August 28th: Our Deer Neighbors

Among those with whom we share the Chama Canyon Wilderness, and who were in fact here before us, are mule deer. Native to western North America, the mule deer is named for its large ears, reminiscent of a mule. These days a doe regularly brings her twin fawns, now...

August 27th: Mission Accomplished

Our Ranch House courtyard wall is beautiful once again! The plastering crew finished on Wednesday this week. The last plastering on the wall was some decades ago, and held up well until fairly recently. The strong sunlight and cold winters of this part of the great...

August 26th: Battery Changing

When it comes to computers, two of our “go to” monks are Brothers Boniface and Jude. Both born late last century, they predictably know what needs to be known about computers. As one monk quipped, they have probably forgotten more than many of the rest of...

August 25th: New Lease on Life

Our much-loved and historic “Saint Benedict’s Ranch House” is getting a facelift, in the form of restoration of the wall and archway at the front of the building. Originally built in the early 1900s as a residence, in 1964, when the first monks...

August 24th: Miniature Roses

On June 2th, 2014, the Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist, our Monastery of Christ in the Desert celebrated its 50th anniversary of being founded on June 24th, 1964. The celebration in 2014 was joyful and many came to celebrate with us. We celebrated...

August 23rd: The Flying Hen

Chickens are not the best aviators in the world, and ours are no exception. They do their best to get from point A to point B when flying is required, but sometimes the results are humorous, as today’s photo demonstrates. On the other hand, the hens are also...

August 22nd: Summer Sunset Sky

The psalmist certainly had it right when he or she wrote a millennium or more before the birth of Christ: “O God, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! When I look at the heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and the stars that you have...

August 21st: Says Who?

This hen, Penny by name, seems to be saying, with hands behind her back, “Says who?” With hens like ours, who needs the internet, when there is the possibility of endless hours observing the antics of our poultry flock? The other channel, equally...

August 20th: La Soledad

Popularly called, “La Soledad,” the Benedictine monastery of Our Lady of Solitude, near San Miguel Allende in the State of Guanajuato, Mexico, is a dependent priory of Christ in the Desert. Monks have been there for nearly fifty years, and live a life of...

August 19th: Ora et Labora

An unofficial motto of Benedictine life is “Ora et Labora,” three Latin words that translate as: “Pray and Work.” In a nutshell, that is our life: prayer and work. For us monks, some hours are taken up each day in praying the Divine Office (the...

August 18th: Stand-Ins

At present, flowers are scarce in our garden, hence, store-bought ones have been our flora-of-choice for arrangements in the church to place at the icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus. The photo below is an example of such. In the coming weeks we can...

August 17th: Roses

Undoubtedly among God’s most beautiful flowers is the rose. During these summer months we have been enjoying the sight and smell of the roses blooming in our cloister garden. Probably none of us here can give the precise names of the several varieties of roses...

August 16th: All Hands On Deck

In his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, chapter 3, verse 10, Saint Paul is very explicit: “Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.” We monks regularly help with addressing the envelopes for the thank you letters of the abbot, and even the miniature...

August 15th: Our Orchard Endeavor

We currently have only one fruit tree, a lonesome apple, but soon that will change. We’re planting an orchard! Consulting with local experts on the best varieties of fruit trees for our elevation and climate, we hope in the coming weeks to add a dozen...

August 13th: Cloister Fountain

After some major repairs, the twenty-five year old fountain in the middle of our cloister garden is functioning well once again. Underground pipes that had broken have been replaced and upgrading of the water  recycling system was done as well. The design of our...

August 10th: Praying for Rain

The painted glass window, photographed below, is at the Monastery of Our Lady of Solitude (La Soledad) in Mexico, near the town of San Miguel de Allende. The monks there are part of Christ in Desert, and working towards being an autonomous monastery one day. For now...

August 9th: Clouds

Clouds often carry rain, but the present ones are only vapor, with no rain in the forecast. A reversal of fortune is predicted later this week. We certainly hope and pray for that, to keep things on the green side and to reduce the chance of forest fires. Just now we...

August 8th: Exponential Growth

Though our vegetable garden in Saint Fiacre Field by the river has had some amount of setbacks due to deer, the heirloom calabacitas (squash) assigned to our completely protected cloister garden, are doing great. You can almost watch then grow by the day! We look...

August 7th: Monastic Profession

On Friday morning, August 6th, our Brother Isidore Ilunga Mukendi made his solemn profession of vows as a Benedictine monk of our Monastery of Christ in the Desert. At the same time, he received the solemn consecration, or special prayer of blessing, as a monk for...

August 6th: Guard Duty

Matty, the guard donkey of our sheep, is definitely not a trouble-maker and loves to be where the action is. She seems particularly fascinated by machinery, such as trucks, tractors and carts, including the humble “gorilla cart” in the photo below. One...

August 5th: Flowers Flourish

With the arrival of rain, we are almost guaranteed the appearance of wild and scenic flowers to delight the eye, such as those pictured below, taken in the village of Chama, some fifty miles north of us, not far from the southern Colorado border. Though summer in the...

August 4th: Rainy Days & Nights

Despite dire predictions to the contrary, we are now enjoying abundant rainfall, both in the afternoons and sometimes at night. The high desert monsoon or rainy season typically extends through July and August. While early to mid-July was rather dry this year, these...