You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Monasticism’ category.

God’s Peace and blessings to you all!  Here is my sermon from the Vigil of Pentecost service we had a few weeks prior.  In this sermon I talk about why we have vigils, and why we have confirmations.  To put it succinctly, as I said in my sermon, “For those what would ask why we have confirmations when we already have baptism, I would point out that it’s the same reason we have Pentecost when we’ve already had Easter.”  This is why we’re a sacramental Church!

God’s Peace and blessings to you all!  Here are my sermons from this past Sunday for the Transfiguration.  While I am preaching for my particular parish of Holy Spirit as it prepares for a capital campaign for a much needed expansion of our building, this is a story about the spiritual health of any parish as we move from prayer to generosity.  How will you make your parish community a “sepulcher of stories,” a “tabernacle of tales?”  For all the Elijahs we have in our parishes, we need to assure them that we will be with them until the end.  And for all our young Elishas, we need to keep encouraging them to chase after all the Elijahs we have and ask that most important question, “What is our story?”

You can find the lectionary readings for this Sunday HERE.

8:30 Service:

10:45 Service:

God’s Peace!

Here are the sermons I offered this morning at Church of the Holy Spirit.  You can find the lectionary readings HERE.

As we continue to grow into this Easter Season, I would invite you to consider what single, little discipline you can take on, to take that one little step toward being Christ for the world.

8:30 AM Service:

10:45 AM Service:

God’s Peace.

Dear Siblings, postulants, and friends,

God’s Peace and blessings to you all!  I greet you today in the name of the risen Lord!  I pray that you all had a formative Lent, a prayerful Holy Week, and a joyous Easter celebration.
Last year, my Easter message to you all was to remember that in the midst of our celebration of the Feast of the Resurrection, we must be mindful of those who are still rooted in Good Friday.  And again, as we celebrate, I would remind you all that there are still those who need to hear the good news that grief and loss are not eternal.
This year, I would invite you to take on an Easter discipline.  Sure, a Lenten discipline goes without saying.  It’s what we’re all expected to do.  But Easter?  Well, let’s remember that the Easter celebration is intentionally longer than the Lenten fast.  Our liturgical calendar (or Kalendar, for all of us traditionalists), is structured to emphasize the importance of the Feast, so I would ask, how will you live out that importance?  Lent is a time of preparation, and we prepare through our various disciplines.  But what use is that preparation if we do not follow through?
During the course of the Triduum, we recounted our Christian story.  We tell our stories within the context of the liturgy to remind ourselves of what our identity really is.  It can be easy to fall back into ourselves, into our religious communities, and pat each other on the back as we remind ourselves of who we really are.  But what was it that we heard Jesus command both in the Maundy Thursday liturgy and the Great Easter Feast?  On Maundy Thursday, we heard that we must love others as Christ loved us, and that others will know us by that love.  That means that others will know of this Christian identity without us having to say a word.  Love is not just lip service, it is action!  And then we found ourselves with the Marys at the tomb.  And what were they told there?  To go out and tell others that Christ had risen!
So here is the discipline that I would invite you to explore this Easter.  For the next 50 days, how will you show that you are Christian?  How will you tell others about the God that we have encountered without having to heap even more words onto a society that is already inundated with words upon words?
Remember how Henri Nouwen described driving down the highway in The Way of the Heart?  With all those billboards, it was like driving through a dictionary!  We live in a world that has become desensitized to words.  Do we want our story to become just one more billboard that people ignore as they pass through life?
So this year, I invite you to be inventive.  Be imaginative.  How will you show people what we have discovered without having to speak first?  The motto of our Order is Silentio Coram Deo, silence before God.  This Easter, how will you be silent before other people and still fulfill that ultimate command given to us by our Lord?
As you find your discipline, I hope you’ll share it with us all.  I look forward to hearing what you will do.  And remember, like all disciplines, it will take effort.  After all, we have 50 days to keep it up.  So support one another and keep each other accountable in this.  This is one of the great gifts of community, is it not?
Know that you are all in my prayers, and I ask that you keep me in yours.  Let us rejoice that the Lord is risen indeed!  God’s Peace.
Silentio Coram Deo,
Br. Kenneth

Here is my sermon preaching on the transferred Feast of Martin Luther, which much to my surprise, is actually on the Episcopal Kalendar.  As you will hear, for me as a monk, this was no easy sermon.  The lectionary was for today was from Isaiah 63:15-64:9 1 John 2:12-17.

Here is the chant for the Trisagion for those that would like to pray the orthodox rosary with this at home.

Another recording of the simplified chant that we use for Compline using the next set of prayers and psalm in the rota.

For our members both in Atlanta, GA and Houston, TX, here are audio files for you to practice our simplified chants for the Order of the Vesper Light with which we open each meeting on Thursdays and the Order of Compline with which we close each meeting.

Vesper Light:


God’s Peace and blessings to you all.  We continue with our selections from Palladius’ “Lausiac History” by exploring Chapter 8: Amoun of Nitria; Chapter 9: Or; and Chapter 10: Pambo.

As you read, consider these questions:

Chapter 8: Amoun of Nitria – Amoun feels called to the full ascetic life, but makes concessions for his wife, who eventually follows his way of life.  What can we glean from this in how a contemplative may act within the modern world today?  Was he actually unfair or considerate to his wife? Amoun was very concerned about his modesty, and was transported across the river so that he would not have to be seen naked.  In our modern world today, in which sex sells the vast majority of products advertised, and magazines and advertisements teach us to objectify one another, how can we respond with our own degree of contemplative modesty?

Chapter 9: Or –  This is a very brief passage in comparison to the others that Palladius provides.  Nonetheless, he sums up Or’s life: “he never lied, nor swore, nor abused any one, nor spoke without necessity.”  You could almost say that this encapsulates the contemplative life.  How well do you live these points out in your own life?  What more would you add to this list as necessary for the contemplative life?

Chapter 10: Pambo – Pambo readily gave away a donation made to him to other communities that were more in need.  This lesson, perhaps, has more to do with the greater Church in which we, as contemplatives, work.  What could our parishes and dioceses learn from this lesson?  How does this approach reflect on the whole Church as the Body of Christ?  Pambo had no interest in knowing how much silver had been donated, recognizing the giver’s root of pride.  This is, after all, a very human tendency.  How would Pambo teach us to give to those in need?  Should we make a great show of how we help others as some parishes and even some Religious Communities do?  Or should we simply give, quietly, and as we are able, because God knows all that we do?  What lesson does Pambo offer with the incident involving the considerate Pior?

You can find the text online HERE.  Enjoy and God’s Peace!

God’s Peace and blessings to you all!  For our next lesson on the Lausiac History, I invite you to read Chapter 5: Alexandra; Chapter 6: The Rich Virgin; and Chapter 7: The Monks of Nitria.  As you read consider these questions:

Chapter 5: Alexandra > Alexandra shut herself away in order that another might not fall into temptation an sin.  To what degree are we responsibile by the actions we can take for the actions of others?  Do you agree with Alexandra’s reasoning?  Alexandra talk about how she deals with accidie (listlessness and boredom that arise as distractions for those that practice the contemplative life, especially for solitaries).  How can we, as modern contemplatives, deal with our own listlessness in our prayer lives?

Chapter 6: The Rich Virgin > This is tough story for modern readers.  Holy Macarius’ tactics would probably get him in a lot of trouble today!  All the same, how do we deal with our own greed and avarice, as we live in a consumer driven world today?  Palladius describes the virgin thus: “There was a virgin at Alexandria of humble exterior but haughty inward disposition.”  That is to say, she had the outward appearance of a monastic, but was not so inwardly.  This is hardly a new danger for Christians.  After all, I’m sure we all know people who profess to be Christian, but their actions prove otherwise.  I have even known, much to my distress, some who simply enjoy wearing habits like monks, but refuse the difficult formation and accountabilty of actual community.  People like this are everywhere, and, if we are truly honest with ourselves, we all fall into this trap ourselves at one time or another.  So, not having a holy Macarius around all the time, how do we hold each other accountable so that we are contemplatives inwardly first, and thus show ourselves as contemplatives outwardly by response?

Chapter 7: The Monks of Nitria >  Palladius observes: “On the mountain live some 5000 men with different modes of life, each living in accordance with his own powers and wishes, so that it is allowed to live alone, or with another, or with a number of others.”  What does this tell us about the uniformity of contemplative life?

You can find the text for the Lausiac History HERE.  Enjoy and God’s Peace!

August 2020

RSS The Order’s Alleluia Garden

  • Goliath Grow Beds: The end is in sight!
    Well, whadya know?  The grow beds are built and up and running!  Just like the bottom tanks, the grow beds are constructed from 2x4s and 4x4s.  The insides are lined with pond liners, and the central tube for the bell syphons are 2″ pvc.  The input pipe into the grow bed is 3/4″ pvc with valves attached so […]
  • “It’s a jungle in there!” or “Orchids Adorning Aquaponics”
    I know I said we’d have an update on Br. Addison’s work, but as he’s swamped with end of term homework and finals, we’ll wait another week for him to resurface from school so he can tell us all about some of the new plants he’s tracked down. In the meantime, thanks to our own […]
  • Construction Junction: monks with power tools
    So back to the aquaponics… With a consistent scale, the new and accurate plans for the system look like this: As you can see, the unit fits into the corner with two grow beds running along either wall, and the water tanks creating the triangular shape underneath.  The tank is divided into two sections for […]