Learning to Fly Solo, but Not Alone – Br. David Vryhof

Acts 5:12-26

This spring we’ve watched as a pair of morning doves built a nest on the outdoor crucifix located in our cloister garden.  Nestled on the shoulder of the crucified Jesus, the mother sat motionless on her eggs for days and days.  At last the chicks emerged.

I had the extraordinary good fortune to be watching the nest this past Monday evening.  The two chicks are now adolescents, about 2/3 the size of their adult parents and darker in coloring.  They were sitting side by side in the nest, eagerly looking out on the world.  Their mother appeared and, standing on the head of the crucified Jesus, she fed them.  Then she flew off and perched nearby where she could keep a close eye on them.

You could tell there was something happening.  The young birds began rocking back and forth in the nest, as if working up their courage to leave the warmth and security of the nest.  Finally, one of them took the leap.  It flapped wildly around the cloister, unable to control its flight, banging into the walls and ceiling until it finally fell stunned to the floor.  The second one readied itself for its first flight, rocking in the nest before finally launching its body into the air.  Like the first, it flapped wildly about, crashing into the ceiling and walls, and then landing on the floor.  It waited for a bit, then took off again, this time successfully navigating its way through the arches and out into the garden. Read More

I Am Like an Evergreen Cypress – Br. James Koester

Hosea 14: 1-9

We’re familiar, perhaps especially in the gospels, with the kingdom of God, and thus by extension, God, being described in terms of the natural world. The kingdom of God is like yeast[1], a mustard seed[2], a catch of fish[3], or a costly pearl[4].

I often reflect on the fact that, for many North American Christians, the pages of Scripture are our primary place of encounter with nature. We are isolated from, and have domesticated nature, to such an extent, that we are not often aware of its power, and force, until we are faced with fire, flood, or storm, and property is damaged, or power lost. Then we discover again what our ancestors knew only too well, that nature is not God, but that in nature we can behold the power, the splendour, and the glory of God.

It is in those moments that we come to see what God is like. The problem is, that the descriptions of God we find in Scripture often fail us, unless we can comprehend their meaning, and significance. Read More

The Gospel of Creation – Br. Geoffrey Tristram

Genesis 1:1-19 / Psalm 104:1-12

Br. Geoffrey Tristram

“Bless the Lord O my soul, O Lord my God, how excellent is your greatness!  You are clothed with majesty and splendor.  You wrap yourself with light as with a cloak.”

Those wonderful opening lines of today’s Psalm 104.  There is this amazing intimate relationship between God and creation.  God wraps himself with light as with a cloak.  So when we look at light we see something of God. And so with the cloud and the wind. They speak to us of God.

And this same relationship between God and creation is revealed in those opening verses of the beginning of the Book of Genesis.  God creates the dry land and the sea, light and darkness, vegetation, plants, trees, seeds, fruit, birds, fish, cattle.  And each time God saw that it was good.  God creates with love and tenderness and in God’s image.  The imprint of God’s very hand – the divine potter – is on everything he created.  It is very good.  This intimacy between creator and created is very important, because I know that the created world – the trees and flowers and birds, the sunshine – even the snow! – have the power to reveal God to us.

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