Letters to the Friends

A Word That Moves Heaven And Earth

2024-04-20T17:54:54-05:00April 13th, 2024|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

There is a little word whose worth is impossible to measure. Its origins are somewhat mysterious, but it emerges from the prayer of ancient Israel and echoes down the ages, animating the prayers of the early Christians and finding a place even in the final chapters of the Apocalypse. It is especially present in the Church’s liturgy at Easter and throughout Paschaltide. It contains the Divine Name and much more. You have no doubt guessed by now what this little word is.Sunday Vespers Alleluia Antiphon

Saint John heard it sung with a voice that shook the heavens: “I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of […]

The Wind in the Wilderness

2024-02-23T17:48:11-06:00January 13th, 2024|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

Poised on the threshold of a new year of God’s grace, while we prayerfully consider the challenges that confront us, whether in the world in general, in our American society (on the brink of mental, if not material civil war), or even in the Church, we are tempted by discouragement. Is our world not going to be ripped apart? As Catholic Christians, we are taught to cultivate the theological virtue of hope, but the human landscape that surrounds us seems very much to be taking the shape of a wilderness. How shall we manage?

Well, in fact, if we can free ourselves for a moment from the cultural shallows, where all things tend to descend into mud and muck, if we can lift our heads again like […]

Crowd Around The Crib

2023-12-22T17:34:32-06:00December 22nd, 2023|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

Would you like to flee the calculated madness that dominates much of contemporary society? or even a certain chaos that troubles the Church? And do this without cultural cowardice, without escapism? Would you like to find release by means of a supernatural realism, the surest guard of sanity? Then come to the place where this can happen—come crowd around the Crib. We will find ourselves there in good company, rubbing elbows (most respectfully), not only with the Holy Family, the Shepherds, and the Magi, but also (liturgically speaking) with those perfect champions of the pro-life cause, the Holy Innocents, and that great man, St. Thomas Becket, Chaucer’s “holy blissful martyr,” along with so many others, whose feasts we celebrate in the Octave that prolongs Christmas. Truly a holy […]

Progress of a Pilgrimage

2023-11-23T15:45:37-06:00November 9th, 2023|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

From October 12th through October 14th, under the patronage of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Most Chaste Heart of Joseph, the Three Hearts Pilgrimage made its way again this year over some 35 miles of rough terrain, through the back roads of Cherokee County, to our abbey church. His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke was here to preside over the final solemn Mass and to consecrate the Pilgrimage to those Three Hearts.

Pilgrims arrived at the starting point from every part of the United States and even from Europe (Scotland!). Since its inception, the Pilgrimage has constantly gained momentum, and the numbers have greatly increased. In 2021 there were about one thousand pilgrims; this year that number was more than […]

The Duty To Be Merry

2023-11-17T13:55:24-06:00August 13th, 2023|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

Friendship is unique, something like a snowflake or an angel (Saint Thomas Aquinas explains that each angel is unique in terms of personality), and yet freely shared. It differs in intensity, as do the stars (explains Saint Paul somewhere), thereby contributing to the beauty of the universe, a universe that is wonderful in its diversity and proportion. Friendship is a most precious gift in any human life. The same goes for monastic communities.

While a Benedictine prelate, Cardinal Augustine Mayer, was visiting the monks of Notre-Dame de Triors in France many years ago, one day during recreation, upon realizing that there were two Americans in the community (including me), he turned to us Yankees and asked us if we knew of the Poor Clares of Roswell, New […]

Remnant of Paradise

2023-11-02T12:36:14-05:00May 13th, 2023|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey has been graced over the years with a number of friends, some of them prominent, but most of them—like you and me—famous only in the eyes of God. Who could even count the precious souls or estimate the good we have derived from the treasure of these friendships?

A few weeks ago, I wrote to you about our great mentor and friend, John Senior, the centennial of whose birth we are celebrating this year. There is another “centenarian” in that sense, Alice von Hildebrandone worthy of our loving attention: the late Dr. Alice von Hildebrand (1923-2022), who was a faithful supporter and friend of our monastery from the beginning. […]

A Joyful Chapter

2023-11-17T13:58:37-06:00March 13th, 2023|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

In a sentiment of profound thanks to God and to all of you, who have helped us along the road, I wish to share with you some photos that can give you a certain sense of the joy that filled our abbey on January 22nd, when the Most Reverend David Konderla, bishop of Tulsa, came to bless the newly completed Chapter House, in the presence of all the monks and a crowd of the local faithful. These photographic images can only express a portion of the spiritual and human sentiments that moved our hearts on that special day; nevertheless, you may find in them a means of seeing the larger picture and of sharing in our thankfulness, if it is true that a picture is worth a thousand […]

Mending the Soil

2023-11-17T15:32:58-06:00January 13th, 2023|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

And [the man] said to the dresser of the vineyard: Behold, for these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down therefore: why cumbereth it the ground? But he answering, said to him: Lord, let it alone this year also, until I dig about it, and dung it (Lk. 13:7-8).

As our agricultural experts inform us and our farmers—after generations of experience—concur, the fertility of soil implies a kind of balance. The scientist will speak to us of the pH factor, a measure of the relative proportions of acidity and alkaline qualities, assuring us that soil apt for growing all sorts of useful plants […]

Light of Christmas

2023-03-26T14:01:53-05:00December 26th, 2022|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

There is much discussion in the Church these days about traveling down a “common road,” synodality. Whatever may be your view on this—and views differ—one thing is clear: the road that beckons to us in this particular season is the one leading to Bethlehem. There we will find Him who would one day announce that He is the road, the way. “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn. 14:6). Furthermore, as we travel during Advent with the Holy Family toward the Little Town in Judea that is to be the birthplace of the Savior of mankind, the Child is already in our midst, as He rides in the womb of His Immaculate mother, perched with her upon the donkey led by Saint Joseph. What a […]

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 […]


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