A Monkish Friendship: Fr. Charles Cummings, OCSO (1940-2020)

“The monastic night watch is good practice in the art of waiting, as we patiently look for the coming of dawn. Monks and nuns wait in the dark, longing for the light of dawn but unable to hasten its coming. No one can force the dawn or bring it about in any way. It dawnsContinue reading “A Monkish Friendship: Fr. Charles Cummings, OCSO (1940-2020)”

Carl McColman Interviews Cassidy Hall

How did you get inspired to create a film about Thomas Merton and his hermitage?

When Letting Go Is Holding On

“My dishonesty with myself and others hinders the honesty of all humanity, hinders the progress of all people.” Journal entry on 2/12/12 In 2012 I made the decision to let go of some certainty in my life for the sake of exploring something unknown. I quit my job. I quit my salary-paying, insurance-giving job full of securityContinue reading “When Letting Go Is Holding On”

“Cassidy Hall found silence in an Iowa monastery and brought her discoveries to a new documentary” Des Moines Register

“A cricket chirped in the monastery’s library. That and the swish of a turned page, Thomas Merton’s “New Seeds of Contemplation,” was about it for sound. Cassidy Hall stopped on page 81. Merton did not write on the absence of sound on that page but the abyss of solitude in the soul: “You do notContinue reading ““Cassidy Hall found silence in an Iowa monastery and brought her discoveries to a new documentary” Des Moines Register”

The Voice of the Heart

Listening to the voice of my heart has never come easy for me. I’m usually quick to assume a present feeling is final, an agony is forever, or that all of my questions should have answers and answers NOW.

When Doing Nothing is Doing Everything

As originally posted on Huffington Post and Patheos: “Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving.” Bell Hooks This time, after jumping in my car, no maps were necessary as I navigated my way towards New Mellerary Abbey for the 10th time since 2011. Maybe I had gone enough times to know my way,Continue reading “When Doing Nothing is Doing Everything”

To Be OK with the Blank Page

Originally posted on my HuffPost Blog “You can’t anticipate a garden. Stuff won’t grow until it’s time to grow and when the season’s finished, it’s all over.” -Father Anthony, OCSO My friend Dave told me once that to be ok with loneliness, you have to be ok with the blank page. Most of us can’t stopContinue reading “To Be OK with the Blank Page”

Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey

Guadalupe Abbey is amid the valleys of wine country in Oregon, just southwest of Portland and inland from the brilliant Oregon coastline. Appropriately so, the abbey grounds were in full bloom for Easter weekend, and the forest that rested in the background was aglow. I wasn’t sure what to expect at Our Lady of GuadalupeContinue reading “Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey”

Saint Joseph’s Abbey • Spencer, MA

St. Joseph’s Abbey is a staggering fortress in the midst of Massachusetts; built with incredible stone and surrounded by the acres of nature that a ‘typical’ monastic so longingly takes pleasure in (point being each one of us is different and there is no ‘typical’ monastic). I arrived for a brief day trip to St.Continue reading “Saint Joseph’s Abbey • Spencer, MA”

Abbey of Gethsemani • Trappist, KY

The Abbey of Gethsemani was the first monastery I have ever traveled to, so there was something delightful about returning to ‘where it all began.’ While I now sense a greater home at New Melleray (due to my more frequent stays and being from Iowa), I’m still so thankful and reverent of the introduction toContinue reading “Abbey of Gethsemani • Trappist, KY”