July 31st: The Long and Winding Road

Regrettably, over the past few months two of the cars in our small fleet have had to retire and need to be replaced. Equally regrettable, since we are without steady income with our Guesthouse still closed, we do not have funds to replace the two cars. We are looking...

July 30th: Navajo-Churro Rugs

Our monks continue to produce beautiful hand-woven rugs, made from 100% Navajo-Churro wool. We who are not weavers greatly admire the craftsmaship of our brothers and tip our hats to them. A little later this summer we will have a number of rugs available for sale in...

July 28th: Whistle While You Work

Our monastic refectory sometimes doubles as a space for addressing envelopes for the many thank you letters from the Abbot to our benefactors. The kind assistance we are receiving for our recent medical appeal is encouraging and very much appreciated and a great...

July 27th: Cakes that Inspire I

Last Sunday our cook for the day, Brother Dominic, came up with a unique creation. Might we call it a “Neapolitan cake,” taking inspiration from Neapolitan ice cream? Brother Dominic was serving thirty of us monks, and wishing to satisfy our various...

July 26th: Four O’clocks

Another welcome summer feature in our high desert setting are “four o’clocks,” a wild flower growing in various places around our property. This flower typically blooms for only a few hours each day. The four-o’clock’s beautiful...

July 25th: An Amazing Yucca Plant

Some 15 feet tall, the majestic yucca currently in bloom outside our church is a sight to behold. This is the first year it has bloomed, and we are impressed with the size and beauty of the plant. There is a second yucca near this one, but it is not as tall or...

July 24th: Chama Canyon Beauty

With recent rainfall, even if sporadic, the Chama Canyon Wilderness is blooming with Russian sage and yucca plants. While the purple-flowered sage can be used in salads, in making dyes, as well as possessing medicinal properties, we have the plants primarily for...

July 23rd: Flight Into Egypt

Benedictine monks typically take their meals each day in silence. At Christ in the Desert we do likewise, but at the midday meal we listen to a brother reading first a portion of Scripture, then from a book selected by the Abbot or recommended to him by one of the...

July 22nd: Second Wave

After a hiatus of several weeks, our rose bushes are blooming once again. In addition to adding beauty to our cloister garden, the yellow, red, white and pink roses provide lovely flowers for decorating our Monastery church. In answer to prayers, we received a...

July 21st: Awaiting Rain

While areas around us are now getting rain, we are still lagging behind. As the photo below shows, clouds are regularly forming above us, but have yet to pour forth the desired moisture. Hence, our prayers for rain continue and hope springs eternal. The brethren are...

July 20th: First Rose of Sharon

Though they are not usually in bloom until August, the first Rose of Sharon has appeared in our Saint John Paul II Meditation Garden, located between the Monastery church and the Guest Reception building. Rose of Sharon work well as cut flowers and will be used in our...

July 19th: Domesticated Stock

Our hens have become fairly tame, are easy to catch and seem to enjoy being held. At times they even vie for attention. Pictured here with Abbot Christian are Pauline and Flo. Our forty-five hens were raised at the Monastery, purchased when then were just a few days...

July 18th: Yuccas Bloom

For the first time, two yucca plants outside our Monastery church are blooming in the full summer sun. For several years the plants have been growing in size, but this is the first year they are producing flowers. It is an impressive sight. With stems some ten feet...

June 17th: Monastery Doors IV

Another set of important doors on our property are those that lead to the main residence area for the monks, what we call “the cloister.” The cloister doors were built nearly twenty-five years ago, and apart from occasional oiling to refurbish the wood,...

July 16th: Monastery Plants

Some thirty of our house plants spend the summer outdoors, gracing our cloister walk, near where most of the monks live. Another dozen plants remain inside year round, adding interest and beauty to the corridor leading to church. This inside corridor has full sunlight...

July 15th: Year of Saint Joseph

Pope Francis has designated 2021 as the “Year of Saint Joseph,” the husband of Mary and the foster-father of Jesus. Often called “Joseph the Silent,” because no words of his are recorded in Scripture, but we do know of his just deeds and...

July 14th: Morning Treats

Brother Martin de Porres diligently monitors and tends our chickens with TLC, and Matty the donkey occasionally gets into the act as well, an ever-ready recipient of whatever might be in the offing. Most often, Brother Martin proffers leftover lettuce and fruit, but...

July 13th: Monks Meals

On Sundays our midday meal is buffet-style. “Buffet” is a French word, of course, and we all know what it means, and the French call buffet-style meals “self-service.” As they say today, “go figure.” In any case, our Sunday lunch is...

July 11th: Angel

Mysteriously hovering (actually attached to the front wall) at a derelict and abandoned garage in the Village of Chama, about 50 miles from here, is a nicely carved wooden angel. Very visible from the main road that passes through Chama, the angel is close to three...

July 10th: Hollyhocks

While native to Asia and Europe, hollyhocks also do well in New Mexico. Those featured below are at the parish church of Saint Joseph in Springer, New Mexico. The pastor there has a very green thumb and cultivates many flowers and even grapes in the gardens around his...

July 9th: Awaiting Rain

While parts of northeastern New Mexico have received sufficient rain of late to turn the land quite green, our north central region of the state is still suffering from a lack of moisture. We continue prayers for rain and trust it will eventually come. The Chama River...

July 8th: Peaceable Kingdom

Sometimes we’re asked if our farm animals, that is, the chickens, sheep and donkey, get along. The answer is a resounding “Yes,” for which we are grateful. In fact we have seen animal-versions of friendship being established among the animals, and at...

July 6th: Monastery Medical Appeal

Dear Friends, Christ’s peace be with you! We continue to receive thousands of prayer requests from near and far relating to health issues. We, at the Monastery, humbly offer these petitions to the Lord, along with our own personal health petitions. The high cost of...