Category: Cistercian

WHERE ARE THOSE OLD WEDDING PICTURES, NOW?

When was the last time you looked at those old wedding pictures? Blow off the dust and take a look at them again. They transport you back to a time when you celebrated something wonderful, your marriage with each other and your reliance on…

BLUE SKYS

Here is a story that brings to mind all kinds of spiritual linkages. It is one that I heard from my wife, a true story that is happening in our days. When meditating on Philippians 2:5, this blue sky story led me to places…

CONCENTRATED ORANGE JUICE

Try to drink this cup of the Mystery of Faith! It is like concentrated orange juice–very tasty but strong. I had to address this in one of my Lectio Divina meditations (Philippians 2:5). I warn you, this is way out there (out there is…

READINGS IN CONTEMPLATIVE THOUGHT

In order to develop contemplative practice, you must practice contemplative thinking. One way I do that is by reading. If your reading on a daily or weekly basis is on topics that deepen your “capcitas dei” the capacity to grow in Christ, then reading…

MAKE A CONTEMPLATIVE RETREAT

Making a retreat is one of those events where there are a thousand reasons not to go but only one good one to go– to grow in the capacity to move from self to God. Movement is a sign you are alive. You can…

JOIN THE SCHOOL OF LOVE

St. Benedict composes a Rule (d. 649 A.D.) to organize monks into forming a school for charity (love) in which they can move from the false self to the true self. What follows is an excerpt from my book on Learning How to Love….

LUMEN GENTIUM: The Mystery of the Church

There is no more challenging sign of contradiction of our Faith than that of the Church. At once, holy and sinful, one yet diverse, catholic yet individual, and apostolic and current in each age. The Ecumenical Council of Vatican II produced a profound statement…

ALL IN

There was a casino scene in a James Bond Film, Casino Royale, where the suave and debonaire Mr. Bond plays against the bad guys. The thing I remember about it is that players can make various degrees of wagering. One in particular that has…

YOU HAVE NO IDEA

Once, there was a highly educated and refined woman, who wanted to become more spiritual. She began attending Eucharist almost every day. She was very happy when attending the meetings with those who also shared her Faith. The opportunity presented itself to attend a…

DO WHAT YOU SAY

Maybe you have read my blog on Mean What You Say (maybe not). Meaning what you say is about aligning your mind with the words you say. Doing what you say is about aligning your heart with your activity. Christ is always urging his…

ARE YOU LISTLESS?

If you read this title you might be fooled by the actual purpose of this blog. Listless means being lifeless and without enthusiasm. It reminds me of those who seem to decry the state of imperfection in the World or the Church (or both)…

THE DIDACHE

This blog has taken the liberty of copying the whole of the text of the Didache from http://www.NewAdvent.com because of its significance. There is no commentary following it. Read and ponder. New Advent is an excellent source for looking up readings from the early…

TEMPTATION AND FALLING AWAY FROM THE FAITH

This is an excerpt from my latest book, WE ARE DEFINED BY OUR CHOICES: A Lay Cistercian reflects on Temptation, Truth, Reason, and Free Choice and why people fall away from the Church. (out August 2, 2019) which are my reflections on the phenomenon…

WHAT LAS VEGAS HAS TO SAY ABOUT MY FAITH

If you haven’t done so already, then you know I must have flipped out or had too much to drink (I only drink holy water which makes the plastic flowers grow). I only say that because where my Lectio Divina (Phil 2:5) led me…

THE END

According to Ecclesiastes, there is a time for everything under Heaven. A time to be born, a time to live, a time to discover and implement your purpose in life, a time to discover what reality looks like, a time to wonder about how…

USING SCRIPTURE AS A TOOL FOR PRIDE

I keep bumping into them everywhere I go. You know the kind, the self-righteous, pompas, know-it-alls who have recently found Jesus in their hearts and want to spread their particular interpretation of who Jesus is to everyone who will listen. All religions have them….

LISTEN WITH THE EAR OF THE HEART

There is nothing more difficult for a human being than to listen to God with the ear of the heart. That God would even consider speaking to me in the silence of my heart is, in itself, astounding. What I try to do as…

WHAT IS GREATER THAN FAITH?

If you are a person who places their whole Faith in Faith, you will not want to read the rest of this. Like everything is the spiritual universe, nothing is what it seems. Not only is everything a sign of contradiction, but much of…

10 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

Despite the bad press about Mary and her being divine and the object of a cult, she is the mother of Jesus, the Son of the Living God. Of course, none of this makes any sense using the assumptions of the World. It is…

WHO ROWS YOUR BOAT?

What follows is an exerpt from my book, Who Rows Your Boat: How you can be happier than you can possibly imagine. Use these thoughts to expand your horizon. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=books+dr.+michael+f.+conrad Who Rows Your Boat? Who Rows Your Boat? If your life is a boat,…

TWEEKING MY LAY CISTERCIAN PRAYERS

Praying, for me, is not the same as when I began my Lay Cistercian odyssey seven years ago. I considered myself somewhat religious, but I could never have imagined I would be where I am today in my prayer life. Some of the prayer…

GROWING DEEPER IN YOUR FAITH: Five Levels of Spiritual Awareness

I have uncovered five levels of spiritual awareness as I sat, one Sunday morning at Eucharist, thinking about how my attention span waxes and wanes as I listen to the Word. I usually must make an effort to keep my focus on the readings…

TEN THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE POPE

Here are some of my thoughts about the Pope. They are not sensational or even revelational, but reflect my own appreciation for the person selected by the Holy Spirit to lead us in how to love with our whole hearts, our whole minds, and…

10 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT TEMPTATIONS

Here are ten things I have learned about temptations that you may or may not have known before. Temptations are not sins. They are possible choices presented to you so that you can choose to move forward. Some choices are good for you, while…

THE SIGN OF CONTRADICTION

One of the strangest of all the seemingly contradictory phenomena about spirituality, and I use Cistercian Spirituality as I know it, as my frame of reference, is the sign of contradiction. My Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5) meditations have been trending toward thinking about a…

GET SPECIFIC IN YOUR PRAYER

When trying to devote whatever time I have left to prayer, as I promised to do when making my final promises as a Lay Cistercian, I have noticed a few thing that are important about my general prayer life. Sometimes my prayer life seems…

10 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT LAY CISTERCIANS

What follows is my Lectio Divina on Philippians 2:5 that I had at 2:30 a.m. one night last week. I just happened to remember it and thought it might be of interest to you, it was to me. Lay Cistercians are laity who choose…

THE RESURRECTION ENIGMA

Blessed Easter. What follows is an excerpt from my newest publication, The Resurrection Enigma: A Lay Cistercian reflects on five consequences the Resurrection of Christ has for living Forever. St. Paul, as you will read, states that, if the Resurrection is false, our Faith…

SEVEN WAYS OF DIVINE LOVE

In wandering in the vast hinterlands of the Internet, I came upon writings of a Cistercian Beatrice of Nazareth, that I would like to share with you. This is not my material, having copied it from another website. I thought it compelling enough to…

REACHING PERFECTION

I have always had a problem with spirituality until very recently. In the last six years, since I began my discernment as a Lay Cistercian (which I am still doing) into what it means to transform myself from my false self to a new…

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