The Tree of Life; The Gift of Life – Br. Curtis Almquist

Br. Curtis AlmquistRevelation 22:1-7

The Book of Revelation needs to be interpreted like a dream, sometimes like a nightmare.  Its imagery draws on signs and symbols and language familiar historically for two reasons.  For one, half of 400 or so verses of the Book of Revelation have an Old Testament reference.  And much of the remaining half is code language from the end of the first century during the oppressive reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian.   Continue reading

O-phoria – Br. Mark Brown

Br. Mark BrownLuke 21:5-9

“As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.” Jesus’ ominous words about the destruction of the Temple.  The Romans did indeed destroy it in 70 A.D.  I’ve just seen where it once stood.  In its place now is the great Dome of the Rock, a masterpiece of Islamic architecture.  The plot has thickened–considerably. Continue reading

Hilda of Whitby and the Virtue of Humility – Br. David Vryhof

For monastics in every age, one of the most sought-after virtues was and is the virtue of humility. From the early desert fathers and mothers, we learn how essential humility is to the vocation of loving and serving God above all else:

Abba Anthony said, “I saw the snares that the enemy spread out over all the world and I said groaning, ‘What can get through from such snares?’ Then I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Humility.’”

…[Amma Syncletica] said, “Just as one cannot build a ship unless one has some nails, so it is impossible to be saved without humility.” Continue reading

Investing in Life – Br. Curtis Almquist

Br. Curtis Almquist

Matthew 25:14-30

In Jesus’ day, there was considerable conversation about “talent.”  Hearing about a “talent” was not in reference to someone’s ability; rather, talent was about money, as we hear in this Gospel reading today.  If Jesus is referring here to the talent-weight of silver, one talent would be approximately $300,000; if gold, upwards to $3 million in today’s exchange.  That’s one talent.  Continue reading

A Prayer for Lucca on the Occasion of her Baptism – Br. David Vryhof

Ecclesiasticus 2:1-11, Ephesians 1:11-23, and Luke 6:20-36

We’re not alone here today. Do you realize that? We know, first and foremost, that we are in the presence of God, the God in whom, as St Paul says, “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28); God is here with us. Today, on All Saints’ Sunday, we also recall that we are in the presence of all the saints, those men and women and children who have gone before us in the faith, who have shown us the way by their words and their actions. Continue reading