Notes, Homilies, and News

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March 5th: Fun in the Sun

Below, one of our many hens is enjoying the currently spring-like weather in this part of Northern New Mexico. However, the climate can quickly change at this time of year, with no guarantee of "full speed ahead" toward Spring and Summer. Snow may in fact reappear...

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March 4th: Lenten Conferenes

We have just had two evenings of Lenten conferences via Zoom, given by Sister Margaret Michael Gillis, a Daughter of Saint Paul. Sister came here a few years ago for conferences on Saint Paul, but this year we had to settle for "almost here" via Zoom. Sister Margaret...

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February 3rd: Stella Caeli

Every day after our midday meal we monks chant the hymn, "Stella Caeli," to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Latin song is anonymous, but comes from the 14th century, composed during the time of the Black Death in Europe. Possibly Portuguese Poor Clare nuns composed it....

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March 2nd: Renewal of Vows

On Sunday evening, February 28th, our Brother Martin de Porres renewed for another year his simple or temporary vows in the presence of Abbot Christian and the community. This simple ceremony takes place in our chapter (meeting) room. In addition to doing studies...

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March 1st: Heaven Help Us

An important element of Catholic practice is devotion to the saints. The saints are those who have completed their earthly sojourn and now enjoy the rewards of eternal life in Heaven. That is undoubtedly an enormous number of souls. Over the ages some have been...

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February 28th: Praise the Name of the Lord

Psalm 112 (Greek numbering) proclaims: "From the rising of the sun to its setting, praised be the name of the Lord." The grandnephew of one of our monks seems to be doing just that, on a recent eve at the Florida coast. His gesture in the midst of God's creation says...

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February 27th: O Sun and Moon

Christians do not worship the sun or the moon, or any of creation. That is called "pantheism." However, we do worship the Creator of all things, Who is God. Each day at the beginning of our midday meal during Lent, we chant words from Sacred Scripture that begin: "O...

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February 26th: The Bell Tower

For over fifty years, our church bell tower has stood as emblematic of the Monastery of Christ in the Desert. More than a symbol, though, it has been and still is a clear reminder to the monks of the reason for our being here: to be men of prayer. Throughout the day,...

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February 25th: Socially Distanced Monks

Thanks be to God, we remain covid-free here, but continue to take necessary precautions. We are grateful to be able to continue gathering for the Conventual Mass and Divine Office throughout the day. In choir and in the refectory we spread ourselves out to minimize...

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Second Sunday of Lent, Year B

Scripture Readings: Genesis 22:1-18; Romans 8:31-34; Mark 9:2-10 I like to call the first Sunday of Lent, “Christ in the Desert Sunday,” for its emphasis on the mystery of our Lord’s temptations in the solitude of the Judean desert, and I like to call the second...

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February 24th: Helping Hen

Whenever they can, our chickens like to "get into the act," and assist where they can. As shown below, even Brother Boniface has an occasional helping hen for his various and sundry community projects at the computer. As a child, famed American author Flannery...

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February 23rd: Melting Snow

The weather has turned pleasant once again, the snow has melted, but Matty the donkey keeps busy shuttlingly our hens to various parts of the Abbotsfield, where the chickens run free most of the day. Afternoon temperatures are now in the 50s, and down to the 20s at...

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February 22nd: “You Are Peter”

Today the Church recounts the special role of Saint Peter the Apostle. As the head of the Apostles of Jesus, Peter was entrusted by Jesus with the mission of guiding the flock of the Lord. The Lord said, "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church"...

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February 21st: Christ in the Desert

Each year on the first Sunday of Lent the Church turns our attention to the mystery of Christ's forty days in the Judean desert. There the Lord battled against Satan's allurements and fortified himself for his sacred ministry, leading up to his Passion, Death and...

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February 20th: The Way of the Cross

Each Friday afternoon during Lent, at 4:00 pm, we monks gather to pray the Way (also called the Stations) of the Cross. This ancient sacramental of the Church is a reinactment in prayer, and the action of walking, the way that Jesus followed to his death on the hill...

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February 19th: Hymn at None

Each day at mid-afternoon, at the beginning of the Little Hour of None, we sing the following ancient text, possibly composed by Saint Ambrose in the late fourth century. O strength of all creation, Lord, You guide the day throughout its course, With constancy you...

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February 18th: Boiler Installed!

To our great delight, the new boiler has arrived and been installed! The crew arrived from Santa Fe the morning of February 17th and were finished by nightfall. We now have reliable hot water again for the kitchen, for heating the church, refectory, infirmary room,...

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