Column: New Millennium

This column contains articles by the Madonna House Director General of Priests.

Standing at the Crossroads — by Fr. David May. My fascination with words got the better of me yesterday in poustinia, and I found myself meditating for a time on the word "crossroads." I looked it up in the dictionary, and as I prayed... (March 01, 2013)

God Creates Out of Nothing — by Fr. David May. In November I wrote some reflections about "radiating the word of truth," and gave the example of a member of our community who recently died, Helen Schreiner, who did that in a particularly vivid way.... (February 15, 2013)

Grandmother’s Gift: A Christmas Story — by Fr. David May. The little boy ran anxiously to the window and looked down the driveway. Still no car! When would they ever arrive? It seemed like they should have been home hours ago … but still no... (December 21, 2012)

She Preached the Gospel With Her Life — by Fr. David May. "The renewal of the Church is also achieved through the witness offered by the lives of believers: by their very existence in the world, Christians are called to radiate the word of truth that the... (November 02, 2012)

Journey into Faith — by Fr. David May. How is it that the human heart believes in God? How is it that what St. Paul writes in Romans 10:10 can really come about? Man believes with his heart and so is justified, and... (October 08, 2012)

Only the Lord Sees Deep and Far — by Fr. David May. As I write the first draft of this article, I am flying at 39,000 feet above Lake Winnipeg in central Canada. I am returning from a retreat I was asked to give to our four... (September 21, 2012)

Radishes in the Garden of the New Evangelization — by Fr. David May. I had never been called a radish before. I was listening to an intelligent and entertaining speaker talk about her journey from the gay lifestyle to full communion with the Catholic Church. Suddenly, she came up... (July 03, 2012)

Those Shining Moments — by Fr. David May. My mother was the first to introduce me to them—those shining moments of simple faith in God. I remember being about six or seven. It was a very stressful time in our little family, consisting... (May 08, 2012)

The Lion and the Lamb — by Fr. David May. It was late April or early May 1971. The dogwood trees in our city were in full bloom, the sunlight magnified a million times by the white blossoms in all the perfection of a brilliant... (April 19, 2012)

The Pause That Refreshes — by Fr. David May. This month we celebrate the tiniest of new beginnings: the conception of the Son of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary. This event was not simply a new beginning, but the New Beginning... (March 09, 2012)

We Are Engaged in a Battle — by Fr. David May. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with... (February 06, 2012)

Finding the Joy of the Ordinary — by Fr. David May. The spirituality of Nazareth has many ramifications, but these do not take us very far unless we get to the Source of things: the love of God revealed to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.... (January 04, 2012)

Send Down Your Spirit Like the Dewfall — by Fr. David May. On the first Sunday of Advent, November 27, the English-speaking world will begin to use the new translation of the Mass. After a discussion that went on for years, Rome and the bishops of the... (November 25, 2011)

Who Turned Out the Lights? — by Fr. David May. October. The woods around this part of Ontario usually reach the peak of their color in the first week of this month, around the feast of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4). I won’t try... (October 04, 2011)

Go Forth - But Stay Put — by Fr. David May. Most of my days are spent chained to a chair. Well, not exactly "chained," but Catherine did call the duty of the moment "a chain without chains, for love has no chains" to emphasize the... (September 07, 2011)

Journey to Rome — by Fr. David May. It was nearly noon and time for the Sunday Angelus to be led by the Holy Father in St. Peter’s Square. We walked as quickly as we could from the North American College, only ten minutes... (August 04, 2011)

The Birds of the Air — by Fr. David May. Look at the birds of the air (Matt 6:26). Unfortunately, these words of Our Lord do not get the attention they deserve. Birdwatchers (or "birders" as they are more commonly called these days) need no command... (June 16, 2011)

Does Lent Make You Edgy? — by Fr. David May. The beginning of Lent is like the beginning of a new year: it often starts off with the best of intentions. We go to Mass, get our ashes, plan our fasts, firm up the old prayer... (March 11, 2011)

The Secret of the Kingdom — by Fr. David May. If you were to ask me what is the most difficult thing to grasp about the spiritual life of the Christian, without any hesitation I would say: the First Beatitude, Blessed are the poor in spirit,... (February 03, 2011)

A Letter to Catherine — Dear B, It’s been a long time since I’ve written you. In fact, I don’t think I’ve written since I was a seminarian some thirty years ago. This December 14th, it will be twenty-five years ago since you passed away.... (December 13, 2010)

The Joys of Letting Go — by Fr. David May. "Hey, there! Is everything under control?" That was my greeting to one of our guests on Friday morning as he brought in the leftover milk and bread from the morning’s tea break in St. Goupil’s basement... (November 10, 2010)

Signs of Hope in Russia (Part 2) — by Fr. David May. In an article in our September issue, Fr. David told us about the visit of our directors general to Moscow. In Part 2, he shares with us the signs of hope he saw in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia,... (October 15, 2010)

Signs of Hope in Russia (Part 1) — by Fr. David May. The year 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of the death of the foundress of Madonna House, Catherine Doherty. Who would have thought, 25 years ago, that the directors general of her community would spend two weeks... (September 10, 2010)

Under the Mantle of Our Lady of Combermere — by Fr. David May. Some years ago, a group of about sixty Inuit young adults made their way to Combermere from the Canadian territory of Nunavut in Canada’s Far North. They were from the diocese of Churchill-Hudson Bay and had... (May 05, 2010)

Hasten to the Garden — by Fr. David May. How I love the stories of Easter in the Gospels! Every year we hear them, yet they remain ever fresh, ever new. I love carefully reading each one. I note the similarities, and I love the... (April 05, 2010)

Praying With Your Body — by Fr. David May. The old man peered from behind the curtain of the iconostasis. "Sign!" he yelled. "Sign! Why aren’t you signing?!"... (March 10, 2010)

He’s Admirable, But… — by Fr. David May. If an article in Restoration starts with the theme of "penance," are you likely to continue reading? Are you still with me? If so, let’s look together at the example of St. John Vianney, patron of... (February 19, 2010)

The Fork in the Road — by Fr. David May. It was a very annoying situation in a most beautiful setting. I was on vacation in Maryland, walking along the Atlantic shoreline. The autumn day was sunny and pleasantly warm. The ocean waters were calm, remarkably... (January 15, 2010)

Choosing Christmas — by Fr. David May. Saturday morning is cleaning day in my part of Madonna House, otherwise known as "The Main House." I have a hallway to vacuum, a bathroom to clean, and then my office and bedroom to do. I... (December 18, 2009)

Of Politics, Hope, and Little Things — by Fr. David May. As you go about your daily business of living wherever you are, whom do you carry with you? I mean by that, what is the concern of your heart as you do the daily chores at... (September 02, 2009)

Awaiting the New Jerusalem — by Fr. David May. This article is adapted from the homily at the funeral Mass for Donna Surprenant. The readings were Rev 21: 1-7, and Mt 25: 1-13. In Revelation 21, we hear words that have profound relevance for our... (May 20, 2009)

How the Universe Gets Renewed — by Fr. David May. If you want to think big, you’ve got to start small. If you want to see the world truly transformed, you’ve got to let go of grandiose ideas that wear out before they ever get anywhere.... (April 13, 2009)

The Power of Yes — by Fr. David May. There’s more to the word "yes" than meets the eye. This month of March with its great feast of the Annunciation on March 25, we think of Our Lady’s "yes" to God’s request that she become... (March 25, 2009)

February Reflections — by Fr. David May. Winter in this part of the world is a phenomenon all its own. By February we are well into it, having already had a good three months of snow coverage, with additions of ice pellets, freezing... (February 02, 2009)

Lighting the Pauline Flame (Part 3) — by Fr. David May. Pope Benedict sketched for us in his homily opening the Pauline year three salient features of St. Paul’s personality and teaching: 1) Knowing that Christ loved him; 2) The certainty that we are one body in... (January 28, 2009)

Lighting the Pauline Flame (Part 2) — by Fr. David May. When Pope Benedict opened the Pauline Year in June, he listed three qualities of soul that St. Paul exemplified in being a disciple of Christ. We reflected on the first of these—knowing that Christ loved him—last... (November 17, 2008)

Lighting the Pauline Flame — by Fr. David May. Earlier this year, Pope Benedict lit a special Pauline flame in the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, part of the initiation of the holy year in honor of the great apostle to the Gentiles.... (October 22, 2008)

You Can Touch God in That Place — by Fr. David May. This article on the Eucharist as source of consolation and mission was written a couple weeks before we decided to return Catherine’s Order of Canada medal to the Governor General on July 8, 2008. Little did... (September 15, 2008)

Jesus, Where Are You? —  by Fr. David May. If you’ve ever visited Madonna House, Combermere, you may know that we have a vegetable garden plot located between St. Mary’s and the Madawaska River. This very sandy but flat piece of land has been steadily... (July 29, 2008)

Prayer at a Roadside Shrine — by Fr. David May. She gazes in the direction of the Madawaska River, though that river is hidden by trees and shrubs. Passers-by on our road do not see her either, since the majestic pines that survived the tornado of... (June 08, 2008)

Formation of Conscience and the Responsibility to Vote — by Fr. David May. The Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead is the ultimate affirmation of the gift of life itself. The Resurrection is the Father’s final "word" on the destiny of his children. As Christ said,... (April 21, 2008)

Entering the Gates of Jerusalem — by Fr. David May. If you have followed with seriousness the journey from Ash Wednesday to Holy Week, you will notice that there is a very distinctive turn of the season come Palm Sunday.... (March 14, 2008)

Life in the Ultimate Net — by Fr. David May. Everything was in readiness for dinner. Only the guest of honor was lacking. Finally he arrived and reclined at table, as the custom was in those days. The host was scandalized that his guest had not... (February 12, 2008)

A Question for the New Year — by Fr. David May. Why get up in the morning? Well, of course there are practical reasons that for most people hardly make the question worth asking. I have to go to work. I need to bring home a paycheck.... (January 04, 2008)

Becoming Small Enough to Think Big — by Fr. David May. If someone asked you what is the most important thing you do to prepare for Christmas, what would you say? Decorate? Advent wreath? Finish shopping by mid-December? Daily Mass? Rosary? Cook for the feast? Get a... (December 10, 2007)

Reconciliation at the Heart of the Church — by Fr. David May. For some time now I’ve considered writing about developments in the Roman Liturgy at this moment in the Church’s history. With the publication on July 7 of Pope Benedict’s Motu Proprio on the Latin Mass, the... (October 24, 2007)

The Endless Jubilee — by Fr. David May. Six o’clock on a June morning: I head out of the dorm bordering on the llano to go for a morning walk before the desert heat really takes off. I find my way to the dike... (September 20, 2007)

While Walking on Perrier Road — by Fr. David May. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, I love the early morning. Do you? I love the quiet at the beginning of the day, and I use that precious hour or two for prayer and then some exercise.... (May 10, 2007)

Magnificent Beginnings — by Fr. David May. Have you given much thought lately to the Solemnity of the Annunciation? My hunch is: you haven’t. This magnificent celebration of the Word becoming flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary nearly always happens in... (March 26, 2007)

Expect a Miracle — by Fr. David May. If you took a survey of people in Madonna House, Combermere, you would probably find very few who would pick February as their favorite month. Usually by the time it has begun, we have already had... (February 19, 2007)

Thoughts on a Winter’s Evening — by Fr. David May. Have you ever lived and worked on top of an oven? I do. The office I currently occupy in my position as director of priests in Madonna House is located on the second floor of our... (January 03, 2007)

No Rest for the Blessed — by Fr. David May. "Hello, everyone, I’m back! It’s the director general of priests!" That or a phrase like it was often my cry this past summer as I strode into the Madonna House cemetery to cut the grass. "You... (November 01, 2006)

Weapon of Choice — by Fr. David May. At the moment of writing this article, plans for peace in the world seem to be literally blowing up in our faces. No matter where one turns—Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Afghanistan, to name... (October 17, 2006)

Life on a Shoestring — by Fr. David May. My phone—an English antique with an imperious and unadjustable bell—rang out at 2:30 in the morning. With a sinking feeling and adrenalin cylinders firing, I leapt out of bed. "Hello. Fr. David here."... (September 22, 2006)

Do You Want Fire? — by Fr. David May. "Zeal for my Father’s house consumes me" (Ps 69:9, Jn 2:18). "I cannot rest!" This is us… unable to rest because we love. "I shall arise and go and find my Beloved, for I shall not... (July 07, 2006)

Words to Light the Way — By Fr. David May. On May 16, 2006, Fr. David celebrates the 25th anniversary of his priesthood. Twenty-five years ago I was preparing to be ordained a priest. I had just finished a whirlwind of studies for a Masters degree... (May 16, 2006)

Bigger Than the Big Screen — by Fr. David May. In the Church’s Office of Readings for Ash Wednesday, there is an excerpt from the letter of Pope St. Clement to the Corinthians. The passage chosen begins as follows: “Let us fix our attention on the... (March 01, 2006)

The Most Childlike of Us All — by Fr. David May. “The Gospel of Life is at the heart of Jesus’ message.” These are the opening words to that great encyclical letter of Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life). Ten years after it... (February 06, 2006)

Of Visions and Visionaries — by Fr. David May. It’s a very quiet evening here at the main house of Madonna House. Everyone seems to have gone “home” early except for two applicants downstairs, one of whom is answering the phone. But the phone is... (January 02, 2006)

A Wake-Up Call? — by Fr. David May. Every day after lunch, we take time for a short period of spiritual reading and discussion. At St. Benedict’s Farm recently, we were reading a staff letter by Catherine Doherty on the theme of joy in... (November 14, 2005)

Entering the Silence of God — by Fr. David May. October. The month of the holy rosary. And if there is anything I can’t stand, it’s a pious article about praying it! Mind you, I do pray it. In fact, I love the rosary. But in... (October 04, 2005)

Something People Love in a Priest — by Fr. David May. This year the month of July will hold a most special gift for Madonna House and for the Church: Kieran Kilcommons will be ordained to the priesthood on the 9th. In this same year, Fr. Paul... (July 08, 2005)

Canada on Its Knees? — by Fr. David May. At the beginning of March Canadian Catholics received a rather unusual request from their bishops. The hierarchy proposed that in the days preceding March 19 (Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary), a novena be prayed... (May 02, 2005)

Are You Ready for the End? — by Fr. David May. At the turn of the century there was in the air in certain Catholic and non-Catholic circles an expectation that God was about to do a Great Thing. For some, the cup of evil seemed so... (April 04, 2005)

A Radical Solution — by Fr. David May. I’ve just come rushing upstairs in the main house of MH near the end of afternoon teatime to begin this new column for Restoration. I have about one hour’s writing time before traveling down the road... (March 10, 2005)


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