Miracle Working Icon of the Mother of God – Br. James Koester

Br. James Koester

Sirach 38: 27 – 32
Psalm 107: 1 – 9

Matthew 6: 19 – 24

I have never been much of an artist. I can’t draw very well, and in fact I describe myself as one who draws stick people badly. At least, that is the story I have told myself for most of my life, not only as an excuse, but also as a defense. If I had to draw something, I would use that as the explanation of why I didn’t put the time or effort into it.

But then something happened. I visited the sister of another member of the community one afternoon and saw on her walls framed cross-stitch samplers that she had done. In an instant I knew that I had to learn how to do that, so by the end of the afternoon she had equipped me with a needle point hoop, floss, needle, fabric and pattern and after a brief lesson, I went home. Little did I know, that that afternoon’s cross stitch lesson would be a life changing event for me. I am not being overly dramatic when I say that my life has never been the same since. Read More

The Work of Our Hands – Br. Mark Brown

Rogation Day II

Ecclesiasticus 38:27-32
Psalm 107:1-9
Matthew 6:19-24

This Thursday is Ascension Day: forty days after Easter, always on a Thursday.  On Ascension Day the Church remembers the culmination of Christ’s resurrection appearances and ponders the mystery of his ascending into heaven.  The mystery of Christ being all and in all, sustaining all things by his mighty word, filling all things with his own fullness, grace upon grace.

But today is a Rogation Day. The three days before Ascension started out as a kind of mini-Lent with fasting and praying and processions. Prayers were offered especially for good weather and bountiful crops. Over the centuries things have evolved a bit.  In our 1979 Book of Common Prayer the three Rogation Days are devoted to prayers for fruitful seasons on Monday, for commerce and industry on Tuesday, and for the stewardship of creation on Wednesday.  Today is Tuesday, so it’s commerce and industry day. Read More