Abbot's Archives

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September 1st: Monks and Roses

The German Benedictine nun, Gertrude of Helfta, now known as Saint Gertrude the Great, who lived from 1256 to 1302, once made a very insightful observation about Benedictines. One day in contemplation, Gertrude considered Saint Benedict and his followers under the...

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August 31st: Summer Sky

The days fly by, at least for us in the Chama Canyon wilderness. Summer skies hold their own beauty at this time of year, most especially at sunset. The days are now visibly growing shorter and daytime temperatures are "only" in the mid-80s. That's cooler than several...

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Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Scripture Readings: Prophet Jeremiah 20:7-9; Letter to the Romans 12:1-2; Gospel According to Saint Matthew 16:21-27 Today’s Gospel passage gives us more insight into who Jesus truly is and what he had to undergo for the salvation of all people. Important to keep in...

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August 26th: Awaiting Rain

After a very fine downpour a week ago, we've seen very little rain since. Some days appear promising with regard to moisture, as in today's photo, but then nothing comes of it. In any case, we keep praying for more rain. We continue indoor and outdoor projects to...

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Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Scripture Readings: Prophet Isaiah 22:15,19-23; Letter to the Romans 11:33-36; Gospel According to Saint Matthew 16:13-20 In the Gospel passage for this Sunday, Jesus poses a crucial question to his disciples: “Who do you say that I am?” The question implies that...

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August 20th: Fruits of Rain

We are finally getting some rain and are very grateful for the gift. Roses are blooming in the cloister garden and Easter lilies are lining up nicely for a third flowering. The first was at Eastertime, the second was in late Spring, and now the third in mid-Summer....

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August 18th: Community Recreation

Each Tuesday and Thursday evenings the monks gather for about 20 minutes for a period of "recreation," as it is called in monastic culture. The time consists of simply relaxing and speaking, enjoying one another's company in what is usually lively conversation. We...

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August 15th: I Lift Up My Eyes To The Mountains

Today's photo is another view from atop the mesa behind and above our monastery buildings. Clouds are forming, but we still await the arrival of rain, very much needed in the great Southwest. It is hard to believe we are already in mid-August and celebrating the...

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Twentieth Sunday In Ordinary Time, Year A

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 56:1, 6-7; Romans 11:13-15, 29-32; Gospel According to Saint Matthew 15:21-28 It should be safe to say and not a heresy to conclude that Jesus was at least mildly bothered by the persistent Canaanite woman in the Gospel passage for this...

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August 13th: Franciscan Friends

Having just celebrated the feast of Saint Clare of Assisi, the close collaborator of Saint Francis of Assisi, on August 11th, we also called to mind the fact that we have many friends from the various branches of the Franciscan family, including Franciscan Friars of...

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Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Mass Readings: First Book of Kings 19:9,11-13; Romans 9:1-5; Gospel According to Saint Matthew 14:22-33 Both the first reading and the Gospel passage for this Sunday are “weather-related,” a common enough phrase today relating to events outside of one’s control and...

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August 6th: God’s Glory 

Another glorious view of the Chama canyon is posted today, as the Church celebrates the Transfiguration of the Lord on the Mountaintop, traditionally identified with Mount Tabor in the Holy Land. In ages past a Benedictine monastery existed on Mount Tabor, but today...

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August 3rd: Healthy Hen

Believing that we have some of the healthiest hens on planet earth, there are some simple facts that we're more than willing to share on the topic. Our forty-five hens, of a variety of sizes and  colors, have a very large area of lush green grass in which to roam all...

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Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Mass Readings: Isaiah 55:1-3; Romans 8:35,37-39; Matthew 14:13-21 The three readings for Mass this Sunday contain some of the most consoling words in all of the Bible. The first reading for the Prophet Isaiah, who was active about 550 years before the birth of Christ,...

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July 31st: Summer Saints

The Summer season is replete with liturgical feasts of many noteworthy saints, including  Saints Aloysius Gonzaga, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul, Benedict, Bonaventure, Mary Magdalene, James the Greater, Joaquim and Anne, Martha, Mary and Lazurus, Ignatius of...

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July 28th: Rain Arriving

We are beginning to get much-needed rain, and are grateful to God for that. The rainfall also almost immediately reduces the daytime temperatures, these days in the high 80s. Hopefully into and throughout the month of August we will see more moisture, as the typical...

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July 25th: Towering Yucca

For the second Summer in a row, one of the two large yucca plants in front of our Monastery church is in full bloom. With a flowering head of some three feet tall, and about ten feet above the ground, the delicate white yucca blossoms are a beautiful sight. Yucca are...

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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Readings: First Kings 3:5, 7-12; Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans 8:28-30; Gospel of Saint Matthew 13:44-52 As we probably can all attest, our contemporary culture teaches us to seek the good life, at whatever the cost, literally. More often than not, today...

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July 23rd: Friendly Fledgling

We have named the bird in our photo today, "Robin," who is still learning to fly, with our cloister garden as the testing ground. We have been praying for rain, as the usual monsoon season seems to be delayed. Fortunately, on the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, July...

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Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Readings: Book of Wisdom 12:13.16-19; Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans 8:26-27; Gospel of Saint Matthew 13:24-43 This Sunday we have more parables from Jesus about God’s good earth, dealing with weeds growing in the midst of wheat and a mustard seed planted in a...

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