Monk in the World Guest Post

I so enjoy Christine Valters Paintner – Abbey of the Arts website.  Frequently she invites others to post as a guest.    I particularly enjoyed this latest entry: Monk in the World guest post Valerie Hess.  What do you think?

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Thomas Merton’s Birthday

To honor and celebrate the wisdom of Thomas Merton – the Huffington Post has put together some of his more famous quotes along with a video of his teachings.

“The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.”
– Thomas Merton – Statement from his final address during a conference on East-West monastic dialogue (December 1968)
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“I am content with just this.”


What matters is to be humble enough to admit – I am content with just this. Leave the rest to God!
-Thomas Merton

How to be perfectly content with our present moment, our now; is a challenge as we face so many of our daily demands.  It’s quotes like Merton’s words that become my reminder when my daily list of “musts” grows longer because I don’t allow myself to just be and leave the rest to God.  I must be more trusting and lose that control element that I so want to hold onto.  This week, be content with your present moment and leave the rest to God. Thank you Thomas Merton for the words we need to hear and follow.

What other quotes do you hang onto when life becomes a bit too frazzled and fast?



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God is With Us


The Word

God speaks to each one of us individually.
I need to listen to hear what he is saying to me.
Read the text a few times, then listen.

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.

What are you saying to me, Lord?

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What Are We Waiting For?


by Tim Muldoon

girl waiting listlessly

Advent is the season when we remind ourselves of what we are waiting for, keeping at bay the voices which tell us that our waiting is fruitless.

In one of the texts from the Office of Readings for Advent, St. Ephrem writes:

Keep watch; when the body is asleep nature takes control of us, and what is done is not done by our will but by force, by the impulse of nature. When deep listlessness takes possession of the soul, for example, faint-heartedness or melancholy, the enemy overpowers it and makes it do what it does not will. The force of nature, the enemy of the soul, is in control. (Commentary on the Diatesseron)

It is true: when we lose faith in our waiting, an immediate object of desire can distract us from the great calling to follow Christ. Advent is the season of insistence: he has come, and he is coming again. Let us recognize that listlessness, desolation, faint-heartedness are temporary, and that there will re-emerge the great desire to follow so great a king as our Christ. For every desolation, there is consolation. After every consolation, there will be desolation. But all our consolations and all our desolations are but turns in the path that leads us to our king. See that the hints of his coming are already around us: there is the gentle love of a mother for her child; there is compassion that an impoverished man shows toward one who is trying to help him. The tugs of our desire already point us toward his coming; it will not be long. As surely as love unfolds in freedom, so surely is he coming. Let us rise and meet him along the way.

– See more at:

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First Week of Advent

I would like to share with you a reflection by Sister Jeanne Cmolik, CSJ.

December 1-7, 2013
By Sister Jeanne Cmolik, CSJ
Cleveland, OH

Scriptures: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122:1-9; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:37-44

“In days to come, the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. .. Many people shall come and say: “Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain. . . that [God] may instruct us in [God’s] ways and we may walk in [God’s] paths.”  (Isaiah 2)


In the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, mountains are significant places to meet God. For example, Moses climbed a mountain to meet God and receive the Commandments; Jesus often went to a mountain to pray, and taught the Beatitudes in his “sermon on the mount”.

Why climb a mountain? I suppose we do it to get a better view–to rise above the ordinary surroundings of our lives to get clarity and perspective.

I think that’s what we do when we take time to pray.  We go to a place of solitude to get a better view –of what’s inside ourselves and outside ourselves, and how God is working there.  As theologian Michael Himes says, we pray “to remind ourselves that God is God, and I am not.”

Advent is a time to remember that because Jesus shares our humanity, our God knows us—and we know God—in wonderful ways.  Jesus came to show all people God’s endless love.  His great work continues through the Holy Spirit who abides with us, and through the earnest efforts of all who call themselves “disciples”.


God of love,
We climb your holy mountain seeking instruction.
Teach us your ways.
Show us your paths.
Give us your abundant love to pour over a weary world.
Thank you for our brother Jesus who shows us the way.


Climb the mountain of the Lord. Ask to SEE God’s love and BE God’s love!

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Christian and Buddhist Chanting

Beautiful beyond words.


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Temple of Silence

“In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.”
― Rumi

We all weave in and out of our days  – take a few minutes to relax, sit in silence and just observe the beauty in this video.  When you stop weaving, how does your pattern improve?

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Make Some Desert

A beautiful reminder to stop, be silent and to worship.

Image 3


“If you cannot go into the desert, you must nonetheless ‘make some desert’ in your life, every now and then leaving men and looking for solitude to restore, in prolonged silence and prayer, the stuff of your soul. This is the meaning of ‘desert’ in your spiritual life. One has to be courageous not to let oneself be carried along by the world’s march; one needs faith and willpower…to stop, to be silent, to worship.”

~Carlo Carretto, “Letters from the Desert”

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I Do Not See the Road Ahead of Me

Thomas Merton’s Most Famous Prayer

This week I leave you with Thomas Merton’s prayer that fits into our lives at anytime and in any place.


My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that
I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am
actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that, if I do this, You will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust You always though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for You are ever with me,
and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Thomas Merton

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