Thou shalt not

“I never thought of walking on the grass until I saw a sign saying ‘Keep off the grass.’ Then I would stomp all over it.” –Saul Alinsky “Apart from the … Continue Reading →

Homily for Ash Wednesday (text)

Each evening, before Vespers, we monks line up in a pair of rows.  We call this formation ‘statio’.  The word has military significance.  Statio is the ready formation of the … Continue Reading →

Time and Beauty: Violin Phase

To receive the terrible gift of time: I am not what I was I am not yet what I shall be And yet when two or three (or even four) … Continue Reading →

The Multiplication of the Loaves

In this morning’s gospel (Mark 8: 1-10), Jesus feeds the four thousand with five loaves of bread. During the past six or seven years, I’ve been hearing about a novel … Continue Reading →

Tu Pauperum Refugium: Josquin (ca. 1450-1521)

[For an explanation of this series, please click here.] I will begin this series with a piece that I encountered as a sophomore in college. It changed the way I … Continue Reading →

Lost in Translation: ‘Relatives’ or ‘Kindred’?

This morning at Vigils, we heard this reading from Genesis 24: 4: “you will go to my own land and to my relatives to get a wife for my son … Continue Reading →

Worlds Within Worlds

Sometimes I think of the contrast: a noisy, proletarian rue Legendre and this never-changing Mass…one step, and one is in a totally different world.  This contrast somehow determined in my … Continue Reading →

On the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

It seems fitting that the first reading today was the story of David and Goliath.  Anyone engaged in the pro-life movement will have had the temptation to despair, given the … Continue Reading →

Is Pope Francis Making Priests’ Work Harder?

This was the question posed to me by Rod Dreher (author of Crunchy Cons: The New Conservative Counterculture and Its Return to Roots and, more recently, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: … Continue Reading →

Homily for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Is prayer natural? Podcast: Play in new window | Download