Daily Reflections

Memorial of St. Cornelius, pope, & St. Cyprian, bishop, martyrs

September 16, 2021

  We live in the midst of a phenomenon called “Cancel Culture.” It often goes like this: A certain person, a celebrity, politician, or historical figure is criticized for something they did wrong. It can be a word they said or a thing they did, sometimes even decades or years ago. The wrong is made…

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Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

September 15, 2021

  Sorrow. We don’t like to focus on the negative. I find myself turning to what is “light and bright.” On the other hand, some people never see the bright side. They only see things as “dark and stark.” Mary understood the importance of following Jesus in faith. She, in her model discipleship, looked for…

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Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

September 14, 2021

  I’ve been reflecting recently on the importance of reconciliation in life. The whole world watched the recent events that unfolded in Afghanistan. Conflicts are occurring at home in the United States as politics continues to be polarized. We Christians have an important role to play in all this. Christians are called to live lives…

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Memorial of St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

September 13, 2021

  In American society, we value freedom and achievement. Jesus values humility, love, and service. The greatest freedom is to love others. Humility is also a true ingredient for authentic freedom. And truly, you can have no greater achievement than to serve Christ by serving others from a pure heart. St. John Chrysostom understood this.…

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Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 12, 2021

  Today’s readings offer different messages that converge in the Gospel. In the Book of Isaiah, the prophet declares that he will not turn back. He “gave his back” to those who beat him and his face to “buffets and spitting.” He knew the Lord would help him. “Who,” he says “will prove me wrong?”…

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Saturday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

September 11, 2021

  Today’s Gospel is from the conclusion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain. If we look back over the whole sermon (see Lk 6:20-49), which we heard this week, what might we gain from such a spiritual treatise? There is no other teaching quite like it. The Kingdom of God upholds the opposite of what…

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Friday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

September 10, 2021

  Gratitude is the attitude of everyone. As Christians, gratitude is our attitude, because of what God has done for us in Christ Jesus our Lord. In today’s reading from 1 Timothy, St. Paul is an example of this. St. Paul had a rough start. He admits he was arrogant, prideful, and a persecutor and…

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Memorial of St. Peter Claver, Priest

September 9, 2021

  Today the Church commemorates a Spanish missionary who is known for his untiring ministry to Africans as they arrived in slave ships on the shores of 17th century Colombia. For nearly 40 years, Pedro Claver, “the slave of the slaves,” cared for their bodily and spiritual needs. It is estimated that he baptized 300,000…

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Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

September 8, 2021

  Today the Church celebrates the birthday of Mary, the wife of Joseph and the mother of Jesus. Her birth is not recounted in the Sacred Scriptures, but the circumstances of her marriage to Joseph and of the birth of her son are (see Mt 1-2 and Lk 1-2). From these sacred stories and also…

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Tuesday of the Twenty-third week in Ordinary Time

September 7, 2021

  In the passage from Colossians today, St. Paul paints a unique picture of Christ and how we participate in his life, death, and resurrection. In Christ dwells the fullness of the divine, and we have a share in it. How so? Read on. In Christ, we are circumcised, not according to the old law…

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Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

September 6, 2021

  On a certain sabbath, Jesus went into the synagogue and taught. (Lk 6:6a) Let us go in with him. Let us hear what he has to say. Yet, today it is not so much what he says but what he does that is the lesson. Who is there in the synagogue? There was a…

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Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 5, 2021

  God is good. I can say that wholeheartedly because I have experienced it. I have reflected on my life, and all the disparate strands of decisions I’ve made—yet I see the hand of God in it, guiding me all along. God is good, even clever! “Praise the Lord, my soul!” (Ps 146:1b) I have…

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Saturday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

September 4, 2021

  I suggest that there is a strong, yet hidden, Eucharistic theme in our first reading today: You once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds; God has now reconciled you in the fleshly Body of Christ through His death, to present you holy, without blemish. That we are reconciled, in the…

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Memorial of St. Gregory the Great, pope and doctor of the Church

September 3, 2021

  “I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father has conferred one on me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” There’s an interesting truth about human beings that emerges out of two themes at work…

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Thursday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

September 2, 2021

  “Put out into the deep water…” At the close of the jubilee year, 2000, our Holy Father, St. John Paul II, used these words in some of the first lines of his Apostolic letter, Novo Millenio ieunte. And how often, in other writings and talks, he told us, “Do not be afraid!” And what…

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Wednesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary time

September 1, 2021

  Our love in the Spirit There is a very helpful lesson about charity in our readings today. Jesus healed Simon’s mother-in-law so that “she got up immediately and waited on them.” Jesus heals her with the result that she comes into the circle of charity that he has come to bring to us in…

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Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

August 31, 2021

  “With authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” The desire for power is a very forceful stream that runs hidden in the psychic atmosphere of today’s culture. I do not say it is the only stream. There is, for example, a deep desire for security and peace, and harmony.…

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Monday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

August 30, 2021

  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind.” “Glad tidings,” “liberty,” “sight to the blind,” – these are God’s gifts not only to the people of…

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Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 29, 2021

  Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls. Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves. [from 2nd reading] Has God’s Word taken root in me? Is my life rooted in this God who wants to speak to me, who wants to…

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Memorial of St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

August 28, 2021

  What do you do with the talents given to you? In today’s gospel, we hear the parable of talents, the master is leaving for a journey and gives monies to three servants to use at their disposal. Two servants made good use of the monies and made more money. The third servant was too…

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Memorial of St. Monica

August 27, 2021

  Today’s gospel shares with us the parable of the virgins with their lamps awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom. This is a theme continued from yesterday’s gospel. Except, today, the theme of vigilance is being delivered through the image of a lamp. A lamp continuously burning means that it is always giving light, there…

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Thursday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

August 26, 2021

  “Be vigilant.” The monks’ prayer day begins with Vigils. This prayer is one we do early in the morning when it is still dark. This is for two purposes. The first is to always be in a state of prayer, always giving praise to God day AND night. The second is to be ready…

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Wednesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

August 25, 2021

  I remember typing essays in middle school and being very frustrated because it took me forever to type it up. Many of my classmates could type their essays and papers very fast, not like the turtle. I knew that if I wanted to be fast like them, I had to learn the keyboard and…

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Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle

August 24, 2021

  “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” This is Nathaniel’s response to Philip when Philip had told him he had found “The One,” that is the Son of God. Nathaniel is in disbelief. He sees Nazareth one way, and that’s it. And that way is negative. Nathaniel puts a label on something and keeps it…

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Monday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

August 23, 2021

  We hear in our gospel today, “woe to you Scribes…woe to you Pharisees…” and so on. Jesus is calling out those in power who teach one thing, and they themselves live a different way. His message is clear, live the way you teach. This is important for all of us adults, not just teachers…

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Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 22, 2021

  When we look to achieve something, one usually asks themselves, “Am I up for this?” This is a question asked to self to see if one’s body, if one’s mind, is up for the chore. We weigh things to see if they are doable. I think that’s the first reaction we all have. Wouldn’t…

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Memorial of St. Pius X, Pope

August 21, 2021

  It was heart-breaking to hear a college student say, “I never feel like I am good enough, and I always feel insufficient.” Her disappointment with herself was a wound at the level of her personal identity. For years she had placed her understanding of self in the opinions of others, and now she was…

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Memorial of St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

August 20, 2021

  I came across a line in my spiritual reading book that stood out as if God had taken a bright yellow highlighter and clearly marked it. It simply read: “No love can ever fill our heart like the love of God.” This statement could not speak the truth more clearly. When we come to…

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Thursday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

August 19, 2021

  The parable of the King holding the wedding feast for his son is a perfect description of the disappointments we can encounter in life. We experience hurt, rejection, and can feel cast aside. But, rather than focus on our disappointments, it is worth reflecting on God’s perspective. God created the world in all its…

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Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

August 18, 2021

  Several years ago, I helped host a discernment retreat at our monastery. We promoted the weekend and welcomed people of all ages, men and women, who were discerning where God was leading them in their life—that is to say, those who were trying to understand where God’s grace was at work in their lives.…

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Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

August 17, 2021

  Yesterday’s first reading from the Book of Judges explained that when the people were threatened from within by moral or religious corruption, or from without by attack or oppression of foreigners, the Lord “raised up judges for them, he would be with the judge and save them from the power of their enemies as…

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Monday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

August 16, 2021

  The young man asked Jesus: “What do I still lack?” What do I still lack? We can read this in a negative or in a positive way. The negative way focuses on how the young man is still insufficient in his desire to follow God. Yes, he keeps the commandments, but he still lacks…

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Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

August 15, 2021

  This Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary serves as a particularly special day for the monks of Conception Abbey. In recent years, the vast majority of the monks made their profession of vows on this Solemnity of Mary. It is a day of great celebration for the monastic community and calling…

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Memorial of St. Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr

August 14, 2021

  The passages on this great feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe are wonderful! The gospel passage today reminds me of my dear aunt Mary Joel who died at nine months old on January 8, 1966. On that day, 72 years earlier Raymond Kolbe was born. In the Gospel, we hear “Let the children come to…

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Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

August 13, 2021

  “His Mercy endures forever.” This is what we hear at mass today in the responsorial psalm, the past couple of days I have talked about God’s strength in faith and love, and also about forgiving one’s self. We hear in Psalm 136, the long list of the Lord’s mercy and love for us. For…

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Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

August 12, 2021

  In today’s Gospel, St. Peter asks the Lord how many times do we forgive and the Lord replies with “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” For me, it is easier to forgive others but the hardest thing is to forgive the self. There are days when my mind can run…

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Memorial of St. Clare, Virgin

August 11, 2021

  Today’s responsorial psalm reminds me of today’s saint, St. Clare of Assisi. It reads “Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!” When St. Clare’s convent was under attack, she took the Blessed Sacrament and raised it in the air and her attackers fell back and retreated. Yesterday I asked you if you…

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Monday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

August 9, 2021

  Today we hear Jesus tell the disciples that he has to go to Jerusalem to be handed over, tortured, and killed. In my office, I have a portrait of the Sacred Heart hanging above the chair where I have guests sit. In this portrait, Jesus is wearing the crown of thorns, is bloody, and…

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Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 8, 2021

  In the Gospel today, Jesus tells us “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” I have seen many monks, as they prepare to meet the Lord face to…

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Saturday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

August 7, 2021

  Hear O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord you God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words… This is the beginning of the great Shema – a profound statement of faith of the…

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