Here I have put together a selection of homilies. The Word of God is ‘alive and active’ says the Letter to the Hebrews. That is not to say that it lives a hidden organic life we can trace through a microscope, as if it were a virus; but that it is inspired, a bearer of God’s eternal Spirit. Therefore it resounds to this day with quite as much force as when it was first spoken. It ever has something new to say. The preacher’s first task is to listen intently to this Word at once ancient and new, then to make his own, necessarily limited words its vehicles. I have not been able to provide translations of texts in other languages; but if you rummage around a little you will find a fair amount of material in English.

10. Sunday B

9 June 2024 Trondheim
If we only consider Jesus from the outside, proudly and imprisoned in preconceptions, we shall lack discernment in theological questions, at risk of committing categorical errors and yet be convinced that we are right. We see countless examples of this in Scripture and in Church history, even in our time. Continue reading

The Sacred Heart

7 June 2024 Trondheim
The way of contemplation is a way of slow, essential transformation that unites us with the contemplated object so that we can stay in it. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a universe in which we are invited to live. Continue reading

Corpus Christi

2 June 2024
When the Christian code of law prescribed the building of churches throughout the land it wasn't primarily to facilitate democratic conference; it was so that the entire people might gather before the Lord's altar to receive his Body and Blood, the foundation of the new and eternal covenant which then, in turn, would reshape the country through an awareness of communion based on brotherhood. Continue reading


19 May 2024 Trondheim
We recognise the Spirit's work in us when Jesus's oft-repeated words, 'Fear not', turn out to be a commandment we can heed, when we freely step outside the prison of anxiety and ask ourselves, 'What on earth was I doing in there all that time?' Continue reading

Ordination of Florian Pletscher

18 May 2024 Trondheim
It is the priest's privilege to facilitate the encounter between the one who thirsts and the Source, in order then to withdraw discreetly in thanksgiving and intercession. For a priest is one who 'prays much for the people'. Continue reading

Our Lady of Fátima

13 May 2024 Trondheim
It is obvious that the pig picture has an impact on the small, but are we sufficiently aware that the opposite is also the case? When one finds oneself in the middle of life, looking at once forward and back, it is good to be reminded of this. Continue reading

7. Sunday of Easter – Confirmation

12 May 2024 Kristiansund
Joy is stirred in us as an expression of gratitude, when the good that surrounds us calls forth the good in ourselves and we are conscious of subsisting in a strange, jubilant harmony with the world — and with God, who holds the world in his hand. To be sad, in contrast, is to feel cut off, uncomprehended. Continue reading


9 May 2024 Trondheim
We live in an age of banality and horizontality that has cut itself off from heavenly reality, a time that has largely lost the ability to think metaphysically, to perceive spiritually, and that therefore lives with a profound frustration expressed in tired purposelessness, as if we were sunk in some kind of collective depression. Continue reading


5 May 2024 Levanger
Christianity isn't magic - becoming a Christian doesn't provide the automatic solution to any problem. But Christian faith, the grace of belonging to Christ through the Church, is the fount of a strength that may resolve even intransigently locked crises from within. Continue reading

St Joseph the Worker

1 May 2024
The problem is that we, when we turn faith into a project of welfare, easily forget what the whole thing is about. We think of ourselves as decisive agents - our outlook becomes horizontal and we end up, to speak in Biblical terms, 'forgetting God'. Continue reading


27 April 2024 Ålesund
When you find that nothing you possess, nothing that surrounds you, is enough, remember that what you are meeting is not just your own limits; you are perceiving the beginning of God's unlimitedness. That kind of experience is an implicit prayer. Continue reading

4th Sunday of Easter

21 April 2024 Mount Saint Bernard
To pretend to pursue beauty or goodness by subverting truth is deceitful. Continue reading

On Swift Steeds

18 April 2024 Buckfast Abbey
The persecution that arose in Jerusalem after the lapidation of Stephen caused the apostolic nucleus to explode. The Twelve, who since the Ascension had huddled, first in fear, then in creative confidence, with Mary the Mother of Jesus, scattered. Continue reading

Seeing & Believing

17 April 2024 Buckfast Abbey
Western philosophy since Descartes has tended to assume that the perception of reality results from inference; that I can, in isolation, think my way to the truth. The Gospel’s philosophy is different - it submits that truth is discovered by way of encounter. Continue reading

Saul – Paul

16 April 2024 Buckfast Abbey
A life pierced by repentance may become an even more effective vehicle of grace than one that has never known what it is to fall and to be raised up again. Continue reading

On Erring

15 April 2024 Buckfast Abbey
Error, the loss of direction, may confer momentary thrills, but its long-term effect is frustration and sadness. It is worth being attentive to intimations of frustration and sadness - should they occur, it is time to check the compass. Continue reading

Pope Saint Martin

13 April 2024 Trondheim
A Christian should be a loyal citizen and contribute to the good of society, on this subject the New Testament is clear. Our loyalty, however, should not become gormless gullibility. Continue reading

Annunciation Tautra

8 April 2024 Monastery of St Mary, Tautra
God wishes to dwell in us, he wants to be known - we are called to be burning coal to let his divinity burn with cleansing, blessing power in the world. Are we wholly surrendered to this hope? Continue reading

Folding Death Away

6 April 2024 Abbaye de Lagrasse
Jesus, rising from Sheol, serenely put off death as if were an old pyjamas for which he had no further use. He folded it neatly, showing even this last enemy divine respect, a kind of tenderness due, not to death as such, that's for sure, but to the wounds death has imprinted on human experience. Continue reading

Perfect Freedom

3 April 2024 Abbaye de Boulaur
We think that a given circumstance, a given person, a given wound prevents us from being free. We spend our time moaning about that circumstance, that person, that wound. Continue reading

Easter Day

31 March 2024 Trondheim
Christ is risen! May he be fully alive in us, in the unity among us, that the world may believe and rediscover the gladness it has lost. Continue reading

Easter Vigil

30 March 2024 Trondheim
If we seek an image of what the Church is, we find it here, in the fact that we, of ourselves a heap of forlorn individuals, are by God's efficacious power turned into a unified, jubilant sea of living fire. The Church's decisive synodos happens through incorporation into Christ's Pasch. Continue reading

Good Friday

29 March 2024 Trondheim
Christ's cross, geometrically a sign of contradiction, a function of two lines that will never run parallel, has become a symbol of wholeness.  Continue reading

Maundy Thursday

28 March 2024 Trondheim
We intuit what it means to love, not just when it feel right, but definitively, 'until the end'. Continue reading

Chrism Mass

26 March 2024
If we pay attention we see, here and there, the hoof-print of him whom Revelation refers to as 'the accuser of the brethren'. Let's not fall for his tricks. Continue reading

Palm Sunday

24 March 2024 Trondheim
Jesus must go up to Jerusalem to take the altar's place. The old covenant has completed his mission; the new covenant, drawn up in his Blood, is about to begin. Continue reading

St Joseph

19 March 2024 Trondheim
St Joseph calls us to live our faith coherently, with courage and devotion, and not to confuse ourselves and others with all manner of superfluous, useless chatter. In a time like ours, in which the significance of words is easily subverted, such an approach is balm for the soul. Continue reading

5. Sunday of Lent

17 March 2024 Trondheim
The Easter mystery provides us with a master-key to human existence. Let us remember to use it where life seems locked, where death by way of illusion appears to have the last word. Continue reading

Bishops’ Conference

13 March 2024 Luxembourg
Often we complain against God and feel ignored by him when in fact grace is in store for us. We are like the Israelites who complained in Mara, 'We have no water' though they practically stood on the threshold of a wonderful oasis. Continue reading

3. Sunday of Lent

3 March 2024 Trondheim
This Lent, make it your exercise to look at yourself in the mirror at least once a day and remind yourself, ‘I am holy to the Lord’. Then live accordingly. Continue reading

1. Sunday of Lent B

18 February 2024 North American College, Rome
The rainbow God set as the sign of his covenant, a sign no lesser cause can usurp, indicates an economy of mercy, for God will henceforth leave the world undestroyed. It also indicates an economy of patience, for in a post-diluvian world man must bear the brunt of his choices. Continue reading

Ash Wednesday

14 February 2024 Mount Saint Bernard
Affirming our mortality, we embrace our limitation. We own that, despite occasional lapses of delusion, we know we are not God. Continue reading

5. Sunday B

4 February 2024 Trondheim
We might be tempted to try a Marxist reading of our passage from Job, and say, ‘Haha - here is proof of alienation from life-activity even in Biblical times, proof of man reduced to a cog in the wheel of a structure that exploits him — live the Revolution!’ And we'd miss the point. Continue reading


2 February 2024 Trondheim
If we stay faithful to our call, we too, shall by grace be a sign to the nations, a sign of hope and direction our disoriented times need badly as they hurtle ever further off the rails. Continue reading

Ecumenical Service

28 January 2024 Stjørdal
Do we feed ourselves and others on solid food or on milky mush? One quickly tires of mush, which can hardly be said to anticipate the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. Continue reading

St Eystein of Nidaros

26 January 2024 Kristiansund
It is a gigantic and tragic paradox that the celebration of such noble legislation coincides this year with a motion for a new abortion law whose predictable finality is the elimination of, precisely 'the poor and disadvantaged in society' before they have even seen the light of day, that we might forget all about their existence. Continue reading

Conversion of St Paul

25 January 2024 Trondheim
With increasing frequency we hear the word 'truth' used with a first-person singular possessive pronoun - even university presidents can be found to speak in earnest about 'my truth'. It is agreeable to behold the world in this light; if truth is mine, it follows that I am always right. Continue reading

3. Sunday B

21 January 2024 Tromsø
In the Church we transcend time. We must always be mindful of this. Continue reading

2. Sunday B

14 January 2024 Trondheim
The sanctuary where Samuel heard his call was not a fervent junior seminary. It was a tepid, lurid scene, a place void of conviction, an accusation against itself for failing to live up to its objective. Continue reading


6 January 2024 Trondheim
Structures and institutions fall. What remains is the Word proclaimed in the night by a star. Continue reading

The Holy Family

31 December 2023 Trondheim
No child belongs to its father or mother; it is entrusted to them; but has its own integrity from conception. It is God's gift. Continue reading

Christmas Day

25 December 2023 Trondheim
Rightly understood, the Word of God is the paradigm by which all things are judged, the cornerstone that is at the same time a stumbling-block for unbelievers. Continue reading

Christmas Midnight Mass

25 December 2023 Trondheim
Emmanuel, God-with-us, would use us to cleanse this world with water, oil, and fire, then spread abroad his sweet perfume. The grace of Christmas is anchored in history but nonetheless points forwards to a new heaven, a new earth. Continue reading

3. Sunday of Advent

17 December 2023 Saint Pierre de Solesmes
Only one who knows himself carried by an all-powerful benevolence can say, 'I know neither who I am nor what I shall become, but I know that I am loved'. That is the only remedy for ills whose deepest root is perhaps not so much ideology as despair. Continue reading

2. Sunday of Advent

10 December 2023 Ålesund
En dom i bibelsk språk er ikke et juryutsagn rettet mot en anklaget forbryter; dommen går ut på at ting fremstår slik de er. Det skjulte blottlegges på godt og ondt. Continue reading

Consecration of the Church

5 December 2023 Munkeby
While the sweet-smelling incense rises, we call upon the Holy Spirit, 'the Comforter, the Spirit of wisdom and prudence, of knowledge and piety, of the fear of God'. This monastic church, drawn by sturdy architects from Trondheim, is no longer, then, a mere building - it will have become a sacramental reality, the tabernacle of divine presence, a concrete epiclesis. Continue reading

First Sunday of Advent

3 December 2023 Trondheim
As long as I consider myself the hapless victim of the ravages of others, of life, or of God in his heaven, I never take my future into my hands; somehow I'll never be my own life's acting subject. There is a risk that I'll gather bitter grapes even from good vines - so let's beware. Continue reading

Dedication of the Cathedral

19 November 2023 Trondheim
These days there is a tendency to cardamomify the Christian proclamation. We might profitably note how demanding the Church herself is when, through the liturgy, she shows us what we believe and what we are called to become. Continue reading

Homily in Częstochowa

18 November 2023 Jasna Góra, Częstochowa
Our world is set on a course that madly resists the good and true, bent on obliterating God. Wherever God’s grace makes its presence felt, it encounters resistance, even violence. Continue reading

All Souls

2 November 2023 Trondheim
What we celebrate today is the triumph of hope. Even the dead who, at their passing, were unprepared to meet their Maker are covered by the mantle of his mercy. Continue reading

All saints

1 November 2023 Trondheim
By our prayer and sacrifice we can bring effective consolation to brothers in tribulation, who may not be able to pray themselves, being overwhelmed. This touches the heart of the communion of saints - we bear one another's burdens in a communion that defies time and space in all-encompassing fellowship. Continue reading

30. Sunday A

29 October 2023 Utstein Kloster
To be in love is to idealise the beloved while at the same time finding ourselves idealised. It is a most agreeable sensation. Continue reading

Sts Simon and Jude

28 October 2023 Utstein Kloster
In day-to-day speech, when we say of someone, ‘He (or she) is very zealous’, we shudder a bit. The zealous person is officious and singleminded to the point of obsession, having little time for the sensibilities of others - to live alongside zealots can be an ordeal. Continue reading

29. Sunday

22 October 2023 Trondheim
History progresses towards a fulfilment. God uses the processes of history and man's free choices, choices often ignobly and selfishly motivated, to further in the long term his design - our salvation, the establishment of God's kingdom whose birth pangs darkly immerse us. Continue reading

27. Sunday

8 October 2023 Trondheim
What's it supposed to mean that Noah, after the flood, planted vines, not cabbage? That man refuses to accept the world as merely a vale of tears, a wilderness of thistles to be conquered in the sweat of his brow - that within us there's remembrance of a more harmonious earth, created for delight. Continue reading

Requiem for Hanna Mersch

7 October 2023 St Torfinn, Levanger
In the vocabulary of the Old Testament, an offering is literally an 'elevation' — it refers to the movement the priest performed when he lifted up before God whatever gifts people brought, a sign that all earthly accomplishments point towards a heavenly finality, that even our corn, our wine, our cattle carry a seed of eternity and can come to be a vehicle of blessing.  Continue reading

25. Sunday A

24 September 2023 Trondheim
It is tragic (I don't think the term is too strong) that the word 'grace' in our parts, in the wake of the Reformation, became a harsh word. To live 'on grace' is humiliating in Norwegian vocabulary - it's about being seated on the beggar's bench just inside the door, hoping for someone to drop a coin into your hat, ready to bow low in response. Continue reading

23. Sunday A

10 September 2023 Trondheim
We cannot take away another’s freedom or force him or her to act in a certain way. But we cannot simply look on resigned while someone self-destructs - at least we should call out, ‘Come back, I’m here for you! Continue reading

St Augustine – Tiller Jubilee

28 August 2023 Birgittaklosteret på Tiller
We too live in times in which much is broken to pieces. That is nothing to get too excited about. Continue reading

21. Sunday A

27 August 2023 Trondheim
Peter wields the key to the kingdom as trusted servant, not as lord - it's an important distinction to bear in mind, showing us both the dignity and limit of Peter’s authority. When Peter presumed that his position entitled him to dictate Christ’s course of action, he was rebuked in the strongest possible terms. Continue reading

20. Sunday A

20 August 2023 Trondheim
For hearts wounded by sin, closure is the default movement - our heart must learn to reopen like an oyster to discover, and reveal, the pearl within, the pearl of great price. The tearing of the temple curtain symbolises the resolve of conversion by which we reaffirm our option for what is great, universal, and whole. Continue reading

19. Sunday A

13 August 2023 Heliga Hjärtas Kloster, Omberg
If God is truly God, he is present everywhere, even in his apparent absence. The God of action is also a God who waits - what he waits for is our response, our obedience, our getting up to go. Continue reading

Olsok – Feast of St Olav

29 July 2023 Nidarosdomen
Let us, as Catholics, hold firm to what is palpable and real in the legacy of St Olav and leave it to the secular authority to bask in fantastical abstractions. Continue reading

Vigil of Olsok – Ordination to the Diaconate

28 July 2023 Stiklestad
If the call to ministry has come to seem irrelevant it is at least in part because many a flame that once burnt brightly is now perceptible only by way of deduction on the basis of heaps of burnt-out ash. Tend carefully the flame that today is lit in you through the sacrament of Holy Church, our Mother. Continue reading

16. Sunday A

23 July 2023 Trondheim
Once we find ourselves well and truly fallen, with our nose in the dirt, we are relieved of illusions about ourselves. We can start a new life afresh based on reality, in truth. Continue reading

15. Sunday A

16 July 2023 Trondheim
The heralds of the Lion of Judah transformed into flowerpot-holders! Continue reading

12. Sunday A

25 June 2023 Bose
It's never been easier to pass as a prophet, we hear the word prophecy used a lot. There's a risk, though, that the term is devalued thereby, becoming self-referential, wordy, tiring — boring, quite simply. Continue reading

Sacred Heart of Jesus

17 June 2023 Trondheim
The Heart of Jesus is not a geiger counter that catches, measures, and evaluates sin with precision just for the sake of statistics; it is touched by our options, wounded when we do evil and prefer darkness to light. Each of us can bring the Heart of Jesus grief or consolation. Continue reading


28 May 2023 Trondheim
The Tower of Babel was preeminently a synodal undertaking, though self-destructive, which is why the Lord undermined it. To be on the road together is a fine thing, but what really matters is where one is bound and whose lead one follows. Continue reading


21 May 2023 Levanger
A human being that lives beautifully becomes beautiful, such a human being also becomes whole. The call to holiness is not a call to become someone else - it is a call to become who you are. Continue reading


18 May 2023 Birgittaklosteret på Tiller
For us who live in the wake of the 1969 lunar mission, it is almost impossible to read those words without seeing before our mind’s eye the image of the Apollo rocket fired off from Camp Kennedy. Continue reading

Constitution Day

17 May 2023 Trondheim
Is a just societal order possible in the long run without a higher, divine standard, unmeasurable in terms of silver and gold, before which we stand accountable? Continue reading


14 May 2023 Kristiansund
We want to be left tranquil, to have a good salary and at the same time plenty of leisure to do what we want, and access to 5G internet browsing. But then a massive crisis can, in a trice, turn reality upside down. Continue reading

5. Sunday of Eastertide

7 May 2023 Centrum Formacji Duchowej, Kraków
The greatness of our works, the integrity of our discipleship, is not about making spectacular impact — not about having others gathering around us saying, ‘Ah!’ The greatness is a function of perseverance within our limitations, letting grace accomplish there something beautiful and healing. Continue reading

Being at Peace

5 May 2023
The Christian condition is not a life wrapped in cotton wool. We show ourselves Christians when we stand in the eye of the storm and yet are at peace. Continue reading

Sts Philip and James

3 May 2023 Mariendonk
We’re always conscious of all we haven’t got, and tell ourselves, Ah - If only I had this one thing, I’d be satisfied. Though of course we wouldn’t. Continue reading

Opening of Pilgrimage

1 May 2023 Kevelaer
Our time lets us assume that we can, armed with the appropriate App, master not merely our own existence, but reality as such. Therefore the image of a saving God seems superfluous to us. Continue reading

3. Sunday of Easter

23 April 2023 Ålesund
Avoid a disproportionately contemporary and self-centred vision of things which may make the faith more graspable, perhaps, but also reduces it to something banal. No political or sentimental aim will rejuvenate our soul and inflame our heart, but only the unchangeable promise of God revealed in Jesus Christ, the same today, yesterday, and forever. Continue reading


22 April 2023
The sacrament you are about to receive is no private matter, no pious formality. The sacrament equips you to embrace an urgent task - to participate in healing a world that is sick. Continue reading

Easter Day

9 April 2023 Trondheim
Faith in the resurrection lets us see who Jesus is; it illumines the mystery of the Holy Trinity. It enriches our insight that the Three are one. Continue reading

Easter Vigil

8 April 2023 Trondheim
Each of us is infinitely loved, called to fullness of life. Continue reading

Maundy Thursday

6 April 2023 Trondheim
The washing of the feet conveys more than just a precept to be good to the underprivileged; in it, we encounter the mystery of the cross.  Continue reading

Chrism Mass

4 April 2023 Trondheim
To be tempted, Christ shows us, is something quite banal, part and parcel of the life of faith in a world that has turned its back on God. What we must guard against is tempting God in our turn. Continue reading

Palm Sunday

2 April 2023 Trondheim
What we celebrate in Holy Week is more than grand historical drama. It is the distillation of the human condition - during these days we are handed the key to unlock the riddle of existence, including our own existence. Continue reading

St Joseph

20 March 2023 Trondheim
Why does God not choose more secure, warrantable procedures? Based on his case history, the Lord would not stand a chance confronted with the terms of a modern insurance agency. Continue reading

Sign of Jonah

2 March 2023 Corvey
Truly, we are dealing with something that is greater than all we have so far experienced, greater than all we can cleverly work out, greater even than the most drastic signs of the times. Amen. Continue reading

1. Sunday of Lent

26 February 2023 Trondheim
The diabolical is not a unified principle, it generates strife without intentional order. Evil has no personality - fragmented, it fragments, simply feeding on what is good. Continue reading

Ash Wednesday

22 February 2023 Trondheim
The highest form of freedom is not to have choices to make. What's that supposed to mean? Continue reading


16 February 2023 Maribo
In much current discourse about the Church, isn't the presupposed image of Christ almost exclusively this-worldly? Continue reading

6. Sunday A

12 February 2023 Hillerød Carmel
On the ocean of humanity's tears sails Christ our God. His ark is the wood of the Cross, the Spirit of truth is the wind in his sails - he bids us sail along, not circularly, round and round, but straight to the harbour. Continue reading

5. Sunday A

5 February 2023 Trondheim
The counsel to ‘clothe the naked’ makes me think of HC Andersen’s tale about the Emperor’s new clothes, a parable that speaks to our image-conscious, vanity-prone times. Even in the Church there is a risk that hypes replace substance. Continue reading


2 February 2023
Anyone who regularly prays the rosary will be struck, I think, by a strange, beautiful symmetry running across the four series of mysteries. Continue reading

4. Sunday A

29 January 2023 Trondheim
Don’t we risk falling into a kind of double-speak whereby we gather in church now and again to recite reassuring but ultimately meaningless lovey-dovey formulas before we step back into the ‘real’ world where love has no place and man is to man a wolf? Continue reading

St Eystein

26 January 2023 Kristiansund
St Eystein is inseparable from the legacy of St Olav. He knew in his body the reality of Olav's powerful intercession as one of that host of witnesses who eternally sing praise before the throne Ezekiel saw, recommending the needs of the Pilgrim Church on earth to God's mercy. Continue reading

3. Sunday A

22 January 2023 Trondheim
In recent times we have heard voices crying, 'I am for Pope Francis', 'and I am for Pope Benedict', while others shout, 'and I am for Pope Pius X'. What a lot of nonsense. Continue reading

2. Sunday A

15 January 2023 Trondheim
Who among us has not experienced that one whom we have known for years suddenly reveals a new side of himself or herself and we are forced to admit: 'I thought I knew him (or her), but I now see I did not'. Continue reading

Baptism of the Lord

8 January 2023 Trondheim
When I speak of poetry I do not primarily think of pretty verses about flowers, keeping a regular rhythm and end-rhymes. I envisage the poem as an inspired statement of what, otherwise, remains ineffable. Continue reading

Mary, Mother of God

1 January 2023 Abbaye de Sept-Fons
To be a mother or father is not limited to the generative act; she is a mother, and he is a father, who allows generated life to be realised in its irreducible otherness. Continue reading

Christmas Day

25 December 2022 Trondheim
John the Evangelist soars in the firmament, seemingly motionless, yet rising ever higher. He sees hidden and beautiful patterns that can’t be perceived from below. Continue reading

Christmas Midnight Mass

24 December 2022 Trondheim
We need not be ashamed of childish fears. It is as a child that God comes to us, to comfort us and free us, and so to make us bearers of freedom and comfort. Continue reading

4. Sunday of Advent

18 December 2022 Trondheim
I am not trying to preach some kind of ideological rant. I am just reminding you that the world of Ahaz and Isaiah is not so very different from ours, which seems to have gone off the rails. Continue reading

Requiem for +Erik Valkendorf

29 November 2022 Santa Maria dell'Anima
The eternal truth of God is made manifest in time, by all means, but to adjust it to a secularised society's expectations is irresponsible to the point of absurdity. The contemporary world must be read, rather, in the light of revealed eternity. Continue reading

Dedication of the Cathedral

19 November 2022 Trondheim
In looking, as it were, up and down at the same time, we approach the mystery of Christ, who was incarnate to ‘unite all thing in himself’; who, for being fully God, was fully a man, spreading abroad on this concrete, perspiring earth a fragrance of divinity.  Continue reading

33. Sunday C

13 November 2022 Abbaye de Sept Fons
Our present condition, even in its moments of ecstasy, is but a noviciate preparing us for a life of eternal abundance. Continue reading

32. Sunday C

6 November 2022 Trondheim
Only when I assume responsibility for my life the way it has turned out do I take my first tentative steps towards freedom. There is no other way. Continue reading

All Souls

2 November 2022 Trondheim
The Judge before whom we shall stand is no bureaucratic official. The Shepherd who awaits us at the gate is the Lamb of God. Continue reading

All Saints

1 November 2022 Trondheim
Our outlook is so limited! We are like ants who think of our anthill as the world. Continue reading

31. Sunday C

30 October 2022 Trondheim
What are we not prepared to do to hide our vulnerability? Often, very often, the source of sin in people's lives is a near-panic fear of being humiliated. Continue reading

30. Sunday C

23 October 2022 Trondheim
The humble person, when he does good, does not say anxiously, ‘O, there’ll be sin and selfishness in this, somewhere’. He feels a kind of jubilant astonishment and asks, ‘Really, was that me? Continue reading

Conversion of St OIav

16 October 2022 San Carlo al Corso, Rome
When Paul speaks of 'putting on the Lord Jesus Christ', the reference is not to some kind of loose poncho that fits on top of various layers of other, personally chosen garments. To be a Christian is to be transformed. Continue reading

28. Sunday C

9 October 2022 Trondheim
Saying thanks is hard for many. A person’s capacity for gratitude is a pretty infallible index of his or her inner freedom and maturity. Continue reading

St Birgitta

7 October 2022 Bridgettine Monastery, Tiller
All of us may feel from time to time that we haven't strength for all that should be done, that needs far exceed our abilities and means. That is nothing to get too excited about - it is how it is to be a Christian. Continue reading

27. Sunday C

2 October 2022 Trondheim
‘The righteous will live by faith', we read in the prophet Habakkuk, who lived in the 7th century BC. For us, though, the statement resonates with jousting matches about theology fought in Europe 2100 years later. Continue reading

St Matthew

21 September 2022 Prästmöte Skara
What is at stake is an effort to help ourselves and others to grow 'to full maturity, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ' — no less. May our lives, like Matthew's, serve this grandiose, joy-bearing, freeing cause. Continue reading

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

14 September 2022 Trondheim
A dizzying thought: there might be material objects around that were physically touched by God Almighty! It is small wonder that Constantine set out to search for the greatest relic of all: the Cross on which Christ died. Continue reading

24. Sunday C

11 September 2022 Trondheim
The metanoid woman or man takes stock of life to reorient it, letting life’s project be re-magnetised by a single, definitive desire strong enough to order lesser desires according to itself, where before these had been pulling in opposite directions. Is my heart unified - is yours? Continue reading

Birthday of the Mother of God

8 September 2022 Nordic Bishops' Conference, Hildesheim
In this symbolic, sacramental interaction of masculinity and femininity, fundamental to Catholic life, we shall find, of this I am convinced, the true response to painful perplexities present in our time. This response is already formulated, thank God; it needn't be invented anew. Continue reading

22. Sunday C

28 August 2022 Trondheim
The pursuit of humility is not just a matter of devotion; it is about upholding the dignity of all human life, recognising ourselves among the weak and outcast, standing up for table fellowship. To be humble on these terms is not to be meek and mild; it requires courage, strength, and perseverance in the face of hostile opposition. Continue reading

St Bartholomew

24 August 2022 Tamié
It isn't, then, a waste of time and energy to ask ourselves - am I a man, a woman, without deceit? Do I think of the Church as a mousetrap or as a ladder? Continue reading

Assumption of Our Lady

15 August 2022 Trondheim
The core of the dogma is essential, expressed with austere theological precision - the woman who, by anticipation, tasted the fruit of Christ's redeeming work, who was preserved from sin and freely received the Word which became flesh in her, was not subjected to the logic of corruption. Death had no claim on her, no power over her. Continue reading

Requiem for Svein Eirik Fauskevåg

13 August 2022 Trondheim
This great scholar of the Marquis de Sade fearlessly and carefully approached an intellectual heritage often diametrically opposed to the convictions upon which he constructed his existence. He exemplarily showed how we as Catholics can position ourselves in a post-Christian world striving for freedom and meaning. Continue reading

St Laurence

12 August 2022 Pro Scandiae populis
Many people aren't aware of having a kernel; they think of themselves, like Peer Gynt, as an onion. To posit a human soul these days outside an ecclesiastical enclosure — say, in psychology — is to expose oneself to scorn. Continue reading

Wedding of Camille & Briac

7 August 2022 Mortagne-au-Perche
Every activity, every utterance, every movement of the heart and body can become a means by which to glorify God, a liturgical worship permitting God's glory to insinuate itself into everyday life. Even your falls will have their part to play if you, like Peter, get up at once, humbly and (this is important) without bitterness. Continue reading

Feria ij, Week XIX (2)

2 August 2022
Recently, at a do-it-yourself till in the supermarket, while I was having trouble beeping bananas, a lady said to me: ‘It won’t be long now, and we’ll have to perform our own surgery’. Continue reading

St Olav

29 July 2022 Nidarosdomen
It is a lot more convenient to surf on a euphoric wave of future projection, be it ethical or political, than to ask oneself, 'Is there an absolute truth that requires something of me?' Continue reading

Vigil of St Olav

28 July 2022 Stiklestad
As Paul writes, love without deceit presupposes the word of truth — a truth, he stressed, that must be spoken in love; if it is uttered angrily, it almost invariably becomes counterproductive. Continue reading

17. Sunday C

24 July 2022 Molde
A disappointed man or woman is easily imprisoned in an egocentric bubble. He or she forgets that other people exist and likewise have dreams, hopes, and needs — there's a risk that bitterness turns into a chronic condition. Continue reading

St Benedict

11 July 2022 Quarr Abbey
Full as we are of post-modern confidence that our times represent the acme of human accomplishment, we expect that God’s way of seeing things should adapt itself to ours, not ours to his. It is no surprise, therefore, that so many of our efforts are sterile. Continue reading

Mater Providentiae

9 July 2022 St Cecilia's Abbey, Ryde
Sometimes it is the wing mirror that lets us perceive the burning presence of an angel that just crossed our path, a bearer of benediction. We must be attentive, then, when we’re about our business, be it ordinary or extraordinary. Continue reading

Ordination to the Diaconate

28 June 2022 Tyniec
The best remedy against clericalism (a tendency to which all of us, ordained and unordained, are prone) is surely the witness of deacons who are truly deacons, priests who are truly priests. Continue reading

Corpus Christi

19 June 2022 Tautra Mariakloster
The solemnity we celebrate today is not about a magic talisman in an ornamental cupboard. Continue reading

Feria vi, Week x (2)

10 June 2022 St Vincent's Archabbey, Latrobe
A man is no automaton. He is unprogrammable, possessed of that liberty to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ that is at once our crown of glory and our potential path to self-destruction. Continue reading

Feria iv, Week x (2)

8 June 2022 St Vincent's Archabbey, Latrobe
Underlying the many, often bewildering crises of the contemporary Church is a basic conflict of principles. It is a conflict between autonomy and heteronomy. Continue reading


26 May 2022 Trondheim
Liturgically speaking, this day marks the end of the first forty days of Paschaltide, corresponding to the forty days of Lent. The two periods are like giant waves flowing up to, then away from, Easter — ebb and flow. Continue reading

17 May: Constitution Day

17 May 2022 Trondheim
We must not surrender a key notion like 'freedom' to purely subjective, pragmatic interpretation. If we do, it may happen — indeed, it almost certainly will happen — that injustice is committed in the name of freedom. Continue reading

St Matthias: Confirmation

14 May 2022 Trondheim
This may seem like just another well-intentioned but predictable bishop's sermon, stuffed full of pious phrases but with zero relevance for life as it really is. Let me then conclude on a note of explicit clarity. Continue reading

4. Sunday of Easter

8 May 2022 Trondheim
Christ knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our true identity, our name, even when we ourselves may think we don’t know any more who we are. Continue reading

3. Sunday of Easter: Confirmation

1 May 2022 Kristiansund
Nothing is harder to bear than the consciousness that I've betrayed someone I love, and who loves me. How can Peter rejoice in the fact that Jesus is alive, and receive Jesus's Spirit, when he knows he has let him down cruelly? Continue reading

Easter Octave

24 April 2022 Frauenchiemsee
Thomas realises: what Jesus takes away is the sin of the world, not its wounds. His blood, though, flows into them and makes them clean. Continue reading

Easter Sunday

17 April 2022 Trondheim
I am aways touched when we read, on Easter Morning, of the shroud our Lord left behind, especially of the cloth that had been over his head, 'rolled up in a place by itself'. It affords us an image of the Lord of Life rising up out of death with ordered peace, putting death aside, tidily folded, like a pyjamas for which he has no further need. Continue reading

Easter Vigil

17 April 2022 Trondheim
The ceremony with which our Easter Vigil begins is a sign of the task which, by the power of Christ's victory, is mandated to us: to let our risen Saviour's light spread throughout the world, that the world may appear in truth the way it is, that is, created by his love to live in him. Continue reading

Good Friday

15 April 2022 Trondheim
The cross, which a while ago represented utter shame, is carried in in triumph as we sing: 'By the wood of the cross, joy entered the whole world.' A transformation takes place; we see the cross at one and the same time as something in itself evil and as the sign of God's vanquishing evil. Continue reading

Maundy Thursday

14 April 2022 Trondheim
It is a deeply human need to wish, at the moment of a definitive departure, to leave behind some sign of what those from whom we part means to us.  Continue reading

Chrism Mass

12 April 2022 Trondheim
In the holy oils God gives us a palpable, sensual sign that his hand touches us tenderly, with healing, as a caress. In this way he shows us how we are to live upon this earth. Continue reading

Palm Sunday

10 April 2022 Trondheim
The Lord reminds us that death (our own, but also the death of cultures and of civilisations) is intrinsic to life and that we, to see the sense of it all, must look beyond death. He reminds us that history progresses towards towards a goal which is of eternity. Continue reading

The Sacrament of Reconciliation

9 April 2022 Birgittaklosteret på Tiller
To go to confession is a wonderful thing. Why, then, are so many people intimidated by the mere thought of it? Continue reading

Lent Retreat

4 April 2022 Molde
The root meaning of the New Testament verb denoting 'to sin' is ‘miss the mark, especially of a spear thrown’ - later it came to mean, ‘miss a road’ or more generally, ‘fail of one’s purpose’. These insights from lexicography are helpful as we try to work out where sin makes its presence felt in our own lives. Continue reading

4. Sunday of Lent

27 March 2022 Molde
Let's not go down the elder son's road, opting out, upset because no one affirms our self-importance, angry because others get what we consider they do not deserve. Were we to get what we deserved, most of us, in fact, would be in trouble. Continue reading

Solemnity of the Annunciation

25 March 2022 Molde
Only the Catholic Church can mobilise humanity to join in a spiritual act of consecration, all at the same time, throughout the world; what we are part of is a momentous act. Let us thank God for the grace of being part of this communion. Continue reading

Day of Consecrated Life

21 March 2022
When we're really poorly, we seek remedies anywhere. Cures abroad have a special attraction. Continue reading

3. Sunday of Lent

20 March 2022 Trondheim
Is this, then, all that the Bible has to say for itself: that we human beings are subject to luck?! Continue reading

2. Sunday of Lent

13 March 2022 Elisabethhjemmet i Tromsø
To be human is to be prepared to set out ever anew, to learn to embrace the terrible in order, thereby, in Christ's name, to be renewed in the core of our being, to glimpse the new heaven and the new earth towards which we're drawn.  Continue reading

Ash Wednesday

2 March 2022 Trondheim
By receiving the ashes, we testify that our pilgrimage goes through the burn-out of death and that there, in what is lifeless, the empowering, joy-bearing power of Christ is made manifest. Nothing in us is so dead that it cannot be resurrected if Christ's light is allowed to shine upon it. Continue reading

8. Sunday C

27 February 2022 Trondheim
Sin can, in fact, settle in the body and express itself somatically. A splinter in a vital organ, be it the eye or the heart, will naturally provoke an infection. Continue reading

Mass for Peace

24 February 2022 Trondheim
It is my business to remind you that justice is a Christian imperative. There are boundaries, metaphorical and geographical, that must not be breached. Continue reading


2 February 2022 Fraternità San Carlo
Today we not only accompany Christ through the fulfilment of a Mosaic prescription; we get a foretaste of what will be our own eternal destiny, if we stay faithful to God’s call. In a wonderful phrase in this morning’s Vigils reading, St Sophronius of Jerusalem exhorted us: ‘Let us be shining ourselves as we go together to meet the light whose brilliance is eternal’. Continue reading

Solemn Profession

2 February 2022 Casa Santa Brigida
One who knows the Lord is transformed and before him or her a new dimension of existence opens up. Notions like 'love', 'justice', 'benevolence' are no longer simply beautiful words; they become vital energies needing to find expression. Continue reading

Feria vj, Week iij (2)

30 January 2022 Bose
Let us thank the Lord when he, like a good orchard keeper, subjects us to a thorough pruning, when he re-digs the soil in which we are planted and graces us with a cartload of dung. That is how we will grow. Continue reading

St Agnes

21 January 2022 Abbey of Gethsemani
We are losing the sense of the Church as subject. The Church is now mostly a direct object surrendered to verbs of action whose subject is ‘we’: we no longer seek to be formed by the Church; we form it. Continue reading

Bl Cyprian Tansi

20 January 2022 Abbey of Gethsemani
He, who knew the extent of the mission field, was certain that evangelisation must flow from prayer. There must be, within the Mystical Body, women and men who offer themselves up to prayer unceasingly for the sake of all. Continue reading

Feria iv, Week ii (2)

19 January 2022 Abbey of Gethsemani
If what we seek is affirmation and comfort for ourselves, then we’ve had it. Then we shall already have surrendered to Goliath. Continue reading

Feria iii, Week ii (2)

18 January 2022 Abbey of Gethsemani
Such is his reverence for our freedom that he honours even our destructive choices. That is one of the great mysteries of faith. Continue reading

St Anthony the Great

17 January 2022 Abbey of Gethsemani
For centuries St Anthony was presented like a tortured peasant in the grip of diabolical illusions - a representation allegedly based on St Athanasius’s life. How easy it is to form opinions on the basis of books one hasn’t read! Continue reading

Sts Maurus and Placid

15 January 2022 Abbey of Gethsemani
The feast we keep today speaks of the effective transmission of grace resulting in lives of integrity, holiness, and fruitfulness. It is a lesson we need to hear and heed right now, when the Church’s credibility worldwide is, on account of human betrayal, at an all-time low. Continue reading

Baptism of Our Lord

9 January 2022 Trondheim
Jesus stands in the middle of the Jordan, the frontier that since Abraham had marked the Promised Land off from the rest of the earth, pontifically, as a bridge-builder; from now on the Gospel will reach the ends of the earth. The alabaster jar is broken open for the whole house to be filled with its aroma. Continue reading


6 January 2022 Trondheim
It is wonderful: God prepares our salvation by means of a scenography conceived in minute detail so as to give us reliable signs by which we may ascertain its accomplishment. Now the hour has come. Continue reading

2. Sunday of Christmas

2 January 2022 Trondheim
To hear someone say, ‘I love you’, transforms a life. It makes a narrow existence broad; indeed, to hear those words, ‘I love you’, is our best way, perhaps, of getting an inkling of what ‘eternity’ means. Continue reading

Mary the Mother of God

1 January 2022 Tautra Mariakloster
There's a lot of talk, right now, about the Church's various crises. To my mind, there is only one fundamental crisis of importance, given that all the rest spring from it - I mean the widespread loss of faith in Christ as the Son of God. Continue reading

The Holy Family

26 December 2021 Trondheim
To come close to others is risky; to be drawn by blood ties into God's salvific plan is to become part of a passion narrative. What the holy Family displays is not saccharine harmony but readiness to renounce what is one's own in order to assume, as a holy obligation, the vocation of another. Continue reading

Christmas Day

25 December 2021 Trondheim
The challenge Christ poses has never appealed to the majority. However, in each generation there have been exceptions — men and women, sometimes children, whose heart's eyes have been opened to the transforming potential of God's love; who have let themselves be transformed; and have thereby transformed society. Continue reading

Christmas Midnight Mass

25 December 2021 Trondheim
Salvation? We've got so used to being needless that we don't sit around waiting for someone to save us: if our own strength runs out, we can always lean on the welfare state - or on the internet, which delivers cardboard-wrapped solutions to our problems to our door as long as our credit card is in balance. Continue reading

4. Sunday of Advent

19 December 2021 Boulaur
Cut off from the notion of God's Image, the body is at the mercy of our imagination's surrealist tendencies (homily in French). Continue reading

3. Sunday of Advent

12 December 2021 Trondheim
To be a Christian is to assume risk responsibly; to put one's trust in God and not in oneself. Then joy's floodgates burst open. Continue reading

The Immaculate Conception

8 December 2021 Trondheim
The Mother of God becomes a holy tabernacle, the manifestation of human nature unscathed, the way God created it at first. In Mary we contemplate the perfect prototype of our race (Homily in Norwegian). Continue reading

2. Sunday of Advent

5 December 2021 Munkeby
The Church is not of man. The Church is of God. Continue reading

An Advent Retreat

4 December 2021 Kristiansund
Why did the Word become flesh? Why was the incarnation a necessity? Continue reading

1. Sunday of Advent

28 November 2021 Kristiansund
What is fidelity? Fidelity is love proven over time. Continue reading

Christ the King

21 November 2021 Abbaye de Saint-Wandrille
There was a time when being a Christian felt like being part of the winning team. That is no longer the case - but Christ's reign has not for that reason been sidelined. Continue reading

Bonifatiusaktion: I Must Change!

8 November 2021 Hildesheimer Dom
To be an atheist is not necessarily to fail to believe in God. To be an atheist is to live as if God did not exist - thus atheism is possible among believers, too, a terrible, destructive possibility. Continue reading

31. Sunday B

31 October 2021 St Patrick's College, Maynooth
Do we not, as Catholics, look at ourselves in the mirror rather too much these days? It is both boring and counter-productive, so let us instead drape our mirror with Abgar’s cloth and set our sight on the face of Christ. Continue reading

Blessing of the Foundation

24 October 2021 Munkeby
Our Order has always known that the purpose of our life is expressed, not just in the spirit of the Rule, but in its letter. Continue reading


24 October 2021 Levanger
To speak the truth can be costly, but it liberates; to hide behind a facade of untrue words, meanwhile, is a kind of captivity. A prison of that kind may feel safe for a while, but it's not where life is likely to blossom and prosper. Continue reading

27. Sunday B

3 October 2021 Trondheim
Å være menneske, er å kunne si til en annen: “Jeg er din for alltid”; å kunne inngå en pakt, i kjærlighet, som varer livet ut.  Alle, sier Kristus, lengter vi etter å hengi oss helt, dog ikke alle på samme måte. Continue reading


2 October 2021 Trondheim
Lar vi oss lede, føres vi frem på en vakker, meningsfull vei; en vei som ikke alltid er lett, men hvor selv de vonde etappene betyr noe. For vet dere: den store faren her i livet, er ikke å gjennomleve smerte; det er å lide uten å kunne erkjenne at også lidelsen kan ha mening. Continue reading

26. Sunday B

26 September 2021 Molde
Vi tenker oss utbrenthet som et moderne fenomen. Men det skal godt gjøres å finne klarere uttrykk for tilstanden enn i Moses’ desperate, nærmest blasfemiske bønn: “Jeg makter ikke å bære hele dette folket alene; er det slik du vil gjøre mot meg, så drep meg heller med én gang, og la meg slippe å se min ulykke”. Continue reading


25 September 2021 Ålesund
Å la seg konfirmere, er å erklære seg moden til å si ja på egne vegne til evangeliets fordring. Dere står her i dag, ikke lenger som barn, men som unge menn og kvinner. Continue reading

The Korean Martyrs

20 September 2021 Tyniec
Let us never forget that, if the Lord has given us the light of faith, it is so that it, through us, may be carried into dark places, not just to cast a cosy, homely glow under our own bed.  Continue reading

The Nordic Bishops’ Conference 2021

9 September 2021 Cathedral of St Vitus, Prague
Not to answer violence with violence; to keep our hearts open towards those in need; to pray deeply in times of persecution; to be prepared for sacrifice: we know these imperatives well. Nonetheless, to find them embodied in a specific existence, be it one that unfolded 1100 years ago, is at once unnerving and thrilling. Continue reading

23. Sunday B

5 September 2021 Nový Dvůr
L’illusion de l’autonomie est pour l’homme une espèce de vache sacrée. Une partie cruciale de l’itinéraire spirituel est la découverte des éléments de notre vécu, de notre personnalité qui nous tiennent captifs. Continue reading

15. Sunday B

29 August 2021 Ålesund
Vi tenker oss altfor lett troen som noe dennesidig; vi lever som om verden her og nå var evig. Vår oppfatning av kristendommen blir, som følge, lett både snever og gørr kjedelig. Continue reading

Weihetag des Laacher Münsters

24 August 2021 Maria Laach
Ein kirchlicher Körper der sich dieser Ordnung entzieht ist wie ein kopfloses Huhn dessen Anblick zugleich komisch und erschütternd ist. Es läuft zwar noch, flattert auch ein bisschen, aber kommt nicht weit, wie auch immer es seinen Weg nennt. Continue reading

Blessing of the Tautra Infirmary

6 August 2021 Tautra
Den hellige Ånd hvisker i vårt øre: ‘Bare flytt litt på deg, du, så ser du det hele i et annet perspektiv; en nådefylt mulighet oppstår der du nå ser stagnasjon.’ Problemet er at vi blir vi stående på krava, i solstek og tørke, akkurat som Israel i ørkenen, oss ubevisst at en svalende oase åpner seg rett over åskammen. Continue reading

St Olav

30 July 2021 Nidarosdomen
Hvem tror på alvor i dag at vi ved slutten av vårt liv skal ha dette livet å svare for? Vi har da betalt skatt! Continue reading


28 July 2021 Stiklestad
Et rosetog er en storartet ting; men mer skal til for å hele et trauma. Gode hensikter sikrer ikke en såret nasjons enhet og hold. Continue reading

16. Sunday B

18 July 2021 Trondheim
Israel er uforestillbart uten sau. Litt etter litt blir fellesskapet mellom folk og husdyr et bilde også på forholdet mellom Herren og hans folk; det var liksom det nærmeste å ty til. Continue reading

15. Sunday B

11 July 2021 Ålesund
Kun unntaksvis ser vi at Vårherre stå stille. Stort sett er han på vandrefot, hastende, opptatt av å kalle til omvendelse, av å drive ut den onde, av å helbrede syke—de tre former for virksomhet han idag betror apostlene. Continue reading

Ordination to the Diaconate of Svein Kvamsdal

10 July 2021 Ålesund
Allerede en tid har du, Svein, vært, som Evy sier det, læresvein i Kirkens sakramentale tjeneste; nå skal du bli diakon, en enhetens tjener, en formidler av Guds faderlige omsorg. Jeg gjenkjenner i deg noe av den samme begeistrede iver som kjennetegnet Paulus i hans modne år. Continue reading


8 July 2021 Selja
Sunniva står for det Absoluttes krav. Hun står også for friheten som blir den til del som våger å oppta kampen for en så krevende sak og ikke lar seg tilfreds med det smålige og lettvinte, sånn for bekvemmelighetens skyld. Continue reading

Corpus Christi

3 June 2021 Trondheim
Det ligger i tegnets natur at noe vidunderlig oppstår ut av noe vanlig. Det kan bli tilfellet i våre liv, hvis vi lar Kristi Legeme og Blods mysterium forvandle dem helt, uten å holde noe tilbake. Continue reading

The Blessed Trinity

30 May 2021 Trondheim
Mennesket kan ikke leve uten kjærlighet. Hvis kjærligheten ikke åpenbares for mennesket, hvis det ikke konfronterer kjærligheten, erfarer kjærligheten og gjør den sin egen, hvis det ikke selv blir levende del av kjærligheten, da forblir mennesket ubegripelig for seg selv, da har livet ingen mening. Continue reading

Fr Anthony’s Jubilee of Profession

24 May 2021 Tautra
Som en god munk, har P Anthony levd i det skjulte, først i Roscrea, der han dyrket jorden og skjøttet klosterets buskap med hengivenhet; så her på Tautra, hvor hans stillfarne, vennlige vesen er høyt verdsatt, hvor hans kloke innsikt, frukten av et hengitt liv, finner klangbunn, og hvor han ved en særskilt Eden-nåde får jordens frukter til å gro og bugne i tang og tare. Continue reading


23 May 2021 Trondheim
Vi tenker oss lett erfaringen av Ånden som noe sensasjonelt. Mange kristne bærer på et kompleks om ikke å være åndelige nok, fordi de ikke har hatt erfaringer lik apostlenes. Continue reading

17. May

17 May 2021 Trondheim
Jeg står ikke her og utroper en kulturrevolusjon; men vil vi se på verden med kristne øyne, er det nå slik at hvert land, hvert folk har et kall å følge, og at vi i Norge, her og nå, har uklare begreper om vårt. På det feltet har Kirken et viktig bidrag å yte, ikke minst i Trøndelag, hvor vi på en særlig måte forvalter Olavsarven. Continue reading

7. Sunday of Easter

16 May 2021 Trondheim
Vi skal passe oss her for å gjøre Guds ord til et kortspill, der det ene bibelvers trumfer det annet. Som alltid, er det helheten vi må søke, grunntonen vi må høre. Continue reading

6. Sunday of Easter

9 May 2021 Trondheim
Politikk for oss dreier seg om bompenger, skatt og Corona-restriksjoner. Helst vil vi ha mindre av alt sammen, men det er ikke akkurat et sjelsanliggende Continue reading

5. Sunday of Easter

2 May 2021 Trondheim
En bonde dyrker jorden, ikke for moro skyld, men for at sæden han sår skal bære frukt, og for at frukten skal bli andre til næring. En bonde må derfor være usentimental. Continue reading

4. Sunday of Easter

25 April 2021 Trondheim
Alle fikk vi et gammelmodig bilde av en pastellfarvet Jesus som vandret inn i solnedgangen drapert med et angoralam han bar om nakken som en slags boa. Bildet inngav meg det motsatte av devosjon; vrang som jeg var, gikk jeg indignert hjem, trampet med foten og erklærte: “Dit går jeg ikke mer! Continue reading

3. Sunday of Easter

18 April 2021 Trondheim
Den franske filosofen Jean Guitton, venn av Pave Paul VI, skrev engang at Kirken er oppbygd som en pyramide av vennskap: alltid åpen og ekspanderende, men aldri manipulerende; alltid personlig, aldri kaldt kollektivt. Continue reading

5. Sunday of Lent

20 March 2021 Munkeby
For den som elsker Gud, fornyes ungdommen lik ørnens når vi lever i Herrens åsyn. Ungdom har lite med alder å gjøre. Continue reading

2. Sunday in Lent

28 February 2021 Ålesund
En “fristelse” som kommer fra Gud er en prøve. Den er ikke sadistisk sabotasje lik den til smådjevlene i min barndoms Donald-blader som, iført røde pysjbukser og utstyrt med møkkgreip, drev tegneseriens helter bort fra dydige forsett mot all slags uskikk. Continue reading

The Holy Family

27 January 2021 Tautra
Julen er familiens høytid, det fortelles oss fra alle kanter. I morges, mens jeg vasket opp etter frokost, leste jeg det sågar på en melkepapp fra Tine Meierier. Continue reading


10 January 2021 Trondheim
Tenk på de fabelaktige soloppganger vi har hatt i det siste, her i Trondheim, når himmelen spraker i eksplosjoner av rosarødt, stigende som røkelse. Hva det vil si for all denne storhets Opphav, ham ved hvem alt ble skapt, å bli et foster i Mors liv, å fødes og svøpes og legges i en krybbe, forblir for all tid et uutgrunnelig mysterium. Continue reading

2. Sunday after Christmas

3 January 2021 Trondheim
Nåden fungerer nå engang slik at den må være i bevegelse. Den er som en bølge mot stranden, som ikke lar seg fange; forsøker man det, om det så skulle være med verdens største balje, står man igjen, ikke med berusende urkraft fra et uendelig hav, bare med en relativ mengde udrikkelig saltvann. Continue reading

St Stephen

26 December 2020 Trondheim
Stefan var diakon, det vil si, en Guds tjener. Det var innlysende for ham at diakoni ikke begrenser seg til gode gjerninger; at gudstjeneste, i dypeste forstand, går ut på å leve et liv i overgivelse, i trofasthet inntil det siste. Continue reading

Christmas Day

25 December 2020 Trondheim
Det er ett og samme Ord som virker i vårt hjerte, av nåde, og som holder skaperverket sammen. Universets skjønnhet og storslagenhet er et bilde på de høyder en kristen er kalt til å nå. Continue reading

Christmas Midnight Mass

24 December 2020 Trondheim
Vi får ha det hyggelig til jul. På samme tid, skal vi ikke redusere englenes lovsang til en slager vi nynner mens vi handler: Det er viktig at vi ser den “store glede” i et sant perspektiv. Continue reading

The Immaculate Conception

8 December 2020 Trondheim
Vi skal unngå fristelsen til å sette Guds Mor i en nisje langt oppe på veggen, uoppnåelig. Hun er verdig vår beundring, selvsagt, men ikke på avstand — nært; for hun som ved sitt “Ja” til en plan hun ikke kunne fatte ble Guds Mor, er også Kirkens Mor, deres og min. Continue reading

1. Sunday of Advent

29 November 2020 Kristiansund
Å appellere til Guds Farskjærlighet, er ikke det samme som å unndra seg hans forventning. Ingen foreldre ønsker at barna deres skal forbli barn. Continue reading

St Thomas Beckett

29 November 2020 Trondheim
Egeninteressen, tanken på belønning og omdømme, insinuerer seg i de edleste forsett. Lytter vi til fristerens kløyvde tunge, risikerer vi å lammes i vår handlingskraft. Continue reading

Bl Niels Steensen

25 November 2020 Trondheim
Niels Steensen, født i København i 1638, var medisiner av internasjonalt ry, som gav karrieren på båten for å vigsles til prest, senere til biskop. Siden han en tid forvaltet bispedømmet Hamburg, med ansvar for Danmark og Norge, var han også vår biskop. Continue reading

Dominikus Nguyen RIP

20 November 2020 Trondheim
Det rører meg at dere som kjente den kristne mann vi begraver i dag, som kjente ham best, har valgt Saligprisningene som uttrykk for hans liv og håpet han levde på, som bar ham inn i en fredelig, ja, salig død. Gjennom store forandringer gikk Dominic Thong Van Nguyen stødig, sakte, men sikkert. Continue reading

33. Sunday A

15 November 2020 Ålesund
Alle kjenner vi folk som på denne måte vier seg enkle, kanskje utakknemlige oppgaver og ved helhjertethet oppnår, på egne og oppgavens vegne, lysende verdighet. Rollemodellene i evangeliet er ikke ledere, stjerner eller kjendiser, men bønder, håndtverkere og, ikke minst, gode mødre og fedre. Continue reading

St Martin of Tours

11 November 2020 Trondheim
Samfunnet Martin var del av, i det fjerde århundre, hadde mye til felles med vårt idag. Det var preget av folkevandring, usikkerhet, krig og kulturelle sammenbrudd. Continue reading

32. Sunday A

8 November 2020 Molde
Tenker vi oss raskt gjennom Bibelen, finner vi at Guds venner preges av ledig og energisk bevegelse. Da englene gjestet Abraham, sprang hans som en guttunge for å gjøre alt rede, enda han nesten var hundre år gammel; da Elija, som i yngre år satt og furtet under en gyvelbusk, var kommet til veis ende, fòr han til himmels i et uvær; da Maria etter engelens budskap var blitt Ordets tabernakel, skyndte hun seg med en gang over fjellene for å bistå Elisabeth. Continue reading

All Saints

1 November 2020 Trondheim
Døden var ikke fra opphavet av, den er fremmed for vår egentlige menneskenatur, slik vi i blant opplever det spontant og vet det med maven. I dag minnes vi at vi er del av et dødsoverskridende fellesskap. Continue reading

Sr Renata’s Solemn Profession

14 October 2020 Tautra
Å være cistercienser, er å rotfestes i det reelle. Vår Orden har kjent lysende mystikere, bevares; dog synes meg normen snarere en utdyping av nattlig tro, en hvetekornserfaring. Continue reading

Sr Rafael’s Solemn Profession

9 October 2020 Tautra
Å være kristen, er å bekjenne at man ikke er autonom; ja, at man slett ikke ønsker å bli det; ikke fordi man er feig, men fordi man gjennomskuer autonomien som noe illusorisk. For oss som kristne, er det å leve “på nåde” rett og slett en oppsummering av livet slik det faktisk er. Continue reading

Assumption of Our Lady (Vigil)

14 August 2020 Boulaur
En nous donnant comme première lecture pour cette veille de l’Assomption le récit de la montée de l’Arche à la ville de David, l’Écriture met devant nos yeux un magnifique symbole théologique. L’Arche de l’alliance, c’est la Bienheureuse Vierge Marie qui porta dans son sein le Dieu trois fois saint; l’Assomption signifie son entrée définitive dans la Jérusalem céleste parmi les cris d’exultation d’innombrables légions d’anges. Continue reading

St Dominic

8 August 2020 Boulaur
La devise de Dominique était ‘Veritas’. Et c’est bien la vérité qu’il a ainsi, avant de la proclamer, incarnée. Continue reading

St Ignatius Loyola

31 July 2020 Boulaur
Dieu, notre Créateur et Père, n’hésite pas d’entamer une déconstruction radicale pour, ensuite, pouvoir rebâtir. Pour le dire autrement: le vieil homme doit mourir et céder la place à l’homme nouveau. Continue reading

St Peter Chrysologus

30 July 2020 Boulaur
Saint Pierre Chrysologue, ‘de la parole d’or’, le grand évêque de Ravenne que l’Église commémore aujourd’hui, dit magnifiquement dans un de ses sermons: Homo, quare tibi tam vilis es, qui tam pretiosus es Deo? Continue reading

St Mary Magdalene

22 July 2020 Boulaur
Marie Madeleine est la preuve qu’aucun obstacle, aucune chose vécue ou subie, puisse nous séparer de l’amour vivifiant du Christ. Nous n’avons qu’à combattre la tendance perverse qui nous habite, le fruit du péché: la tendance à dire Non, à refuser la grâce, à préférer librement la mort à la vie. Continue reading


31 May 2020 Boulaur
J’ai connu un vieux moine, un homme lumineux, dont la prière après 70 ans de vie monastique s’était distillée en deux phrases, ‘Saint Esprit mon ami, Saint Esprit mon amour!’ Il les répétait inlassablement, jour et nuit. Continue reading


2 February 2020 Boulaur
L’évangile de ce jour, plein de détails pittoresques, de beaux vieillards et de tourterelles roucoulantes, suppose un arrière-fond mystérieux et par conséquence ténébreux, car le mystère appartient au pénombre, ayant besoin du lever du Soleil de Justice pour éclore et manifester la lumière cachée en lui. Continue reading


6 January 2020 Ostuni
Un’occhiata data ai giornali basta per farcelo costatare: le tenebre che, nei giorni d’Isaia, ricoprissero la terra non sono svanite. La domanda si pone: come credere in una bontà salvificamente luminosa in un mondo rimasto buio? Continue reading

3. Sunday of Advent

15 December 2019 Boulaur
Les choix sur lesquels j’ai bâti mon existence, furent-ils des illusions?’ Qui d’entre nous, frères et soeurs, n’a jamais connu ce genre de questionnement angoissé, la nuit, peut-être, entre 3h e 4h, l’heure qu’Ingmar Bergman appelait l’heure du loup, quand l’agneau nous semble un allié dérisoire. Continue reading

St Gregory the Great

9 September 2019 Mount Saint Bernard
To renew our society we need more than just re-budgeting and larger prisons. We need a new sense of purpose, a new unifying energy; we need men and women whose goodness of life makes us spontaneously want to be like them. Continue reading

St Clare of Assisi

11 August 2019 Mount Saint Bernard
Clare saw the world around her self-sufficient, preoccupied with wealth and stuff and status. And she said: Enough! Continue reading

St Mary Magdalene

22 July 2019 Mount Saint Bernard
When we are fearful (or downcast or merely indolent), the best remedy is not always to deal hands-on with our trouble, which is apt to entangle us in confusion and self-pity. We emerge victorious not by fighting darkness but by fostering our desire for light. Continue reading


9 June 2019 Mount Saint Bernard
The first recorded instance of public preaching in the Catholic Church was thought by onlookers to be a display of drunkenness. It is a point worth thinking about. Continue reading

St Matthias

14 May 2019 Mount Saint Bernard
We learn that from the outset of our faith, the Church has had to deal with infidelity; it has done so realistically, in faith, facing facts, sure that the Lord will provide. In our times, we have been reminded more than once that election to high ecclesiastical office is not in itself a guarantee of truthful living. Continue reading

The Blessed Abbots of Cluny

11 May 2019 St Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde
Few spiritual tendencies are deadlier, more barren, more boring than the desire just to do better than someone else, be it the monastery across the valley or the brother or sister next to me in choir. Any reform movement, be it the micro-enterprise of reforming my own life, must exercise caution in this respect. Continue reading

Easter Day

21 April 2019 Mount Saint Bernard
The gloriousness of Christian existence was central to the thought of our father St Bernard, who spoke of it often, stressing all the while that it does not make for an easy life. For this glory, he once wrote, ‘is a secret glory, it lies hidden in tribulation’. Continue reading

Good Friday

19 April 2019 Mount Saint Bernard
Inch by inch, discourse that supposes the existence, the mere possibility, of truth is pushed out of the public arena: ‘What is truth?’ Give us instead Barabbas, a fine fellow made of the same stuff as ourselves! Continue reading

Ash Wednesday

6 March 2019 Mount Saint Bernard
We live in times that are quick to anger, poor in steadfast love, that love to point the finger and accuse, whose mindset is litigious. God knows there is enough malfunction in the Church, in society; but what if, instead of declaring others’ guilt, we assumed a portion of its weight? Continue reading

The Holy Innocents

28 December 2018 Mount Saint Bernard
Let us note this: the liturgy does not explain the massacre of Bethlehem: How could it? Quite simply, the Church ascertains that, yes, this awful thing did happen. Continue reading

Christmas Midnight Mass

24 December 2018 Mount Saint Bernard
Can the Gospel be trusted? Or is the Good News fake news? Continue reading

32. Sunday B

6 November 2018 Holy Cross Abbey, Whitland
The cry for pity will resound until the end of the world, when Christ returns with glory to judge the living and the dead, to ‘save those who are eagerly waiting for him’. Our great task as Christians is to position ourselves within this dynamic of expiation, intercession, and impending judgement. Continue reading

The Guardian Angels

2 October 2018 Mount Saint Bernard
One day, we, too, you and I, shall behold for the first time our life’s hidden guide. But do we attend to him now? Continue reading

St Michael the Archangel

29 September 2018 Mount Saint Bernard
The prayer to St Michael the Archangel goes back to an instruction of 1886 by which Leo XIII exhorted all the bishops and religious superiors of the Church to ensure its daily recitation. The pope, we are reliably informed, had shortly before, while at prayer, gained an experiential sense of the abiding struggle of evil against good; he wished the Church to call as one upon the angelic hosts to assist it in keeping darkness at bay and to fight with it for light and truth. Continue reading

22. Sunday B

2 September 2018 Mount Saint Bernard
Most of us, if we look closely, are likely to recognise something of ourselves some of the items on the Lord’s list: ‘fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly’. Continue reading

St Augustine of Hippo

28 August 2018 Stanbrook Abbey
I often think of Augustine on his deathbed in 430, when Hippo was surrounded by vandals and he had his room covered with hangings that bore inscriptions of the Penitential Psalms: he wished to keep these ever before his eyes. He was conscious of living at the end of an age, awaiting the beginning of another, yet he remained, as far as we can see, largely free of fear and full of hope. Continue reading

St Monica

27 August 2018 Stanbrook Abbey
Given the crises the Church has to negotiate right now, the Gospel's woe to hypocrites is not a vain statement. Hypocrites are people resigned to a discontinuity between what they say and what they do. Continue reading

St Olav

29 July 2018 Nidarosdomen
Som gutt sadlet adelsmannen Olav bukken for sin stefar Sigurd Syr; han var seg sin stand bevisst. Hans misjonsstrategi bar nok også preg av at han syntes en tro som var god nok for ham, jamen burde være det for hans undersåtter også. Continue reading

St James

25 July 2018 St Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde
When the Lord called the sons of Zebedee to follow him, they had no idea where he would lead them; they hardly knew who he was. They simply sensed that he knew where they needed to go, and that was enough. Continue reading

St Birgitta of Vadstena

23 July 2018 St Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde
We may worry today about the chaotic state of the Church and of the world. Still, compared to the turmoil of the 14th century, it doesn’t seem like much. Continue reading

Trinity Sunday

27 May 2018 Mount Saint Bernard
The religious and philosophical breakthrough of Judaism, whose grateful heirs we are, was to extend human thought sufficiently to conceive of a single God, a single absolute power, the source at once of life and truth. We must never forget what a revolutionary move this was, what intellectual and moral courage was required of the patriarchs. Continue reading

Baptism of Marie-Françoise Keenan

12 May 2018 Harrow-on-the-Hill
By this great sacrament, Marie-Françoise will be made light and free, full of noble potential, equipped, through the power of Christ’s Paschal victory, to unmask every deception of evil, and to live beautifully. She will be made ‘a temple of God’s glory’. Continue reading

5. Sunday of Easter

29 April 2018 Maria Laach
Wer versucht hat, dem Herrn unbedingte Zuversicht zu zeigen, weiss welcher Kampf erfordert wird - wie Gott in Christus Mensch ward, muss der Geist in uns Fleisch werden. Das Gottvertrauen ist letztendlich eine Inkarnation: es geht um ‘Tat und Wahrheit’. Continue reading

Palm Sunday

25 April 2018 Mount Saint Bernard
Try asking an Irishman who, on 17 March, appears with a shamrock why has has adorned himself with cattle food; try asking a veteran with a poppy in his buttonhole why he picked a weed from a railway line instead of getting himself a decent red carnation. Certain ordinary things take on extraordinary sense in given situations, at set times; we must be able to grasp that sense. Continue reading

Solemn Profession of Br Bernard John Tantiado

9 April 2018 Mount Saint Bernard
Your personal exodus journey has acquired a nobility and beauty all its own. Like the Israelites in the desert, you have learnt something precious about who God is, and about who you are yourself. Continue reading

Easter Day

1 April 2018 Mount Saint Bernard
The Cistercian Fathers, so attentive and humane in their reading of God’s action in our lives, never tired of invoking a verse from the Song of Songs that, to them, summed up their experience of grace: ‘Ordinavit in me caritatem’; ‘He has set love in order in me’. If we let the holy angels roll away the heavy stone that blocks the way into our hearts, God enters to heal and recompose our disordered affections. Continue reading

Ash Wednesday

14 February 2018 Mount Saint Bernard
Reconciliation is never unilateral. It has to be two-sided, to be realised in dialogue. Continue reading

4. Sunday B

28 January 2018 Bamenda Abbey, Cameroon
Do we wish to be healed and made whole? Our answer must be Yes, yes or No, no: there’s no middle ground. Continue reading

The Holy Founders of Cîteaux

26 January 2018 Mount Saint Bernard
To be a Cistercian is to evaluate oneself constantly in the light of a great, exacting ideal. We are not to be scrupulous (for scruples are rarely life-giving), but we must aim to be truthful—and ready to recompose our lives on the basis of what we recognise as truth. Continue reading

Christmas Day

25 December 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
The message of Christmas is this: the Word become flesh in Mary would take possession of our flesh, too; it would fill our lives and make them glorious. Brothers and sisters, do we realise how wonderful this is? Continue reading

Christmas Midnight Mass

24 December 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
The other day, on the Loughborough Road, I met a lorry so ablaze with psychedelic lights it blinded me. Attempts to rebrand Christmas as a ‘festival of lights’, a shopping binge, makes the shining symbol of the season ambiguous. Continue reading

Immaculate Conception

8 December 2017 Mount Saint Bernard Abbey
Each night, at bedtime, we invoke the Blessed Virgin as ‘our life, our sweetness, our hope’. Never do we see more clearly what this means than on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Continue reading

The Immaculate Conception

8 December 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
In Mary he would find a human being like those who, on the sixth day of creation, before the serpent’s insinuation, stood upright and free before God’s face, formed in his image. Mary Immaculate shows us what we all could, and should, have been, had it not been for the fall’s tragedy. Continue reading

All Saints

11 November 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
St Thomas Aquinas offers us a luminous description of holiness, full of refreshment in its brevity. He says: ‘Since good that is loved has the nature of an end, and since the motion of the will is called good or evil in terms of the end it pursues, the love by which the supreme good, God, is loved must possess the supereminent goodness that goes by the name of holiness. Continue reading

Br William Strahan RIP

2 November 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
A saying often on his lips was a distillation of experience, characteristically devoid of perfumed piety: ‘I have always tried to be obedient’, he would say; ‘often I haven’t liked it much, but I have tried.’ Then he would laugh. Continue reading

Sts Simon and Jude

28 October 2017
The apostles we celebrate today, Simon and Jude, are in very ancient sources associated with a mission to the east. One of the most venerable documents of early Church history, the Doctrine of Addai, tells us how Jude or Thaddeus (Addai in Syriac) was despatched by St Thomas to Edessa in modern-day Turkey. Continue reading

St Bruno

6 October 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
The first companions of St Bruno tell us that this apparently austere, intellectual monk was in fact semper festo uultu: his face was always joyful, like that of a man on his way to a feast. Continue reading

St Michael The Archangel

29 September 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
A great deal of nonsense is often said about angels. We may find we’re given to thinking nonsensically about them ourselves, haunted as we are by images of feathers, celestial chariots, and cascading cloaks: so earthbound are we poor human clods, so conditioned by our bodies, that it is hard for us to conceive of pure spiritual existences. Continue reading

Rosary Rally

27 August 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
The Queen of Peace is our model. Like her, we are called to say a deliberate ‘Yes’ to the lordship of Christ, letting him take flesh in our flesh, becoming his instruments, sacraments of his presence. Continue reading

St Bernard of Clairvaux

20 August 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
I recently finished reading a new biography of St Bernard of Clairvaux by the Austrian historian Peter Dinzelbacher. In his effort to place Bernard in context, the author leaves no stone unturned: his book contains 3,000 footnotes. Continue reading

Blessed Guerric of Igny

19 August 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
For Guerric, divine contemplation was fundamentally a matter of assimilating, by interiorisation, the prayers we recite with our lips in the breviary and missal. He would have scoffed at any notion that mental and vocal prayer were somehow in opposition. Continue reading

St Maximilian Kolbe

14 August 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
Kolbe’s death eclipses his life; his life, indeed, seems like a build-up to his sacrificial death. That is something to reflect on with regard to our own Christian lives. Continue reading

19. Sunday A

13 August 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
Even if we can swim there was a time when we couldn’t. We may remember the awful downward pull; how scary it is, even up there in the shallow end of a pool, with people everywhere and lights on, with our father’s arms ready to carry us up. Continue reading

Corpus Christi

15 July 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
So often, when what we considered a thoroughfare turns out to be a cul-de-sac, we raise our arms to heaven and cry out, ‘Why, Lord, why?’ We’re indignant and hurt, proceeding, as we are, from the assumption that our journey ought to be uncomplicated, that the Lord, like some tour guide, should make the path straight before us. Continue reading

St Benedict

11 July 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
In my first year at Cambridge, I picked up a copy of the Rule of St Benedict from Waterstones. I read it right through, I remember, and thought: Wow, to live like that! Continue reading

Wedding of Dominique and Niall

29 April 2017 Farm Street, London
‘Set me as a seal upon your heart’, says the Lord. It would take a brave preacher to expound that verse to two cardiologists. Continue reading

Easter Vigil

16 April 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
The perspective on life and death offered us this night is extraordinary. We take in the whole sweep of human history at a glance, from the beginning of the world to the saving events of our Lord Jesus Christ to our own present reality. Continue reading

Maundy Thursday

13 April 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
The Passover is no magic charm; the Eucharist isn’t either. It is a pledge from the Lord and a pledge we give in return: a pledge to be faithful, to conform our lives to grace, to answer love with love. Continue reading

Palm Sunday

9 April 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
How can we respond to the call of Palm Sunday with integrity? We can, quite simply, refuse to run away. Continue reading

Br Thomas Taylor RIP

14 January 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
For Br Thomas, the history of the monastery and his own history were inseparable. This led him to invent what, to my knowledge, is a new and original literary genre, an extended autobiography in the form of obituaries! Continue reading

Mary Mother of God

1 January 2017 Mount Saint Bernard
Above the horizon we shall ever perceive the comforting twinkle of the Star of the Sea. It sheds the light we need to journey on with confidence: the knowledge that our gracious God saves, wants to save, never ceases to save. Continue reading

Christmas Midnight Mass

24 December 2016 Mount Saint Bernard
Meister Eckhart once wrote: What good is it to me if Christ is born in Bethlehem but is not born in me? What use is it to me to call Mary full of grace, if I am not full of grace also? Continue reading

St John Henry Newman

9 October 2016 Mount Saint Bernard
Newman had a genius for wonderment. We find it expressed in natural terms, as when, at the end of his life, he picked up the violin again and was so moved by the sheer joy of it that he had, so he wrote to a friend, to lay down the instrument and literally cry out with delight. Continue reading

Our Lady of Walsingham

24 September 2016 Mount Saint Bernard
It was during the reign of Edward the Confessor that a Norfolk noblewoman, after entertaining a vision of the Holy House of Nazareth, ordered a model built at Walsingham. Her masons had hardly got stuck in before they found the work completed by a team of engineers from quite a different league. Continue reading

25. Sunday C

18 September 2016 Mount Saint Bernard
In most villages, one house stands out: a mansion among hovels, a single large property with satellite dishes, an ornamental staircase, manicured lawns, and armed guards. The rich make their presence felt, in a contrast that seems preposterous until, by virtue of sheer repetition, one gets used to it and accepts it as part of the order of things. Continue reading

Assumption of Our Lady

15 August 2016 Mount Saint Bernard
If we look closely at the liturgy for the Assumption, we find traces of the Ark everywhere. Pictorially it is a less alluring symbol than the cosmic lady: an ark, after all, is just a box. Continue reading

St Laurence

10 August 2016 Mount Saint Bernard
We are not all called to be martyrs, certainly; but we will all, one day, have to leave everything familiar behind, throwing ourselves into our heavenly Father’s embrace in a death that, in reality, is but a passage to a higher mode of living—but will nonetheless test us, like gold in the furnace, by fire. Continue reading

16. Sunday C

17 July 2016 Mount Saint Bernard
The enchanting mystery of the blessed Trinity is this, precisely: that it is a constant flow of life and love, a divine current that has always been, never shall cease, into which we, too, are drawn to be charged and enlivened. It is difficult to speak of these things. Continue reading

St Benedict

11 July 2016 Mount Saint Bernard
What is a monk? A monk is a man who is entirely given. Continue reading

12. Sunday C

19 June 2016 Mount Saint Bernard
What contradiction Christ knew, humanly speaking! In communion with the Father through the Spirit, in communion with mankind through the flesh, his earthly life culminated in a cry of dereliction that rent his heart within even as, outwardly, it was pierced by a lance. Continue reading

Good Friday

25 April 2016 Mount Saint Bernard
Let’s not judge just by what we see, be sensible and say, ‘Oh, it was nothing’. It is everything! Continue reading

Maundy Thursday

24 April 2016 Mount Saint Bernard
A ceremonial from 1600, the heyday of Francis de Sales, mentions the custom of bishops washing the feet of cathedral canons, but says it might be better still, as a lesson in humility, to seek out ‘poor people’ instead. It was Pius XII, pope during WW2 and its aftermath, who integrated the washing of the feet into Maundy Thursday’s Mass, limiting it to ‘twelve chosen men’. Continue reading

Christmas Day

25 December 2015 Mount Saint Bernard
The art and poetry of Christmas loves to meditate on this stunning paradox: that the Maker of all things, the invisible, boundless God, should be corporeally present in a human person, an infant wrapped in swaddling cloths, the most confined posture imaginable. Continue reading

Solemn Profession of Br Nicholas Palmer

8 December 2015 Mount Saint Bernard
More than once, I assure you, some angel will bring you a commission to which, like Mary, you can only reply with consternation: ‘How shall this be?’ At such times, like her, do not be afraid; entrust yourself to God’s providence. Continue reading

34. Sunday B

22 November 2015 Sjømannskirken i London
Et videre problem: Hva forbinder vi nå med kongestand? Vi tenker oss pliktoppfyllende, velfriserte damer med kjærlighet til pølsehunder; vi tenker oss herrer i lysegrå dress som åpner broer og taler til nyttår. Continue reading

Our Lady of the Rosary

7 October 2015 Mount Saint Bernard
Sixteenth-century Catholics saw that a spiritual battle underlay the clash of superpowers. They saw that the soul of Christian Europe was at risk. Continue reading

23. Sunday B

6 September 2015 Mount Saint Bernard
There is a risk that we reduce Scripture to a medley of favourite themes, a Classic FM collection, with only lyric second movements and the occasional piece for solo harp. We like bits of Scripture that promise consolation; we’re unkeen on those that speak of judgement. Continue reading

St Jerome

3 September 2015 Holy Cross Abbey, Whitland
St Jerome's awful temperament was proverbial. His vast store of invective would have been a goldmine for Monty Python, had it occurred to John Cleese to look up the Patrologia Latina. Continue reading

Sts Joachim and Anne

26 July 2015 Mount Saint Bernard
We are responsible not just for enacting our own assent to God’s call in the form of a Suscipe; we are also responsible for helping others enact theirs. We are called to share the gifts we have received, to make our talent increase, then pass on the capital, to nurture the realisation of others’ potential. Continue reading

Br Jonathan Gell RIP

25 July 2015 Mount Saint Bernard
I would say that sometimes Br Jonathan seemed almost luminous. He was possessed of a joy, a lightness, and a strength that made him appear, right to the end, the bearer of some glorious secret Continue reading

Good Friday

7 April 2015 Mount Saint Bernard
What today seems like the end is the beginning of everything. Continue reading

Easter Day

5 April 2015 Mount Saint Bernard
Fifteenth-century painters show Christ literally rising out of death, standing up from a stone coffin, one foot within, one foot outside, his hand holding a banner of victory. A century or two later, naturalistic settings with elaborate tombs are in vogue, with the Lord coming forth robed in white, all gleaming and unworldly. Continue reading

Maundy Thursday

2 April 2015 Mount Saint Bernard
Some of us could write treatises on transubstantiation - that is good and can be useful. But it is not what the Twelve would have thought of then—that is now—in the Upper Room. Continue reading

Ash Wednesday

18 February 2015
Our longing for life, for love, for communion is what really defines us, much more so than our bodies with its passing pains and pleasures. We have a soul, and our soul lifts up our whole being in a yearning to live forever. Continue reading

Br Boniface McGinley RIP

6 February 2015 Mount Melleray Abbey
As Mt Melleray’s porter he exercised for decades a ministry of welcome, receiving all comers kindly. He practised the asceticism of suspended judgement. Continue reading

2. Sunday B

18 January 2015 St Edmund’s College, Cambridge
Israel was divided and imperilled. Its religion was decadent, administered by reprobates like Hophni and Phineas, Eli’s sons, filling their already fat bellies with choice pickings from the altar at Shiloh. Continue reading

Christmas Midnight Mass

24 December 2014 Mount Saint Bernard
We remember everything that is not peace: wars, famine, poverty; conflicts at work; friendships that have died; difficulties in our families. We may experience a strange disconnectedness, as if the peace enjoyed at prayer, for seeming real, does not really touch the rest of our busy, messy, sometimes painful lives. Continue reading

Dedication of the Lateran

9 November 2014 Quarr Abbey
As cathedral of the Empire’s first city, the Lateran won the title that adorns it to this day: Omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput; ‘Mother and Head of every church of the City of Rome and throughout the whole world’. It is as such that we celebrate the Lateran today. Continue reading

Solemn Profession of Br Francis and Br Moses

30 June 2014 Bamenda Abbey, Cameroon
Brothers, the Lord has called you to be monks to make you happy; also, I may add, that others may find happiness through you. He has asked you to give all because there is no limit to the gifts he wants to give; he would have you embrace the fullness of life, never settling for less. Continue reading

Easter Day

20 April 2014 Mount Saint Bernard
What nurtures me, what gives me joy, what fills me with such peace is not an idea, not something but Someone, Someone alive who, astonishingly, cares for me. Continue reading

Palm Sunday

13 April 2014 Mount Saint Bernard
The world’s redemption is about to be accomplished; the Lord is entering his temple. And this fellow’s response is, Hello, donkey! Continue reading

Corinne Camilleri Ferrante RIP

2 April 2014 Nottingham
Giving was natural to her; she delighted in it, quite unconcerned that many of her guests could not hope to reciprocate her generous treatment. Scripture teaches us to recognise this attitude of hers as a reflection of the kindness of God. Continue reading

Fr Matthew Dunn RIP

8 March 2014 Mount Saint Bernard
When Fr Matthew’s rational defences fell away one after another, when his heart lay open for all to see, not a trace of impurity was left. All we saw was light and love and trust and kindness - truly, he was a monk. Continue reading

Christmas Day

25 December 2013 Mount Saint Bernard
We think of the ox as plodder: to call someone bovine is not to pay a compliment. Earlier civilisations perceived the ox differently. Continue reading

Christmas Midnight Mass

24 December 2013 Mount Saint Bernard
Into whatever darkness we carry—be it enmity or strife, guilt or shame, hurt or resentment—the light of Christ will shine if we let it. Continue reading

Dom Ambrose Southey RIP

25 August 2013 Mount Saint Bernard
From within this private, secret space he greeted others with courtesy and unfailing kindness, but also with the unequivocal instruction: ‘Do not enter.’ He had a genius for bringing conversations to an end with enigmatic monosyllables. Continue reading

Br Gabriel Manogue RIP

9 July 2013 Mount Saint Bernard
Br Gabriel's energy was irrepressible. We all know how he could spontaneously burst into song at any time, anywhere – and in voice production he was not, to cite his own phrase, ‘backward in coming forward’! Continue reading

Amanda Perreau Saussine de Ezcurra RIP

10 August 2012 Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Cambridge
Amanda saw herself as someone to whom a particular, arduous work had been entrusted. With the courage for which she was outstanding, she assumed that work, certain that it would bear fruit, even though she could not see precisely how this would come about. Continue reading

13. Sunday B

1 July 2012 Tautra
For oss som vet hvorledes historien går videre, er opptrinnet i Jairus’ forgård som en profetisk kaldgufs. Det får oss til å tenke på en annen folkemasse som, ikke så veldig mye senere, på et blunk vil stemme sine hosannarop om til “Korsfest ham! Continue reading

27. Sunday A

2 November 2011 St Olav, Oslo
Noah trådte ut i en ny verden, hvor alt måtte tilskikkes på nytt. Og i møte med denne tvingende nødvendighet, var det ikke primærnæring han dyrket, ikke kål, men vin. Continue reading

Wedding of Amanda and Carlos

1 November 2011 Queens' College Chapel, Cambridge
I have followed the unfolding of your respective lives in two brilliant mosaics of very different character, though they share certain key features. In either case, the immense integrity that marks you both has ensured a rigorously defined, pure outline. Continue reading

Beheading of St John the Baptist

29 August 2011 Ware Carmel
A lecherous king, a jealous queen, a fickle child: should these bring the Old Testament to a close? Continue reading