Monday, October 19, 2020

Colors of the Season

The colors of this season have been spectacular this year. Our reds came early and were very strong, and the golds are lasting well into October. There is a beauty that touches our heart very deeply, because with all the uncertainties of our world we can still experience God's good gifts in creation. 

    In that spirit, a new mantra song was born that we would like to share with you.

The weave of seasons reveals the love of God. (refrain)

                 1. Gently we are made aware of the importance of time,                        of change and history.

                  2. Gently we learn to trust this movement of time;                                       the dance of night and day.

                 3. Prayerfully we change in wonder of grace;                                                      alive in the movement of time.

    There are so many different "seasons" to reflect upon. The seasons of our own lives, the seasons contained in a day which may contain storms and sun, and the season of this pandemic. All the seasons have the capacity to reveal the love of God, and it is our prayer for each person that they discover the meaning and challenge that this particular time holds.

    We are all well and hold you in our prayer. It is that connection in faith that continues to keep us alive in this moment of time. 

    Please note that on the right hand side of the page you may sign up by email for any new posts that occur under the "What's New" tab. It is an easy way to stay in touch with us without having to check to see if there have been any changes. Also, if anything immediate does occur you would know as soon as we publish a new posting.

Friday, September 18, 2020

This Year's Harvest



The harvest from our gardens 
has been abundant this year 
flowers, tomatoes, squash, potatoes,
apples, corn, carrots...

And perhaps the most surprising harvest
in this time of lesser movement:
a healing silence
born of deeper listening.

Please consider visiting the tab "Gallery Shop" on the main menu bar of our website homepage. It contains many items of our craftwork, including honey, maple syrup, candles, pottery, and woodwork. They are excellent for gifts!
Thank you for any orders you place. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Thank you for your birthday greetings!

Wow!!! What a treasure of lovely birthday cards, photos, gifts, and loving messages for my 96th birthday!

    And how to express gratitude to so many friends and relatives for that thoughtful gift?
    I would really like to write to each one personally but that is far beyond possibilities for this aging monk.
    So, with the help of brothers here at the Priory, all the greetings have been stored in a neat and accessible container.
    On retreat days, I plan to review these precious messages and will offer a prayer of thanksgiving for so many of you who have graciously remembered me after all these years.
    As well as giving thanks, this should also be a way of keeping me out of mischief in my spare time!

Thank you, one and all, for your remembrance and loving-kindness.

With love,

brother John

Friday, August 21, 2020

Prayer connects us

Prayer connects us...heart to heart.

Physical distancing (social distancing) in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic creates the illusion that we are not dynamically connected to one another.

Yet, through prayer, we are actually and wonderfully closer to one another than is physically possible.

Prayer brings us below the surface of our day-to-day interactions and ordinary awareness into contact with the life-force of each person we call to presence in God's loving Spirit.

Calling upon God in prayer for one another opens pathways of connection that are healing and transforming.

In prayer, we enter into the mystery of grace and blessing where love enables us to encounter and cherish one another on a deeper level of being...                          


Friday, August 7, 2020

Remembering our brothers

During August mid-month we celebrate the Dormition (the Falling Asleep) of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Our brother Leo was the Abbot of the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem when he founded Weston Priory. The anniversary of this "falling asleep in God" occurs just a few days later. On this occasion, we remember as well our brothers Philip, Columba, and Robert who have gone before us.

May our hearts awaken to God's vision inviting us to new life now and in the coming time.

Monday, July 20, 2020

July 2020

    We would like to thank you for all the cards and emails and letters that we have received during this time.  It is wonderful to be connected heart to heart, and to know that our presence to each other continues and deepens as we continue this journey of learning and listening.

  Receiving greetings from all of you is a lot like getting fresh produce from the garden.  Our summer has been one of hot weather and rain in a combination that makes vegetables and flowers grow.  We have been enjoying flowers for our prayer spaces whose presence to us during prayer is as eloquent as the Psalms.  The fresh greens, broccoli, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers and carrots constantly remind us of how gracious the earth gifts us even though our own actions as a human family continue to be so negligent and even harmful.
   We were very surprised when we received news that brother Daniel's mother, Lupita, who lives in Mexico City, was tested positive for the coronavirius, but is doing well and probably will not need oxygen in her treatment.  Others who have written to us have not had the same experience and we grieve with the many persons who have lost one or more of their parents, their spouse, or persons very close to them, and whose lives with us here have ended because of the pandemic.  The deep blessing and comfort of our faith is invaluable when we meet with questions that have no answer.
    The Mexican sisters have not had any outbreaks in their many places of mission, but are now struggling with the question of how to open their schools.  Their commitment to the people, and to the children as the future of Mexico is very deep, but their own resources will be challenged during this time 
    We have posted a new video on our Holy Week that shows how silent the Priory was at the beginning of this unique time.  Although the roads may have a bit more traffic on them, the grounds are seldom visited, and our prayer as a community continues in the personal spaces within the cloister.  You may access all our videos anytime from our website tab "Photo Log". 
    You are constantly with us: "Our absent brothers and sisters."

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

June 2020


In these days as we celebrate the feast of Saint Benedict, we would like to say simply and clearly that, "Black Lives Matter."  Benedict always encouraged the monks to speak simply and clearly and as so many persons speak out and march, we would like to be a part of the movement.  Having our guest houses closed does not mean that we have shut ourselves into a private, little world.  The opposite may even be truer.
     It may come as a surprise to many that in June we had two weeks of "Retreat."  We change our daily schedule a bit.  For instance, our first prayer is at 8:00 am rather than at 6:00 am.  It's not that we sleep more, though sometimes we do, but that the shaking of the routine allows for new creativity and new ways of listening that can be surprising.  But the most important dimension of the retreat is having time to reflect together and share on heart-felt, emotional levels how we are presently experiencing our life.  Two main topics during the days included our response to the pandemic, and the other was Racism.
     To be able to share on a feeling level keeps the community strong and healthy, and we encourage everyone to find ways to express what lies inside us.  Psychological health is crucial during this time.
     In our Refectory we continue to have reading at lunch and supper.  Two very good books that we have recently read include: "Martin Buber - A life of faith and dissent" by Paul-Mendes Flohr.  Martin Buber is the author of the book, "I and Thou" and to learn more about his life is very illuminating.  Also, "Horizon" by Barry Lopez, the author of the famous book, "Arctic Dreams."  This book is a way to travel around the world, including the Galapagos Islands and Africa, in the safety of a comfortable chair.  Since we cannot physically travel this is a way to broaden our imagination.  Before the pandemic we read Jim Wallis' book, "America's Original Sin - Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America" and we cannot recommend it highly enough.
     We hold you in our prayer and remember you: "Our absent brothers and sisters."