April 16th: Desert Day

Each month, usually on the first Friday of the month, we monks have what we call a “desert day.” It is a day of more concentrated time for prayer, reading and silence, and might also include cleaning one’s cell (bedroom), exercise, rest, hiking alone...

April 15th: Our Flock Is Growing

We now have eight newborn Navajo-Churro lambs scampering about in our fields, all born within the last three weeks. They are all doing well, so also the ewes that bore them. One of the ewes, Gloria, gave birth to twins three days ago. Pictured here is Whitey, one of...

April 14th: Christ is Risen!

Now that the Easter lilies have completed their course of gracing our church, we have forsythia blooming in abundance to use for decorating. This year the timing was perfect for the transition from white lilies to yellow forsythia, with the latter flowers much less...

April 12th: Second Week of Easter

We have now reached the end of the Easter Octave, that is, beginning with Easter Sunday (April 4th this year), the Church celebrates with particular festivity for eight successive days the wonder of the Resurrection of Christ. Those eight days comprise what is called...

April 2nd: Good Friday

Today the Church stands in awe and silence at the foot of the Cross, adoring the Lord of glory, “whom they have pierced” (Gospel of John 19:37). The Liturgy this day is very austere. First of all, there is no celebration of the Mass, though there is a...

April 1st: Holy Thursday

We have reached the culmination of the Litugical Year as we recount in a special way the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord. Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper opens what is called the “Sacred Triduum,” three days of...

March 27th: Walking in Light

After some blustery early spring days, including snowfall, the weather is clearing and warming up once again. As Psalm 96(97) expresses it: “Light shines forth for the just and joy for the upright of heart.” Not that we presume to be just and upright, but...

March 26th: Meals of the Brethren

The story is told of a monk who was such a good chef that the brothers spent inordinate amounts of time passing by the kitchen to find out what was going to be served that day and how it was progressing. This communal distraction bothered the abbot to the extent that...

March 25th: Spring Snow

Living in a part of the United States suffering drought conditions, we were happy to wake up to freshly fallen snow in the Chama Canyon, several inches of it no less. Not likely to remain on the ground very long, the “silence made visible,” as snow is...

March 24th: Spring Equinox

We are rapidly approaching the first full moon of the Spring Equinox, which will occur on March 28th. This year it will also be Palm Sunday. The following Sunday, April 4th, the Festival of Festivals, Easter, will be celebrated. The mural below, in our monastic...

March 23: Profession of Vows

On Sunday, March 21st, our Father Zachary made his first profession of vows as a Benedictine monk of Christ in the Desert. He has completed his novitiate here and before coming here, served for many years as a diocesan priest in Japan. Father Zachary is part of our...

March 22nd: Renewal of Vows

On Saturday evening, March 20th, our Brothers Boniface and Chrysostom  renewed their simple, also called temporary, vows, for another year. This time of formation leads, God willing, to final or solemn monastic profession in the future. Both monks give themselves...

March 20th: The Way of the Cross

At 4:00 pm each Friday during Lent we pray as a community the Stations of the Cross. Reflecting on the way that Jesus walked, leading up to his crucifixion, helps us unite ourselves more completely to the love of God for every human being, past, present and to come....

March 17th: Seen From Above

Our beautifully blooming Amaryllis is a sight to behold. Beginning to bud this year on Laetare Sunday, March 14th, the fourfold flowers, facing north, south, east and west, are now in full bloom. Sometimes the flower is called a “March Lily,” for its...

March 15th: Laetare Sunday

The Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 14th this year, is traditionally called “Laetare Sunday.” Laetare is the Latin word for “Rejoice.” That is the first word of the Entrance Antiphon for Mass on that day: “Rejoice, Jerusalem.” Why...

March 14th: New Lamb

Yesterday, March 13th, on a rather blustery Saturday afternoon, a new lamb was born here, a chocolate-colored ram. Our flock of ewes was aflutter with excitement at the new arrival, not to mention the brothers who tend the sheep, who were also on hand to witness the...

March 13th: Compline Blessing

Each night at the conclusion of Compline, the final communal prayer of the day, the abbot blesses the brethren with holy water. The abbot moves among the monks standing in their choir shall, sprinkling some holy water on the head of each monk, who bows and makes the...