Revelation of Something Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Revelation of Something Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Today, on this Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, I want to examine it not through the Magi or through the gifts they bore, which I’ve done before, but rather through the person of King Herod. For after hearing this Gospel story, I am faced with a question: Why was King Herod surprised? It seems to me that the presence of the Star of Bethlehem would have been obvious and that he would have tried to figure out what it meant. Yet he was astonished at the arrival of Magi from the East.

The question of the Magi was: “Where is the newborn King of the Jews?” The Gospel relates that he was greatly troubled. Of course, he should be! For his title was “King of the Jews,” and non-Jews, Zoroastrians, came from the East, seeking out a newborn king when, in his mind, the King of the Jews was standing right before them! “We have seen his star at its rising,” they said, “and have come to do him homage.” His star? What star? There’s a star out there? There’s another King of the Jews out there to challenge me?! After listening to the prophecy from Isaiah, he asks the Magi when the star appeared.

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Welcoming Brother Pius to the Novitiate

Welcoming Brother Pius to the Novitiate

“The Lord clothed me with garments of salvation; he has covered me with a robe of justice”.

This was the second antiphon of Vespers on Wednesday, December 7th.  It was particularly appropriate that evening because, along with praying the Liturgy of the Hours, we had the joy of welcoming Billy Rombach into our community as a novitiate and clothing him with the black Benedictine habit.

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The Things Children See

The Things Children See

When I was a child, I remember doing a watercolor and presenting it to my dad. He looked at it, said that he loved it, and then asked, “What is it?” I was rather miffed at his question because anyone with any sense could see that it was the picture of a man! “There’s the head, there are the arms (the left one bent over his chest), and the legs,” all in varying shades of green. It was quite clear—at least to my child’s eyes! My dad took a picture frame for it, one that was too small, and then cutting away different parts of the watercolor so the most colorful part was visible—the torso—he placed it in the picture frame and threw out the rest of my masterpiece. And he hung it in my bedroom!

Oh the things children see!

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A Reflection on Cow Manure

A Reflection on Cow Manure

Last Friday night several of us monks went up to the north pastureland for a bonfire. The air was crisp, the s’mores were perfect, the stars were shining, and as I stepped away from the blazing bonfire that was beginning to singe my beard, I put my right shoe into a cow patty! There were a number of land mines around, strategically placed for all of us to have a shared experience. Of course, we all uttered what you are all saying under your breath right now: “Yuck,” and “That’s gross!”

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