Notes, Homilies, and News

Click here to subscribe to updates via email.

January 6th: The Epiphany of the Lord

Traditionally, the Twelfth Day of Christmas is dedicated to the Epiphany of the Lord. Epiphany can also be translated as "Manifestation," when the Christ Child was made known to the nations with the visit of the Magi, wise men from the east, who came to adore the...

read more

January 5th: Winter Cheer

Predictably, our Christmas cactus are blooming again. We have several large pots of them, safely kept indoors all winter and in the full light of sun most of the day. The Christmas cactus and about twenty other potted plants and flowers are in the cloister corridor...

read more

January 4th: Proclaim the Good News

Every day at the Conventual Mass, the reading of the Gospel is preceded by a solemn Gregorian chant Alleluia, in order to raise our minds and hearts to better hear the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ, which the Gospel always proclaims. On Sundays and...

read more

January 3rd: Second Sunday of Christmas

An Old Testament passage that was a favorite of our monastery's founder, Father Aelred Wall (1917 - 1984), was this one, from the Book of the Wisdom of Solomon: "For while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was half spent, your...

read more

January 2nd: Taxi Driver Matty

"She ain't heavy, she's my sister." Our barnyard managerie, composed of sixteen sheep, one donkey and fifty hens, gets along very well. Even the three cats on the sidelines are part of the mix and don't threaten the chickens at all. And certainly not the donkey! The...

read more

January 1st: Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God

On the Octave (Eighth) Day of Christmas, we commemorate in a special way the the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Throughout the ages Christians have depicted our Lady in various and sundry sacred images, which include paintings on...

read more

December 31st: The Seventh Day of Christmas

The last day of the calendar year is also the Seventh Day of Christmas. On the Eighth Day of Christmas, January 1st, we celebrate the beginning of a new civil year. The Church asks us on January 1st to focus on the remembrance of Mary the Mother of Jesus, declared at...

read more

December 30th: The Sixth Day of Christmas

We awoke on December 29th to a fresh blanket of snow. In the desert Southwest moisture in either form, as rain or snow, is always welcome. Winter snow and occasional rain are of course good for the earth and a deterant to dreaded forest fires in the spring, summer and...

read more

December 29th: Renewal of Vows

On Holy Family Sunday, December 27th, two of our young monks renewed their simple vows for one year, in the presence of Abbot Christian and the monastic community. Brother Pio was born Malawi and is in charge of our cars, keeping them in working order. He is also a...

read more

December 28th: Magi Prepare

A trek to Bethlehem would have taken the wise men from the east some days of travel. Maybe they traveled by camel, or could they have made the journey by horseback? Here we like to think it was by horseback and can imagine the necessary preparation. Precious gifts of...

read more

December 27: Christmas Greetings

Our celebration of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ carries on in prayerful rejoicing. We carry out the daily round of chanting of the Divine Office, in praise of our Creator and for the needs and intentions of all of our families, friends, benefactors...

read more

December 26th: Christ is Born for Us!

Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the new-born King; Peace on earth, and mercy mild; God and sinners reconciled." Joyful all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies; With angelic hosts proclaim, "Christ in born in Bethlehem!"

read more

Holy Family Sunday

Readings: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14; Colossians 3:12-21; Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23 In our Catholic Liturgical Calendar the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas is always dedicated to the mystery of the Holy Family of Nazareth, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. This year “on the third...

read more

Christmas Mass at Midnight

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 9:2-7; Letter to Titus 2:11-14; Gospel According to Luke 2:1-14 First, a blessed and Merry Christmas to all! The celebrations have just begun, and continue in earnest for nearly two weeks, for what are traditionally called the “Twelve Days...

read more

December 24th: Christmas Eve

"O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appears." Rejoice! rejoice! O Israel, to thee has come Emmanuel. A Blessed and Merry Christmas to our families, friends, benefactors and oblates. Abbot...

read more

December 23rd: Winter Sunsets

Winter has officially begun and we are enjoying spectacular sunsets. The O Antiphon at Vespers for December 22nd (see explantion of O Antiphons for December 20th entry on this page) proclaims: "O King of all nations and keystone of the Church; come and save those whom...

read more

December 22nd: Brother Leander’s Milestone

Our senior monk, Brother Leander Hogg, turned 94 on December 20th. Ad multos annos! Brother Leander faithfully lives our life day in and day out and attends without fail the Divine Office and Conventual Mass. He works also in the formation of new Brothers, teaches...

read more

DID YOU KNOW you can search over 10 years of Christ Desert homilies and reflections by typing key words, phrases, scriptural citations, or dates into this search box?

"Let everyone that comes be received as Christ."

— The Rule of St. Benedict

If you have two minutes to fill in our website feedback form, we would love to hear what you think...