The Feast of Michael and All Angels – Br. Eldridge Pendleton

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Michael and All Angels, one of the great solemnities of the Christian liturgical calendar, and in doing so we focus our attention on the role of angels in the development of Judeo-Christian history. But it is also an opportunity for us to consider angels and their importance in our own personal spirituality. Is there room for them in your Christian faith, and if so, what part do they play? You may understand their significance in the unfolding of the Christian story in its early beginnings, but do they mean much to you currently? After all, we are living in the 21st century CE. Aren’t they really similar to fairy tale characters—figures of fantasy? As such, are they the weak link in your Christian faith? Do they really exist? I must say I have had my doubts and still do. While it is a comforting thought to many, do we really have guardian angels, special celestial beings whose purpose is to watch over us and keep us from harm. I suspect something mysterious is at work when I enter a crowded parking lot and the best place opens for me or when I am spared a terrible accident averted in the nick of time. Could this be the work of an angel? Continue reading

Praying with courage and honesty – Br. Geoffrey Tristram

This sermon is available only in audio format.
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Letter from the Superior, Spring 2009

The English word “despair” comes from the Latin desperare from de- “without” + sperare “to hope.” Without hope, life can easily be too much, and despair comes knocking at the door. Hope is not optimism. Optimism is a mere gloss on the surface. The traditional symbol for hope is an anchor. An anchor will hold you fast and keep you from drifting, and yet, pulled up and stowed, an anchor also travels with you as you sail ahead in life. Hope is a “steadfast anchor of the soul,” we read in the Letter to the Hebrews 6:19. Hope is something that rests deeper in the water than what happens on the stormy surface of life. For Saint Paul, all that we do and every step we take is underlined by hope. We live by hope, he reminds us. Most everything else in life is fleeting, and yet “faith, hope, and love abide.”1 Cor. 13:13

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Letter from the Superior, Summer 2009

One sunny summer day as a young boy I experienced a miracle.  I was holding a small magnifying lens, examining a flower petal.  Suddenly the flower leapt on fire.  I was shocked!  In a profoundly simple way, I witnessed the power of captured light: enormous.  All light emanates from God.  In the Genesis creation account, God creates light on the first day – “Let there be light”; however it is not until the fourth day that God creates the sun, moon, and stars (Gen.1:1-19).  God’s light precedes our light.  This is such an important reminder when you are living through a cloudy day or stormy season of life: how to capture, store, focus, reflect God’s light, the light of life.  Several practices are helpful.

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Powerful Words – Br. David Vryhof

James 3:1-12

Listen again to the words of our epistle lesson from The Letter of James as paraphrased by Eugene Peterson in The Message:

“A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything – or destroy it! Continue reading

Martyrs of Memphis – Br. James Koester

This sermon is available only in audio format.

Hide and Seek – Br. Mark Brown

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Ps. 27:1-6, 17-18
Luke 4:31-37

“One thing have I asked of the Lord; one thing I seek;
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life;
To behold the fair beauty of the Lord and seek him in his temple.”

Watching Senator Kennedy’s funeral the other day reminded me of how important it is to have temples. We need places to celebrate great lives—imperfect lives, works in progress we presume.  We need places to celebrate ordinary lives—imperfect lives, works in progress.  We need places to gather to celebrate life itself and the One who made it all possible. Continue reading