After Ireland

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey, Following the resounding—the deafening—defeat of the pro-life cause in Ireland on May 25th by a referendum that repealed the eighth amendment of Ireland’s constitution protecting the unborn, someone asked me, “What now?” Despite the … Read More

Oranges and Lemons

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey, There was a time when life was ordered, not by the ringtone of your so-called smart phone, but according to the melodious and mysterious voice of the church bell. This is undoubtedly still the … Read More

Recipe for Sanity

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey, While I write this letter America is struggling—once again—to come to grips with the unspeakable horror of a mass shooting, perpetrated this time on Ash Wednesday, which was also St. Valentine’s Day this year. … Read More

The Battle for Beauty

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey, In a remark delivered at a meeting of monastic superiors a few years ago, an abbot argued that the Church should stop cultivating beauty and instead promote ugliness. This ironic statement (uttered no doubt … Read More

The Prince of Silence

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey, As angry voices fuel the endless debates of partisan politics and simple souls find themselves ever more confused amid the struggles of a society having lost its human and divine bearings, we aspire as … Read More

The Stolen Rainbow

My heart leaps up when I behold A rainbow in the sky … — William Wordsworth Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey, If there is a biblical image that speaks to all mankind—in all times and places—it is surely that … Read More

Praise in the Church

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey, Though the beauty of its sacred melodies rarely echoes in the parishes and religious communities of our time, Gregorian chant has a way of surviving the vicissitudes of liturgical decline and renewal. Despite the … Read More

The Third Day of Fatima

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey, On May 13th, feast of Our Lady of Fatima, His Holiness Pope Francis will have canonized at the sanctuary in Portugal two of the three shepherd children who were the privileged witnesses of extraordinary … Read More

Purity and Primeval Praise

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey, There is no subject more central to monastic doctrine than that of purity of heart. The conferences of St. John Cassian bear ample witness to this fact. Seeing God in the company of the … Read More

In Praise of Rural Manners

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey, The Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy, wrote that “happy people have no history.” Other interpretations of this mysterious saying are possible, but here is one: since what we call “history” is often made of wars … Read More

The Yule Child

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey, As the last logs (to use a homely metaphor) of the Year of Our Lord 2016 burn slowly down to embers, we remain pensive in our meditations, thinking back over battles lost and won. … Read More