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So far A Monk has created 25 blog entries.

Christmas 2021

2022-01-15T15:55:46-06:00December 25th, 2021|Homilies of Father Abbot|

Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given. (Isaiah 9:6)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

My Very Dear Brothers of Our Lady of the Annunciation,

These words, which are taken from the Prophet Isaiah, found their perfect accomplishment in a little cave near Bethlehem some two thousand years ago and have continued to echo down through the ages. Indeed, a Child is born to us, and what a Child! Son of Mary, He is also the very Son whom the Father, in the brightness of eternity, before the day-star, engenders as God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God. This Messiah, whom many kings and prophets had longed to see and did not see, longed to hear and did not hear, was delivered into […]

Immaculate Conception 2021

2021-12-18T16:16:31-06:00December 8th, 2021|News|

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

Listen to how Holy Mother Church speaks about the Blessed Virgin Mary in her Immaculate Conception. “Thou art all fair, Mary, and the original stain is not in thee” (1st antiphon of Lauds). “Thy garments are white as snow, and thy face is as the sun” (2nd antiphon). This is the language of a nobler love, the expression of an admiration that stretches beyond the common human measure. We find here a model for our own prayers to Mary.

“Thou art all fair.” Not just fair, but entirely so. This is not of earth, but of the perfection of Heaven. This is not the passing beauty that today is and tomorrow already begins to wither. Sin is the hidden principle of all that is […]

Clear Creek Calendar 2022

2022-01-29T15:27:41-06:00December 1st, 2021|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

Where will the Year of Our Lord 2022 take us? Where does time fly (tempus fugit)? In other cultural milieus time has seemed to be a kind of perpetual mechanism that just turns with the seasons—without end. Not so in the perspective of Holy Scripture. As a noted Catholic philosopher expresses it:

Man is naturally frightened by the irreversibility of his own duration and the very newness of unpredictable events. He refused to face them. Hence, the negation of time by archaic civilizations.… [There are] the oriental conceptions of the eternally recurrent phases of destruction and regeneration of the cosmos. Christianity has taught us that history has a direction, that it works in a determined direction. History is not an eternal return; it does not […]

The Idea of a Pilgrimage

2022-02-05T15:43:21-06:00October 23rd, 2021|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

In an essay entitled The Idea of a Pilgrimage, Hilaire Belloc, who had a certain personal experience of the thing, takes us beyond the mere definition and into the fuller, incarnate, sense of what it means to go on pilgrimage:

There has always hung round the idea of a pilgrimage, with all people and at all times – I except those very rare and highly decadent generations of history in which no pilgrimages are made, nor any journeys, save for curiosity or greed – there has always hung round it, I say, something more than the mere objective. … I will visit the grave of a saint or of a man whom I venerate privately for his virtues and deeds, but on my way I […]

Learn from the Bees and the Beavers

2022-11-29T16:06:18-06:00March 29th, 2021|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux is quoted as saying, “You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.” Our monastic life at Clear Creek often takes us into that school of God’s wisdom where we find “tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything” (William Shakespeare, As You Like It, II.i. 1-17). Here is a text summarizing what one of our monks has learned. — br. Philip Anderson, abbot

The inspired and wonderful yet often under-appreciated book of Ecclesiasticus (aka Sirach) tells us: “The principal things necessary for the life of men are water, fire and iron, salt, milk, and bread of flour, and honey, […]

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