Faith in a Seed – Br. Nicholas Bartoli

Br. Nicholas Bartoli

John 18:1 – 19:42

Our efforts cultivating the fruit of the earth were modest at best, because growing up in Brooklyn meant not have having much gardening space. In our backyard, we had a few small rectangles of soil in which to plant our hopes for fresh vegetables and herbs. We experimented with everything from eggplants to pumpkins, but what I remember most is the tomato plants tended by my father and grandfather, taller than me at the time and filled with beautiful ripe tomatoes. That such a prodigious crop could come from so tiny a handful of seeds never ceased to amaze me. And after we had planted the seeds for next season, I waited with a mixture of hope and awe for what seemed like a miracle, new tomato plants rising from the ground in which the seeds were buried.

Nowadays, many of us who live in cities don’t consider anything about our food very miraculous, and we probably aren’t familiar with placing all our faith in a seed. But the lives of our ancestors, certainly in Jesus’ time, were intimately woven with nature’s cycles of death and new life. The fruit of each plant gives its life for the rich potential of its seeds, and each seed itself must die so to bring forth new growth. Continue reading

Praying Good Friday

“The cross bears us and the weight of the world. Nothing is too much. Here is our hope: everything is held and healed on this broken body which the Good Shepherd chose to lay down for us. ‘Look on the one whom they have pierced.’
– Br. Luke Ditewig

Good Friday marks the second day of the Triduum (from the Latin for ‘three days’), the day on which we commemorate the Lord’s crucifixion and death.

The worship offered at the Monastery is in fact a continuation of the liturgy begun last night and it will not ‘end’ until the Great Vigil of Easter. The vesture of the sacred ministers is deep red, accented with black, recalling the solemnity and sobriety of the day, and the Gospel according to John is chanted to an ancient tone, which you can hear below.

The liturgy crests as a cross is carried in and venerated by the gathered congregation. All depart in silence to the awkward waiting of Holy Saturday and the restrained anticipation of the Great Vigil of Easter.

How will you stand beside Jesus in his hour of greatest need?

Audio:

Sermons:

“Look at Love” – Br. Luke Ditewig
Would you rather turn away from the Cross? Br. Luke encourages us, “Admit your fear or grief or confusion, your guilt and shame.” And look at love on the Cross.

“Life out of Death” – Br. Curtis Almquist
We are not spared the experience of the cross, we are shared the experience. And the only way to survive the many deaths of this life is to surrender to Christ, taking him at his word: that life comes out of death.

“Love Upon a Cross” – Br. David Vryhof
We have been captured by this love, smitten and overwhelmed by this love, changed and transformed by this love. And how could it not be?

“Life By His Death” – Br. Geoffrey Tristram
Our greatest hope in Jesus is that however dark the day, even as dark as Good Friday, we can look in confidence and trust to the cross. “For he hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death.”

Video:


Suffering (3:01)
Br. Robert L’Esperance
Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 1.54.56 PM
Good Friday (2:55)
Br. John Braught

“Good Shepherd” (52:58)
Br. David Vryhof

Photo Gallery:

Holy Week Audio 2014

A musical selection from this year’s Holy Week liturgies.

IMG_0685Maundy Thursday

 

 

IMG_0745

Good Friday

 

IMG_1022Great Vigil of Easter

 

 

 

 

Images from Good Friday 2014

Music from Good Friday


7056792311_3765a149bc_zClick on the links below to hear musical selections from the Good Friday liturgy.

Psalm 40:1-14
Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended
Three Plainsong Anthems (We glory in your cross; We adore you, O Christ; O Savior of the world)
Four American Hymns (Jesus keep me near the cross; When Jesus came to Golgotha; When Jesus wept; Cross of Jesus, cross of sorrow)
Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle
And now, O Father, mindful of the love
Were you there?

Continue reading

Good Friday – Sung Passion Gospel

6910690172_c6ddacd2cd_zClick on the player above to hear the recording.
The Passion Gospel is sung by:

Br. Jim Woodrum (Narrator)
Andrew Sinnes, SSJE Intern (Jesus)
Noah Van Niel (Pontius Pilate, the crowd, and other voices)

After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. Continue reading

Suffering

It was not because Jesus was oblivious to pain that enabled him to undergo such cruelty. It was because he knew the depth of human grief and loss and despair. And he knew that, because he loved.

– Br. James Koester
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

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Question for Reflection:
Will you ask God to transform your suffering into greater love?

Comments:

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