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So far A Monk has created 21 blog entries.

All Saints 2022

2022-11-08T15:13:05-06:00November 1st, 2022|Homilies of Father Abbot|

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My very dear sons,

Today’s feast, by means of its liturgical texts, transports us into the courts of the heavenly Jerusalem, where all the Saints, those who have fought the good fight on earth, enjoy evermore the fruits of their victory over sin and death. They praise God and the Lamb, that is to say Our Lord, as He appears in the Apocalypse of Saint John, knowing their victories derive, in fact, from Christ’s own Passion, Death and Resurrection. “And I saw: and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the ancients, a Lamb standing as if slain…” (Apoc. 5:6). The Saints are truly this “cloud of witnesses” the Epistle to the Hebrews mentions (12:1), who encourage us […]

Monastic Melodies

2022-10-29T15:55:44-05:00October 13th, 2022|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

Some of you are aware of the recent release on September 9th of our second recording: Rorate Cœli: Marian Sounds of Advent. There are multiple reasons behind this effort: to foster devotion to Our Lady who is the patron saint of our community; to contribute in some little way to the appreciation of Gregorian chant, which must have pride of place in liturgical celebrations; and, finally, to share our monastic life with a greater number of our fellow human beings, whether Catholic or not, through the medium of the official sacred song of the Church.

It may seem odd to be promoting in September this repertory centered on certain portions of the liturgy of Advent, but […]

In the Time of the Laughing Man

2022-11-29T15:45:50-06:00August 29th, 2022|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

Although it is somewhat “unorthodox” in its deeper orthodoxy, I thought you might appreciate the following meditation written by one of my monks at the abbey. Here goes…

Of the four elements which the ancient Greeks considered to make up the universe (earth, air, fire and water), all except earth are seen in Holy Scripture as signifying the Holy Spirit: blowing air and fire at Pentecost (Cf. Acts 2:2-3), and water in John 7:37-39. Christian art, in portraying the Holy Spirit, seems to prefer to draw upon a different Scriptural symbol, that is, the dove, as seen at the baptism of Our Lord, when the Holy Spirit comes down “as a dove” (Cf. Matthew 3:16, John 1:32).And the Most Holy Trinity is sometimes portrayed (and […]

Assumption 2022

2022-08-20T15:21:26-05:00August 15th, 2022|Homilies of Father Abbot|

Signum magnum apparuit in caelo, A great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. (Revelations 12:1)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
My very dear sons,

Never was there mere creature—be it Cherub or prominent member of the choir of Seraphim—more gracious than the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her beauty transcends the canons of art, surpasses the greatest exemplars of human loveliness known to history. The Church contemplates this truth on today’s feast of the Assumption, as we commemorate that sublime moment, when, being lifted body and soul into the glory of Heaven, Mary’s beauty found its ultimate consummation. Today’s Introit, taken from the Book of the Apocalypse, powerfully underlines the mystery. She is wrapped in the […]

St. Benedict 2022

2022-08-27T16:00:06-05:00July 11th, 2022|Homilies of Father Abbot|

Ecce nos reliquimus omnia, et secuti sumus te…Behold, we have left all things and have followed Thee; what therefore shall we have? (Matthew 19:27)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My very dear Sons,

It is striking how, in today’s reading from the Gospel, the emphasis is all on the idea of leaving behind the world. Saint Peter seems quite happy about the fact that he and the other apostles had abandoned all their possessions–even their families–in order to follow the Lord. Christ Himself, far from disapproving of such an attitude, confirms it and blesses it saying in solemn fashion:

Amen I say to you, that you, who have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of His Glory, you also shall sit on […]

Days and Nights

2022-11-29T15:52:54-06:00June 29th, 2022|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

Ours is a life that hardly varies day-by-day in its tranquil rhythm of Ora et Labora, composed of liturgical or private prayer punctuated by work of various sorts. Seven times a day and once during the night we meet to offer praise to God in our monastic church; morning and afternoon we go out to accomplish the necessary tasks that allow us to live largely from the labor of our own hands.

God in His infinite wisdom does send our way, nevertheless, those providential exceptions, the special events, that allow the good of monastic life to radiate outward into the Church and the world for the benefit of many outside the monastery walls. I thought that you might appreciate learning of some of these events that have […]

Pentecost 2022

2022-06-11T15:16:57-05:00June 5th, 2022|Homilies of Father Abbot|

All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My very Dear Sons,

It has not escaped the notice of Christians down through the ages that after the Ascension, when the Apostles returned to the Upper Room in Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Ghost, the holy women that had followed the Lord during His public ministry were also present, and among them the Blessed and Ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of God.

Saint Peter is the uncontested leader of the Apostles and followers of Christ, and yet, in many icons and other artistic representations of the scene of the Pentecost, it is the figure of Mary that holds the center position. Thus, she […]

Ascension 2022

2022-05-28T15:20:19-05:00May 26th, 2022|Homilies of Father Abbot|

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My very dear Sons,

When Our Lord “lost foot,” so to speak, on the hill overlooking Jerusalem, disappearing upwards into the clouds of Heaven, He took a great deal more than His sacred and resurrected Body: He ascended with our own humanity in some sense, being Himself a summary and exemplar of the human nature, now restored and perfected beyond anything men of former ages ever dreamt of. He took us—or at any rate what is the best of us—with Him in hope. He did not drag our sins along to the place above, but whatever was found to be noble, pure, genuine, beneficial—whatever is holy in the history of mankind—this He carried to Paradise.

Inversely, here below, since the moment of the Ascension, the world has never been quite […]

The Latin Mass and the Problem of Poverty

2022-07-30T17:09:42-05:00May 13th, 2022|Letters to the Friends|

As we continue to bask in the warmth and after-glow of the Resurrection of the Lord, many reflections nourish our contemplation, while we meditate upon the scenes of the Gospel relating the meetings of the Risen Lord with His disciples. One page in particular reminds me of many of our friends involved with the Traditional Latin Mass, as they walk along the path of their lives like the pilgrims of Emmaus after the tragedy of Good Friday. Contemplating the new restrictions on the older liturgical usage they seem to say: “We hoped that it was this older rite that should have helped restore the life of the Church: and now besides all this, today is the third day…” (See Luke 24:21ff) […]

Easter 2022

2022-04-30T16:07:15-05:00April 17th, 2022|Homilies of Father Abbot|

At that time: Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James and Salome…entering into the sepulcher saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe…who saith to them: Be not afraid; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he is risen, he is not here…

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My very dear sons,

Ever since a certain Easter morning, when the unthinkable, the unspeakable, the unimaginable victory of life over death and of light over darkness occurred, Christians have looked to the place from which the Risen Christ escaped in radiant glory, as a symbol and proof of the ultimate triumph of good over evil. Although we all too often forget the lesson of God’s wisdom and power, falling back on human remedies for our woes; […]

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