New Year Dawns
Monday, January 1, 2018 - 17:31

In the midst of the drab unhappiness of our lives, how beneficial it is to concentrate on the dimensions of our future happiness!

It is such a rare happiness to see all our thirst for Beauty satisfied. Our hearts will never stop being able to love each and every thing, each and every being, without becoming tired or satiated.

Our happiness will be that we will no longer experience boredom. Everything will be always new, with all the newness that never wears out and with all our capacity for wonder and for giving thanks. This capacity will not by dulled by fatigue nor by habit, for our wonder will always be like that of a child who is filled with wonder at each new discovery.                 

Our happiness will be not growing old. It will be bottomless because, by its transparent nature, it will be without death, without wear, without end.

René Voillaume

Advent: The Coming of Our Lord
Monday, December 4, 2017 - 10:18

 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

From the Gospel of Luke

Christ is Risen! Alleluia!
Friday, May 19, 2017 - 17:24
Lent as a time for conversion
Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 08:07

          Without trying to make of the Christian life a cult of suffering for its own sake, we must frankly admit that self-denial and sacrifice are absolutely essential to the life of prayer.

          If the life of prayer is to transform our spirit and make us "new men" in Christ, then prayer must be accompanied by "con­version," metanoia, that deep change of heart in which we die on a certain level of our being in order to find ourselves alive and free on another, more spiritual level. . . .

Thomas Merton, The Climate of Monastic Prayer

What sign can this be?
Saturday, December 24, 2016 - 10:59

What sort of sign were the shepherds given? You will find the child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. . . .What kind of sign, then, can this be?

          Indeed it is a great one, if only we understand it rightly. Such understanding will be ours if this message of love is not restricted to our hearing, but if our hearts too are illuminated by the light which accompanied the appearance of the angels. The angel who first pro­claimed the good tidings appeared surrounded by light to teach us that only those whose minds are spiritually enlightened can truly under­stand the message.

          Much can be said of this sign; but as time is passing, I shall say little, and briefly. Bethlehem, the house of bread, is holy Church, in which is distributed the body of Christ, the true bread. The manger at Bethlehem is the altar of the church; it is there that Christ's creatures are fed. This is the table of which it is written, You have prepared a banquet for me. In this manger is Jesus, wrapped in the swaddling clothes which are the outward form of the sacraments. Here in this manger, under the species of bread and wine, is the true body and blood of Christ. We believe that Christ himself is here, but he is wrapped in swaddling clothes; in other words, he is invisibly contained in these sacraments. We have no greater or clearer proof of Christ's birth than our daily reception of his body and blood at the holy altar, and the sight of him who was once born for us of a virgin daily offered in sacrifice for us.

Christmas Discourse, Aelred of Rievaulx

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sunday, August 14, 2016 - 13:36

"IN ALL I SOUGHT REST." Rest is welcome to the  weary. It is welcome, then, and it comes as a most opportune interlude to you who are weary, this day of rest and leisure. Therefore while we celebrate the rest of God's holy Mother not only may our bodies be refreshed by this rest of a day from the work of the harvest but also our hearts may draw breath in remembrance and love of that eternal rest.

          O you who toil, O you who bear the day's burden and its heat; in the shade of Jesus' wings you will find rest for your souls, firm support, shelter when the hot wind blows, shade at noonday.

Blessed Guerric of Igny, 3rd Sermon for the Assumption

Juniors at Mepkin Abbey Seminar- South Carolina April 11-23rd, 2016
Friday, June 3, 2016 - 08:09

A total of 17 Juniors attended the 2 weeks’ seminar at Mepkin Abbey. The 13 monks and 4 nuns were from 9 houses of the American Region.

The first presenter was an Augustinian priest, Fr. Martin Laird, who teaches patristics at Villanova University. He conducted a silent prayer retreat for the first week. It included  4 and a half hours of silent prayer in common spread throughout the day, each hour divided into (2x25 minutes; 5 minutes walking meditation in between.) There was a conference and discussion each afternoon. The purpose of the silent prayer retreat is to enable the stillness of heart, to negotiate the world of inner chatter and to help meditator to be here, to be present to the now which is always changing. We have to learn to be focused and invest in the now. We have to learn to meet distractions and enter our mind into the quiet and be still. The monk or nun who continues and persevere with this inner stillness will be a great gift to the community through their inner changes. God is hidden within the soul and the true contemplative will seek him there in love.

The 2nd week was Scripture sessions with our Cistercian Sister Anne Elizabeth Sweet from Tautra Maria kloster in Norway. Sister’s theme was on St. Luke’s Gospel and Acts of the Apostle. We learned to identify different themes and title found in Luke-Act such as Prayer, theme of the Heart, the Holy Spirit, compassion, repentance, joy. There were passages that are unique to Luke’s Gospel such as genealogy of Jesus, John the Baptist’s teaching, signs of the time and the Emmaus encounter amongst other passages. What is Luke’s message for me and my monastic community?

David George, the Mepkin Infirmarian, presented information about the Mepkin Wellness program on two afternoons. He drew our attention to food, nutrition and care of our body. He specified “brain food” nourishment for the brain with an emphasis on eating more fruits, vegetables, grains, olive oil, nuts, and seafood. He also spoke about the importance of exercise and posture.

Account by Br. William Chng of Vina


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