Br Roger Stewart

Easter V on Thursday at Volmoed

Scripture Readings

This morning, we have a different agricultural image to consider. Last week, it was sheep farming; this week, it’s vine growing, which is somewhat more familiar to us, here in this part of the country. In today’s metaphor, Jesus says that he is the vine and his disciples are the branches, and by extension so are we, who have been brought to life by him.

Sermon for the Second Sunday of Easter – Thomas the Realist, by Br Daniel

Readings for Today

Brother Daniel
Br Daniel

So, Christ is Risen!

Christ is risen, indeed, and the Easter cry isn’t only for Easter, of course. For while each and every Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection, we have 49 days between Easter and Pentecost in which to focus our attention on the resurrection and all that God accomplishes through it.

At the same time, I am also mindful, on this day and with this text, of what God does not accomplish and, I suspect, so are all of us. We are in the midst of a seemingly endless pandemic, our economy is dismal, we are swamped by crime and corruption, infrastructure is collapsing around us, thank goodness not so much in our part of the world, and each one of us has personal difficulties or tragedies to contend with.

And so, sometimes we come to church on Easter or in the weeks after, and our alleluias ring hollow and Easter acclamations wear a bit thin. If this is you, or if you think it might characterize some of your friends and family, then the story of Thomas is right on the money!

Palm Sunday 2021

I share with you a reflection and a prayer for Palm Sunday. May you have a blessed Holy Week.

From an Oration by Andrew of Crete:

Let us go together to meet Christ on the Mount of Olives. Today he … comes of his own free will to make his journey to Jerusalem … and proceeds of his own free will towards his holy and blessed passion, to consummate the mystery of our salvation. He comes without pomp or ostentation. He will be meek and humble, and he will make his entry in simplicity.

Let the Redeemed Pray the Psalms – A Reflection for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

Scripture Readings for Today

Why do monastics spend so much time with the Psalms? I think the following reflection by Kerry Hasler-Brooks goes some way towards answering that question.


Two years ago, I heard Kathleen Norris read her poetry, and I immediately got a copy of her much-loved book Dakota: A Spiritual Geography and read it straight through.

South Dakota

I have since read the book three times and some portions many more, used it in a sermon, and discussed it with first-year college students in a class on reading, faith, and place. In the book, Norris tells of an abandoned faith resurrected in a small South Dakota town and in an ancient monastic liturgy that taught her to read, recite, hear, and know the Psalms deeply, beyond time, beyond herself.

The First Sunday after Epiphany – The Baptism of Christ

Christ is bathed in light; let us also be bathed in light. Christ is baptized; let us also go down with him, and rise with him.

John is baptizing when Jesus draws near. Perhaps he comes to sanctify his baptizer; certainly … he comes to sanctify the Jordan for our sake and in readiness for us; he who is spirit and flesh comes to begin a new creation through the Spirit and water.

Thursday 25 November – The Feast of James Otis Sargent Huntington

This week saw our celebration for the second time at Volmoed of our Order’s Founder’s Day. We were pleased to host the other Volmoed residents and staff to a festive lunch following the midday Eucharist.

Fr. James Otis Sargent Huntington was the first member of the Order of the Holy Cross to make his life profession, doing so on 25 November 1884 in New York, NY, USA. James Huntington was a passionate advocate of social justice, seeing prayer and action as inextricably intertwined. He has been described as forward-reaching, looking for enriching change and development, interested in the future.

We ask for your prayers for us and for our brothers throughout this Order that was established by the confident endurance of that remarkable man, that we may continue faithful to the spirit of our Founder.

Sermon for Thursday at Volmoed

Readings for All Saints’ Day

Much of the Church celebrates All Saints’ Day on 1 November, which this year falls on this coming Sunday. We are having a foretaste this morning.

Such a celebration has been part of the life of the Church for a very long time. The idea is to remember and to honour those Christians who have lived the life of faith with particular distinction and to rejoice with them that they now have passed beyond the struggles of this life, gathered into the presence of God. The reading from the Revelation to John indicated by the Revised Common Lectionary provides a compelling image of such a gathering, sheltered and guided, with all tears finally wiped away. We should note that the multitude consists of those from all peoples and languages.

First-anniversary news from St Benedict’s Priory at Volmoed

We recently sent out our second newsletter to those on our email address list. You are welcome to sign up to receive future newsletters by email here. The text of the newsletter follows …

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.

2 Peter 3:8 (NRSV)

This is such wisdom from St Peter, and the words might have been written for us at St Benedict’s Priory as well. Who can believe that it is already a year since we arrived here at Volmoed? And looking back and reflecting on this year that was, it seems to me the things that make the day feel like a thousand years might threaten to outweigh the things that make a thousand years feel like a day.