Epiphany 2022

2022-01-22T15:42:59-06:00January 6th, 2022|Homilies of Father Abbot|

And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him (Mt. 2).

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

On the feast of the Epiphany we remember three mysteries of the Faith, all having to do with Christ’s manifestation to the world: the visit of the Magi, the Baptism of the Lord, and the Wedding Feast of Cana, where Jesus performed His first public miracle, turning the water into wine. Of these three mysteries it is the visit of the Magi, the first panel of this mystical triptych, which we contemplate in particular on this sixth day of January, the other two scenes being commemorated in days and weeks to come.

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has been most adamant about […]

Christmas and the Real Presence

2022-02-05T15:58:45-06:00December 25th, 2021|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

Christmas is the season of light and peace par excellence. Its light is that from Heaven, and its peace a peace not of this world. But there is another aspect of this incomparable mystery and celebration, the fact that, while God was always present everywhere and in a special way to His people and to His prophets of old, He now comes to earth, not merely with the presence that is mediated by the Divine grace of revelation, but with the presence which belongs to God in Person, the Real Presence of the Son of God made man, appearing at the humblest spot in all creation, a locality transformed in an instant into the noblest of places beneath Heaven.

Recently at Clear Creek we had the joy […]

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 […]

All Saints 2021

2021-11-01T16:15:44-05:00November 1st, 2021|Homilies of Father Abbot|

After this I saw a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and in the sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and they cried with a loud voice saying: Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb. (Apoc. 7)

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

Today we celebrate All Saints’ Day, the feast, not of just one Saint, but of the entire heavenly court. Saint John, in his Apocalypse, sees them as a “great multitude which no man could number” (7:9). In every age God has raised up these heroes of the Faith, both to do battle with the powers of darkness that deceive the […]

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 […]

The Chapter House

2022-05-31T13:56:28-05:00October 13th, 2021|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

As with most houses, the monastic house has its common areas and its special places. There are rooms where a spider’s web will hardly last a day before being unceremoniously swept into oblivion; there are others where, well, the standard of cleanliness is somewhat lacking at times (from which the spider knows how to benefit). The most important places in a monastery are called “regular places”, loci regulares in Latin. In these places there must be a more profound silence and greater respect all round. The church is, of course, the first of these regular places, but there is another which the monks frequent assiduously, which is to say the Chapter Room, or Chapter House. All the great cathedrals and monasteries of Europe had their Chapter House.

Clear Creek Abbey hosts Three Hearts Pilgrimage

2021-09-30T11:49:46-05:00September 30th, 2021|News|

Clear Creek Abbey will again host the final Mass of the Three Hearts Pilgrimage, October 21st-23rd, 2021: A sacrificial walk of reparation which culminates at the High Mass at Clear Creek Abbey.  Father Abbot described last year’s pilgrimage thusly:

Some six hundred pilgrims entered our church at the end of a thirty-five-mile walk described as “half as long as Chartres, but twice as hard,” meaning it included some steep hills between the first campsite near the Illinois river and our abbey. This was the first Three Hearts Pilgrimage, dedicated to a work of reparation under the patronage of Our Lady Help of Christians and the Three Hearts, that is to say the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Most Chaste Heart of Joseph.

You […]

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