Be careful, then, My child, of treating matters beyond your knowledge out of curiosity. Let it rather be your business and aim to be found, even though the least, in the kingdom of God. For though one were to know who is more holy than another, or who is greater in the kingdom of heaven, of what value would this knowledge be to him unless out of it he should humble himself before Me and should rise up in greater praise of My name?

… Thomas á Kempis

Simple things

Driving down the road, something caught my eye along the road. I pulled over and walked across the road. There it was…..just had to take a shot.

Yes, I’m easily entertained…


A few shots from church this morning on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God my savior”


The ends of the earth stand in awe
at the sight of your wonders.
The lands of sunrise and sunset
you fill with your joy.

Psalm 65


“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

– Luke 10 (Gospel for today)

Finally the weather has returned to normal. Looks like it will be sunny and cool for the rest of the week!

A few shots from my walk to church this morning:


From the Gospel reading at Mass this morning:

Jesus said:
“Com e to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Matthew 11:28-30


Saint Benedict

Today is the feast of Saint Benedict, father of the Monastic Life.

St Benedict (480 – 547)

Benedict was born in Nursia, in Umbria, and studied in Rome; but he was unable to stomach the dissolute life of the city, and he became a solitary hermit at Subiaco. His reputation spread, and some monks asked him to be their abbot; but they did not like the discipline he imposed and tried to poison him.

Benedict organised various small communities of monks and nuns in various places, including the great monastery of Monte Cassino. He drew up a set of rules to guide the communal life of monasteries. Although this was not the first monastic rule ever, the Rule of St Benedict has proved so wise and balanced that it has served as the foundation of practically every attempt at communal living ever since – and not only in religious communities. The Rule of St Benedict recognises that people aim at perfection but often fall well short of it, and aims to be a “rule for beginners” in which even the least perfect and least able can grow in spiritual stature. To visit a Benedictine monastery of almost any kind is to find oneself spending time among a group of people who, by their strivings to live and grow together, have become more and more themselves, as God intended them, instead of being crushed into false uniformity by some idealistic and authoritarian regime.

For those of us in the world, too, the Rule of St Benedict has much to say: it drags our eyes up to the stars but keeps our feet firmly on the ground; it calls us to perfection but keeps us sane.”

(From “About Today” in Universalis)

I’m an Associate of New Melleray Abbey, near Peosta Iowa. (Their website) I’ve always had an attraction to the Monastic life. These people are the most happy I’ve ever met. When I’m there, I live as a Monk, praying with them 7 times a day, working in the fields at simple manual labor. My “boss”, Brother Placid (now deceased) was one of the most joy filled men I’ve ever known, filled with the love of Christ, always with a smile on his face. Here are a few pictures from over the years.

Monastic life

Brother Placid.


“Brother Jon and Brother Dan” (My son and I on our most recent time at New Melleray)

Working in the wood shop

New Melleray Wood Shop
Headed off to work.
New Melleray Abbey
New Melleray Abbey


Indeed, the greatest vanity is the evil plague of empty self-glory, because it draws one away from true glory and robs one of heavenly grace. For when a man is pleased with himself he displeases You, when he pants after human praise he is deprived of true virtue. But it is true glory and holy exultation to glory in You and not in self, to rejoice in Your name rather than in one’s own virtue, and not to delight in any creature except for Your sake.

…. Thomas à Kempis , The Imitation of Christ