June 2024

Sermon for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Scripture Readings

This morning’s gospel reading is a fascinating drama with many entry points for our imaginations, beginning with the first line. I wonder what it would have been like for the disciples to get back into the boat and cross over the sea again with Jesus, after their experience of the overwhelming storm and astonishing actions of Jesus on the previous journey, which Br Aelred reflected on with us last week? Interestingly, this time Mark does not even mention the disciples. It is almost as if Jesus is alone in the boat.

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Chapter 2024 Sunday Volmoed

readings for the day

This meditation is primarily directed toward the Brothers from the Order of the Holy Cross, but I also tend to believe what Br George Guiver, Community of the Resurrection asserts in his new book, all Christians are monks… so you are not off the hook.

When Rob asked me if I wanted to preach today, he suggested it might be my swan song. I know he meant this is the kindest possible way, but spoiler alert – the swan dies. Here is a short poem in case you don’t remember the story: The silver Swan, who, living, had no Note, when Death approached, unlocked her silent throat, leaning her breast upon the reedy shore, thus sang her first and last, and sang no more: “Farewell, all joys! O Death, come close mine eyes! More Geese than Swans now live, more Fools than Wise.” I’m not sure why, but this feels relevant to Chapter…

I’m hoping that Rob meant swan song in the artistic sense… not that he has some peculiar knowledge about my imminent demise…

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May 2024 News – OHC Chapter in South Africa

The past month was a more regular one for the Priory, with relatively few unusual events and a more stable rhythm of community life, prayer, ministry and work. Several Volmoed guests and various local people joined us from time to time at our chapel prayers and Eucharists. We were especially pleased to have one of our long-term Associates visit with her husband and a good friend to attend Eucharist on a Sunday morning.

Br Robert James, the Superior of our Order, arrived in the last week of May. He is with us to organize the final preparations for our Order’s annual Chapter gathering, which will take place in South Africa during the first two weeks of June. This is the first time the Chapter meeting will be held outside of North America, and we are looking forward to having many of our Brothers from North America with us here at Volmoed soon. For several of them, it will be their first time in South Africa. For part of the time, they will travel to visit our Holy Cross School near Makhanda (Grahamstown) in the Eastern Cape.

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