Mons Nubifer

The Holy Irrelevance of the Contemplative Christian Life

Christians with a call to the contemplative life often experience confusion, dissatisfaction, even shame and guilt. Let’s face it: contemporary American society is decisively focused outward, entrenched and adrift in the things of this world. We measure our lives and the value of them by outward achievements, by the things we can quantify, by external signs. This is why Christians who hear the call to the secret inner life tend to experience frustration and even depression. While their desire is to delve into that interior quietude and the things of the Spirit, everything and everyone around them tells them that they must enter the fray and the clash of outward things, the things of the flesh. Even their churches tell them so: they must do-good. They must be activists, always...

What is God’s Will for My Life?

Christians often wonder about the work of the Christian life. With no small amount of anxiety, we find ourselves asking, “What is God’s will for my life?” or “What does God want me to do?” While it is important always to ask if our lives are conformed to God’s will, we too often focus these questions on outward things: activities, projects, jobs, money, and other such endeavors in this transitory world. The work to which a Christian is called, however, is chiefly an inner, secret work wrought deep within the soul. It is spiritual work, not carnal work. First seek the kingdom of God, and all else shall come to you....

The Original Christian Sports Ministry: Training in the Life of Prayer

Christian sports ministries seem to be growing in popularity, and it is understandable why. Deep down, we know that being Christian requires an athletic frame of mind. It requires training, teamwork, concentration, acquired skill. It requires that we contend, giving our best and fullest. In the early ages of the Church, Christians were discouraged from participating in secular games. Instead, Christians contended in the unseen, spiritual warfare of a life devoted to prayer. Mons Nubifer Sanctus provides the original Christian sports ministry: training in this way of prayer....

Are You Ready for a Silent Retreat?

Attending a silent retreat at Mons Nubifer Sanctus can be challenging. But challenge and growth in the Christian spiritual life go together. If we are not being challenged, we are likely not growing in our life in God. Our silent contemplative prayer retreats provide authentic training in Christian virtue. They help to deepen prayer and the sense of worship before the incontestable majesty of God. Are you ready to try a silent retreat at Mons Nubifer Sanctus?...

2019 Christmas Sermon

The year that I was conceived, my father found himself in the middle of a volatile conflict. We had been receiving death threats, our family phone was being tapped, and he faced losing his livelihood for no good reason. To add insult to injury, my mother was struggling with severe neurological symptoms with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Doctors were telling her that she would likely be spending the remainder of her life in a wheelchair. My parents’ hands were full with two infant boys, and when my mother was pregnant with me, I’ve been told that my father was so upset that he didn’t speak to her for a month. Knowing my father, I believe it, though it was likely more out of depression and stress than anger—though I’m...

Poem: Prayer

Since I’ve welcomed you I have become aware Of things untended A cobweb here, there Paint cracked and peeling Ceiling tiles stained From an ages-old Leak....

Christmas Sermon, 2018

Come one, come all; come rich, come poor; come mighty, come weak. Come, you who are in high places, and you who are low, for today is born for us a child in whom the valleys are exalted, and the mountains bowed down. Come liberal, come conservative; come republican, come democrat; come sinner, come righteous, for today is born for us the one in whom we are one; today is born for us the true King, the judge and measure of all things, whose goodness adjudicates goodness, whose love arbitrates love....

Practicing Advent

The Feast of the Resurrection (commonly known as “Easter”) is the central celebration for Christians. The Feast of the Nativity of Christ, however, has taken a close second place. It celebrates the Incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, an historical event that continues in the Church. Both of these feasts are marked by an extensive period of preparation characterized by penitence, sacrifice, and solemnity. These periods are Lent and Advent....

Chocolate, Hot Dates, and Contrition: Valentine’s Day and Lent

This year, February 14 is both Saint Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the penitential season of Lent in which Christians commit to fasting, almsgiving and other spiritual disciplines in preparation for Easter. How does one reconcile chocolates, hot dates, fasting and contrition? Perhaps Saint Valentine himself offers an answer....

All Our Choices, & the Choice of Love: A Christmas Reflection

Contemporary western life presents us with a dizzying array of possibilities and choices to make. From the chockablock shelves of stores with a billion products vying for our attention, to larger decisions about places to live, people to keep company with, political and social opinions to embrace, we live constantly under the pretense of choice....