Daily Reflections

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

December 8, 2021

  Founded on December 8, 1873, Conception Abbey celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception today as our special patronal feast. Other monasteries are certainly older than we are, but we have our own unique story. This feast day reminds us to reflect on the many possibilities behind the word “chosen.” First of all, our…

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

December 7, 2021

  Imagine you conducted a survey among willing adults and asked only this one question: “what is your basic image of God?” What image of God would predominate? Many factors could shape their answers. Therefore, it’s too simple to say that if a person sees God as a hard, demanding taskmaster, it’s because as a…

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Monday of the Second Week of Advent

December 6, 2021

  The prophets and poets of the Old Testament were master wordsmiths. What could be more beautiful than the Prophet Isaiah describing the desert blooming and rejoicing to greet the Israelites as they returned from exile?          The desert and the parched land will exult;          the steppe will…

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Second Sunday of Advent

December 5, 2021

    Waiting is the hard part. The whole season of Advent has a forward movement as we wait for what Scriptures call the fullness of time. That term is vague enough to leave us wondering what it truly means and yet the word fullness suggests powerful images. Think of the contented smile of a…

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Saturday of the First Week of Advent

December 4, 2021

  As we near the second Sunday of Advent, there is an important question we need to ask ourselves, have we gone out to the lost sheep? In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his apostles to go out to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. These were those who had been lost because of…

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Memorial of St. Francis Xavier, Priest

December 3, 2021

  “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” How many of us, if we heard this, would get nervous? I would. Do I really have faith? Is it at least as big as a mustard seed? Yesterday we said we must live by faith. How do we do that? If we take…

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Thursday of the First Week of Advent

December 2, 2021

  Where do we place our trust? Think for a moment when deciding where do you put the majority of your trust? Do you trust yourself the most? Or is it a spouse? Maybe a trusted friend? Is it a movement? Or perhaps, no one? Do you have trust in anything? Trust, or faith, is…

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Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

December 1, 2021

  For ages, the people of Israel waited to see the coming of the messiah. This messiah was to lead Israel to freedom, to lead all the nations to the Temple to worship, and he was to bring healing to those who suffer. In Jesus is that messiah. He has indeed come and set people…

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Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle

November 30, 2021

  The apostles were called by Christ to be men of passion and commitment. They were to be Christ’s very representatives on earth. They were to be Christ coming into the nations; this is what the word apostle means—to be another Christ! In St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, we hear words of encouragement to…

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Monday of the First Week of Advent

November 29, 2021

  Israel, founded on God’s promise to Abraham, was given the same promises as Abraham. Namely, they would be a great nation, that Abraham would receive a great name, and they would become a great blessing to all the nations. This third promise is critical. Israel’s vocation was to be in such an intimate relationship…

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First Sunday of Advent

November 28, 2021

  Advent is a time of hopeful waiting. Waiting for Christ to come to us as the child in the manger. Waiting for Christ to come as the healer, consoler, friend, and Lord. Advent is a time of waiting for promises to be kept. In the opening lines of today’s first reading, we hear, “The…

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Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

November 27, 2021

  “Be vigilant at all times” This is a refrain which the early Christians took quite seriously to mind! Of course, they thought that any day Jesus would return and they wanted to be ready to receive him, “to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” It is…

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Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

November 26, 2021

  “When you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near.” If we are to appreciate what Divine Revelation is telling us in the Sacred Scriptures in these passages, we must remember the relevance of time. I was once living in a small priory whose rooms were rather small. In one…

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Thanksgiving Day – Thursday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

November 25, 2021

“Bless the God of all, who has done wondrous things on earth.” When the Christian is called to bless God, he or she is called into a wondrous light. It is the light of one’s own existence, one’s own creation by God, the Source of all that is. In our second reading, (1 Cor 1:3-9),…

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Memorial of St. Andrew Dŭng-Ląc, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs

November 24, 2021

  “Give glory and eternal praise to him.” “You praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, that neither see nor hear nor have intelligence. But the God in whose hand is your life breath and the whole course of your life, you did not glorify.” When the leaders of…

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Tuesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

November 23, 2021

  “Teacher, when will this happen?” The Jerusalem Bible points out that in our Gospel today, “no sharp distinction is drawn between the two levels – ‘that of the destruction of Jerusalem (in 70 AD) and that of the end of the world.’ The fusion of these two is “a theological expression of truth: though…

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Memorial of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

November 22, 2021

  In our Gospel today, Jesus says that “this poor widow … has offered her whole livelihood.” The image of this poor widow is an image of what the Church is striving to be in the world today. I mean that she understands herself as completely dependent upon God. Out of that posture she seeks…

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The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

November 21, 2021

  “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.” We have all seen the notice attached to the top of crucifixes, “INR,” the Latin initials…

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Saturday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

November 20, 2021

  What does it mean to live as people who hope in the Resurrection? The Sadducees deny that there is a resurrection, but it often seems that Christians live without hope in the Resurrection. There is a false notion we must avoid that says: “If we follow God and give our lives to Christ that…

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Friday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

November 19, 2021

  I imagine that the money changers in the Temple, those who were seeking monetary gain, did not all happen to move into the Temple overnight. It was more likely a gradual process of corruption, where the House of Prayer slowly became more of a den of thieves rather than a space of worship. Practically…

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Thursday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

November 18, 2021

  There are times in our lives when we can identify rather closely with the sorrowful Christ. His teaching and preaching bore much fruit, but He also experienced great hardship and outright rejection. Jesus can identify with our hurt because He Himself experienced hurt as well. Jesus saw the city [Jerusalem] and wept over it,…

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Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious

November 17, 2021

  A friend of mine recently welcomed her first child—a baby boy. She was filled with absolute joy and delight in her child. She expressed the joy of praying for her son and loving him whether he was crying or sleeping. What struck me most was when she expressed her desire to help her son…

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Tuesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

November 16, 2021

  Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector—a profession that was tied to dishonesty, and thus was despised by others as a “sinner.” Zacchaeus was “seeking to see who Jesus was,” but all he did was climb a tree—that’s the very little, but most practical first step that he took. Zacchaeus simply climbed a tree. After…

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Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

November 15, 2021

  “How is your prayer life?” I’ll admit that this is one of my favorite questions to ask. I’m a priest and a spiritual director, so it only seems to appropriate. The responses I receive are varied. “Good”—okay, that’s positive, but tells me very little. “It could be better”—which could probably be applied to everyone.…

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Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 14, 2021

  It was the year 1999, a time when most of the seminarians I work with weren’t even born yet. There was concern that computers would have difficulty transitioning from the year 1999 to 2000, and some people were worried there was going to be a meltdown of epic proportion. Companies sold “Y2K” survival kits,…

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Memorial of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin

November 13, 2021

  Today wraps up having seminarians of Conception Seminary College as our daily reflection writers for the first half of November. Every day featured a reflection from a different seminarian, mixed in with reflections from Fr. Pachomius, Conception’s Dean of Students. This has been an opportunity for our seminarians to put their education to practice…

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Memorial of St. Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr

November 12, 2021

  Seminarians of Conception Seminary College are our daily reflection writers for the first half of November. Every day will feature a reflection from a different seminarian. This is an opportunity for our seminarians to put their education into practice and connect with the people of God in a pastoral way. Today we hear from…

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Memorial of St. Martin of Tours, Bishop

November 11, 2021

  Seminarians of Conception Seminary College are our daily reflection writers for the first half of November. Every day will feature a reflection from a different seminarian. This is an opportunity for our seminarians to put their education into practice and connect with the people of God in a pastoral way. In today’s gospel from…

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Memorial of St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church

November 10, 2021

  Seminarians of Conception Seminary College are our daily reflection writers for the first half of November. Every day will feature a reflection from a different seminarian. This is an opportunity for our seminarians to put their education into practice and connect with the people of God in a pastoral way. “Your faith has saved…

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Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

November 9, 2021

  Seminarians of Conception Seminary College are our daily reflection writers for the first half of November. Every day will feature a reflection from a different seminarian. This is an opportunity for our seminarians to put their education into practice and connect with the people of God in a pastoral way. Today is the Feast…

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Monday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

November 8, 2021

  Seminarians of Conception Seminary College are our daily reflection writers for the first half of November. Every day will feature a reflection from a different seminarian. This is an opportunity for our seminarians to put their education into practice and connect with the people of God in a pastoral way. “Be on your guard”…

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Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 7, 2021

  “I have nothing.” “The jar shall not go empty.” Nothingness and emptiness – is there a difference? Nothingness brings to mind a sense of desolation and darkness. Emptiness isn’t so bleak; something empty can be filled: my car’s on “E”, but I fill up at the gas station. Although we may describe situations interchangeably…

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Saturday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

November 6, 2021

  Seminarians of Conception Seminary College are our daily reflection writers for the first half of November. Every day will feature a reflection from a different seminarian. This is an opportunity for our seminarians to put their education into practice and connect with the people of God in a pastoral way. In our first reading…

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Friday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

November 5, 2021

  Seminarians of Conception Seminary College are our daily reflection writers for the first half of November. Every day will feature a reflection from a different seminarian. This is an opportunity for our seminarians to put their education into practice and connect with the people of God in a pastoral way. St. Paul takes a…

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Memorial of St. Charles Borromeo, Bishop

November 4, 2021

  Seminarians of Conception Seminary College are our daily reflection writers for the first half of November. Every day will feature a reflection from a different seminarian. This is an opportunity for our seminarians to put their education into practice and connect with the people of God in a pastoral way. Today we celebrate the…

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Wednesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

November 3, 2021

  Seminarians of Conception Seminary College are our daily reflection writers for the first half of November. Every day will feature a reflection from a different seminarian. This is an opportunity for our seminarians to put their education into practice and connect with the people of God in a pastoral way. In the Gospel for…

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The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed

November 2, 2021

  Seminarians of Conception Seminary College are our daily reflection writers for the first half of November. Every day will feature a reflection from a different seminarian. This is an opportunity for our seminarians to put their education into practice and connect with the people of God in a pastoral way. “There are three deaths.…

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Solemnity of All Saints

November 1, 2021

  Seminarians of Conception Seminary College are our daily reflection writers for the first half of November. Every day will feature a reflection from a different seminarian. This is an opportunity for our seminarians to put their education into practice and connect with the people of God in a pastoral way. On this Solemnity of…

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Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 31, 2021

  Seminarians of Conception Seminary College are our daily reflection writers for the first half of November. Every day will feature a reflection from a different seminarian, mixed in with reflections from Fr. Pachomius, Conception’s Dean of Students. This is an opportunity for our seminarians to put their education to practice and connect with the…

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Saturday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

October 30, 2021

  Do you spend time with friends or family around a dinner table? Is it still common for you to have your family come together and eat? Sharing a meal can emphasize community, nourishment, togetherness, love, and support. It can also be a time of anxiety, distress, dread, or anger. When we come to the…

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