Br Robert Wills, LC
Our modern time resembles ancient Greco-Roman civilizations in many respects — especially in our thirst for knowledge. More than ever, people are so flooded with information that they are often tempted to give up the search, echoing the words of Pontius Pilate, “What is truth?” (John 18:38)
Relativism was just as rampant yesterday as today. Knowledge wasn’t properly valued for how much truth it contained. For the Greeks and Romans, it was at this time of uncertainty when the image of the shepherd came on the scene, even before Christianity. It symbolized the hope for a peaceful and a simple life in the rural countryside. In the same way, Christ the Good Shepherd wants to lead each of us to green pastures and refreshing waters (Psalm 23:2) in order to nourish our minds with the simple truths of our faith, teaching us what we truly need to know in order to “have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
Br Eric Gilhooly, LC
Everyone on this earth has a path to walk. Everyone has a journey. Some have no idea where they’re headed, while others carefully chart out how to avoid life’s toll booths or where to find the best rest stops. But Catholics gear their lives towards the journey’s goal, towards heaven. Nothing else really matters.
Unlike most kids her age, Claire can’t walk. She can’t sit up by herself. She can’t even write her name or say hello. But I can’t even begin to guess how many people her life has changed.
Br Ernesto Simroth, LC
Nowadays, this is one of the most searched questions in the world. As generations keep passing, the search for happiness seems to have a more valuable price and more important place in our lives. Maybe this happens simply because, just as a prize becomes more valuable the more competition there is for it, little by little it’s becoming more difficult to obtain it and keep it.
What is real happiness? Where can I find it? How can I be really happy? What does it mean to be happy? These questions may sound familiar and… very personal. Surprisingly, one general answer to resolve these questions exists.
Original Photography by Br Ivair Watte, LC
Br Christopher O’Brien, LC
Perhaps the hardest hour of my day here in Cheshire is 6:30-7:30 in the morning. And it’s the same every morning, every day, without fail. In fact for the past three years – this is my fourth here in Cheshire – I don’t think I’ve ever done anything else during that hour.
It’s my hour of meditation. One hour alone with God Almighty and my ugliness. His love and truth meet my utter weakness. For one whole hour.
Br John van Dorpe, LC
I knew my corner of the city like the back of my hand, and I could find my way around without any help. From my parents’ house to my daily workplace, you follow the wooden fence twelve paces, and then cross the open square until you hit the rough stone wall. That is the back wall of the tanner’s, and then you follow that wall around the corner and down the alley until you can smell sheep. There is the corral and the fruit sellers’ stalls.
Cross the square, following the tables of the fruit sellers and soon you will begin to hear donkeys. That’s when you know that you have to make a sharp right turn and you will then reach the smooth stone wall. Follow that to the left for four paces, round the corner, and you are at the best spot in the whole city to collect “contributions,” as I call them. People call it the Beautiful Gate, and on a good day, I understand why: it really is beautiful to hear all those shekels clinking into my sack.
Br Erik Burckel, LC
I close my 750-page companion of the last month: David Copperfield. Now that it’s over, I have that feeling similar to the one I used to have after losing a basketball game in high school: kind of wretched all over, but with a certain bitter pleasure nonetheless. At the end of Charles Dickens’ novel, David is happy. He’s gone from sadness, suffering, and confusion to self-discovery, fulfillment, and joy, the joy of his life. I can’t help but be happy for David, recalling over and over again the events that culminated in an emotional climax at the end of the story. But I’m not David, and the book is finished. I have to leave him there happily married, enjoying the fulfillment he has searched for. What is there left for me?
Br Daniel Carter, LC
The community of humanists from the Legionary seminary of Cheshire dropped in on the Big Apple recently. Part of the curriculum is a monthly visit to a museum, usually in New York City or Boston. These visits are always highlights for the brothers in addition to being moments of Catholic witness. When people see sixty young men dressed in black throng past them on the sidewalk, they usually stop for a second look. The braver ones even pull one or more brothers aside for a little Q&A. They’re curious.