Friday, August 31, 2007


One of the reasons that hiddenness is such an important aspect of the spiritual life is that it keeps us focused on God. In hiddenness we do not receive human acclamation, admiration, support, or encouragement. In hiddenness we have to go to God with our sorrows and joys and trust that God will give us what we most need.

In our society we are inclined to avoid hiddenness. We want to be seen and acknowledged. We want to be useful to others and influence the course of events. But as we become visible and popular, we quickly grow dependent on people and their responses and easily lose touch with God, the true source of our being. Hiddenness is the place of purification. In hiddenness we find our true selves.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

rocky ground

Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil . . .
Matthew 13:5
(for more pictures of Big Stone NWR, see my birding blog)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer.
-- F.B. Meyer

Monday, August 27, 2007

the poor

It would be nice if the poor were to get even half of the money that is spent in studying them.
-- Bill Vaughan

Sunday, August 26, 2007

keep the Sabbath holy

Today's lectionary texts included Isaiah 58:9b-14 and Luke 13:10-17 requiring us to keep the Sabbath holy. Pastor Glenn Berg Moberg reminded us of the saying, "It's not the Jews who keep Sabbath but the Sabbath that keeps the Jews." Is the Sabbath keeping us?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

thorns & thistles

"[The ground] will produce thorns and thistles for you, . . ."
Genesis 3:18

For other pictures from Blue Cloud Abbey, click here.

Friday, August 24, 2007

our past

We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.
-- Rick Warren

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's good to be home!

My friend, Jerry, and I returned from Blue Cloud Abbey this afternoon.
A good time was had by all in spite of the dreary weather. For a weather report, see today's posting on my bird-photography blog.
A saying in the mood of Benedictine spirituality:
Ask and listen and you will learn.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

useful thoughts as I prepare for my stay at Blue Cloud Abbey

When we enter into solitude to be with God alone, we quickly discover how dependent we are. Without the many distractions of our daily lives, we feel anxious and tense. When nobody speaks to us, calls on us, or needs our help, we start feeling like nobodies. Then we begin wondering whether we are useful, valuable, and significant. Our tendency is to leave this fearful solitude quickly and get busy again to reassure ourselves that we are "somebodies." But that is a temptation, because what makes us somebodies is not other people's responses to us but God's eternal love for us.
To claim the truth of ourselves we have to cling to our God in solitude as to the One who makes us who we are.

from the North Shore to Dakota prairie

I'm home for only a few days, having just returned from the North Shore. Saturday morning I leave for some R&R and lots of prayer time at Blue Cloud Abbey.
Although I have computer access at the Abbey, their network makes it difficult to post to web sites or blogs. Therefore, this space may be pretty much quiet until I return a week from today.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

putting things in perspective

Thanks to Jim T. for this site.

love & mercy of the Lord

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end.
Lamentations 3:22

Saturday, August 11, 2007


We'll be on vacation the next few days -- back on Thursday, Aug. 16 -- and then off to Blue Cloud Abbey from Sat., Aug. 18 through Wed. Aug. 22.
Keep the faith!


We welcome persons of color, but often the expectation is that they will become like us rather than that we will be transformed by their presence.
-- Bishop Mark Hanson, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Friday, August 10, 2007


O God, you are the protection of all who trust in you, for without you nothing is holy, nothing strong.
Guide us and lead us with ever-increasing compassion.
Make us make such use of the good things that pass away that we may share, even now, in the good things that endure.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

more from Lauris

-- Lauris Sarma, Latvia

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


-- Lauris Sarma, Latvia

Monday, August 06, 2007


When the stomach is full, it is easy to talk of fasting.
-- St. Jerome

Sunday, August 05, 2007

our perspective

All of us are entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts.
-- Daniel Moynihan

Saturday, August 04, 2007

our offerings

Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.
-- Leonard Cohen

Friday, August 03, 2007

something to think about

Too often we are so occupied with our own problems that we do not look at the world around us.
This web site made me stop & think.

Thank you Jim T.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

bloom where you are planted

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Monastic Spirituality

If you would like to know more about monastic spirituality, Paraclete Press has revised its web site. Check it out by clicking here.

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