Daily Reflections

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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Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

August 6, 2021

  We often speak of the ups and downs of life – the peaks and the valleys. Peak experiences carry real power. After such a special moment, it’s easy to be ‘in the clouds’ on ‘cloud nine.’ A special moment stays with us for some time. We might experience that after a very inspirational retreat.…

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Thursday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

August 5, 2021

  Moses struck the rock and water flowed forth for the people in the desert. Peter – the rock – confessed his faith, and that of the Twelve, that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the eternal God. Two Rocks. Moses and Peter were two charismatic leaders, but also two weak, less-than-perfect leaders. Moses…

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Memorial of St. John Vianney, priest

August 4, 2021

  Jesus is in a foreign land (the north of Israel). A Canaanite woman approaches him. She had clearly heard of Jesus and the power he demonstrated in healing many in Israel. Jesus seems to put her off and the disciples want to get rid of her. But she persisted, strongly. Some commentators even see…

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Tuesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

August 3, 2021

  Miriam and Aaron felt excluded and somewhat jealous of Moses, so they “grumbled” against him. It is safe to safe that jealousy in any circumstance can often lead to trouble. Resentments make for grumbling and gossip. All of this can result in a kind of blindness. It is clear that Moses had a unique…

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Monday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

August 2, 2021

  Continuing the theme of God providing, we have Matthew’s account of the feeding of the large crowd that had been following him. Once again, we hear that “his heart was moved with pity,” and he was clearly motivated by his compassion and desire to provide for their needs. Jesus’s feeding the crowd is striking…

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Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 1, 2021

  For the last several weeks we have been hearing a familiar theme over and over. When Jesus saw the vast crowds, who had followed him — when he saw all those people, he was “moved with pity, for they were like sheep without a shepherd.” First, he began to teach them; then he also…

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Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

July 31, 2021

  For King and Kingdom Today, the Church remembers and celebrates a great soldier-saint, St. Ignatius of Loyola, who died on this day in 1556. He was born in Loyola, Castile (modern-day Spain), and died in Rome, where he was still serving as the general superior of the religious order he founded, the Society of…

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Friday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 30, 2021

  Checking Our Calendars We Catholics have a liturgical calendar. We have days of celebration called memorials, feasts, and solemnities on which we remember a saint, a sacred event, or an aspect of our faith. We also have seasons of particular themes that encourage penance or jubilance, and special rites within a single liturgy for…

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Memorial of Sts. Martha, Mary, and Lazarus

July 29, 2021

  Friends of Jesus Today is somewhat of a new Memorial. It used to be just the Memorial of St. Martha. Martha’s sister and brother, Mary and Lazarus, have been included in today’s commemoration. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, “considering the important evangelical witness they offered in welcoming the Lord Jesus into their home, in…

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