Notes, Homilies, and News
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Every year on June 24th the Church remembers in a special way the birth of the great prophet, John the Baptist. This is also the day of our yearly recalling the beginning of the Monastery of Christ in the Desert, on June 24th, 1964. On that day our three founders,...read more
Dear Friends in Christ, An important aspect of the monastic way, but really a part of every living and loving community, family and relationships, is obedience. Saint Benedict, the sixth century author of the “Holy Rule,” or way of life, that we Benedictines embrace,...read more
Scripture Readings: Book of Genesis 14:18-20; First Letter of Saint Paul the Corinthians 11:23-26; Gospel According to Saint Luke 9:11-17 On the night before giving His life on the cross, Jesus instituted the Eucharist, the gift of his Body and Blood, in the form of...read more
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:...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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....read more
Readings: Acts of the Apostles 14:21-27; Revelation 21:1-5; John13:31-35 An essential part of being a follower of Jesus Christ is a willingness to love. How many times have we heard with our ears and our hearts the words in today’s Gospel passage, “I give you a new...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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