. I was happy there, where I finally had men teachers, one of whom I especially admired, Mr....

My School

Dear Friends in Christ, Recently I received some welcome news about the Catholic grade school I attended in Portland, Oregon, dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo. Located on the corner of 42nd and Emerson Streets, right next to the parish church of the same name, both...

Perfectly Ordinary

Dear Friends in Christ, At the heart of the teaching of our Holy Father Saint Benedict is attention to ordinary things. The mundane matters of daily life for a monk, such as resting, rising, working, praying, reading, greeting guests, are all potential material for an...

Laurel and Hardy

Dear Friends in Christ, A film released last year has caught my attention and it sounds well worth watching. Starring John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan, the movie is called “Stan and Ollie,” and portrays events in the later careers of the outstanding comic duo of Stan...

Reflection for Divine Mercy Sunday

On April 30, 2000, Pope St. John Paul II designated the second Sunday after Easter to be a celebration of Divine Mercy.  Why this day?  This is the day which the Church proclaims that Jesus, “the first and the last,” whom we put to death by our sins, comes through our...

Easter Sunday Reflection

Growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s, before the advent of color TV, let alone videos and DVDs or the movie channel, one the five Portland, Oregon, television channels televised the movie, “The Wizard of Oz” each year, one of Hollywood’s greatest films. As color TV was...

Good Friday 2019

Good Friday 2019 FIRST READING  Isaiah 52:13-53:12 See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.  Even as many were amazed at him–so marred was his look beyond human semblance and his appearance beyond that of the sons of...

Great and Holy Week

Dear Friends in Christ, Holy Week begins each year on Passion Sunday, usually called Palm Sunday, this year on April 14th. With the Church’s evening prayer of Vespers on the Saturday night before Palm Sunday, Holy Week actually starts. In our liturgical tradition this...

Holy Thursday 2019

Holy Thursday 2019 FIRST READING  Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall stand at the head of your calendar; you shall reckon it the first month of the year. Tell the whole community of Israel:  On the tenth...