Chapter 72 and the Wise Virgins

Chapter 72 and the Wise Virgins

  Some commentators say that chapter 72 of the Holy Rule of St Benedict might be considered, ‘a synthesis of the entire rule.’ In a few short sentences, St Benedict, “condenses the whole science of monastic perfection.” For me, in this chapter, I feel as if I meet the man St Benedict. Every word of it penetrates to the interior attitude and motive of the heart as we are challenged to live a good life in community according to our vocation.   Just as there is an evil zeal of bitterness which separates from God and leads to hell, so there is a good zeal which separates from vices and leads to God and to life everlasting. This zeal, therefore, the monks should practice with the most fervent love. Thus they should anticipate one...

He Died for the Truth

He Died for the Truth

  There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment and chains as a witness to our Redeemer, whose forerunner he was, and gave his life for Him. His persecutor had demanded, not that he should deny Christ, but only that he should keep silent about the truth. Nevertheless, he died for Christ. Does Christ not say : I am the Truth? Therefore, because John shed his blood for the truth, he surely died for Christ.   This has been the Lord’s message for me all summer long ~ you cannot be silent about the Truth. St John the Baptist, pray for us. +PAX   From a homily on St Bede the Venerable, priest LOH second reading  L’Apparition, Gustave...

Did You Know

Did You Know

  That the symbol ‘@’started with the Benedictine monks? Thanks to Communio, for reminding me how important it is to slooow down in life.. –a Benedictine principle after all– and to realize that: “..things don’t fall out of the sky on to your plate, or your computer screen. A real person has had to dream and work out the tool used.” Take a moment to read this 2009 story from Wired, where you find out that, “the “at” sign most likely owes its origin to a monk with writer’s cramp.” For a clueless techie (I think that’s an oxymoron- no pun intended) like me…this is an amazing find!  “Our intellectual and religious history needs to be recalled and honored. Much of the world that uses email...

God’s Time Will Come

God’s Time Will Come

  Over the last few years in particular, I’ve grown close in devotion to St Monica. You know her I’m sure as the mother of St Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, the son who prior to conversion caused his mother terrible sorrows because of his youthful indiscretions. As the more brilliant of his three other siblings he was sent to Carthage to develop his gifts, but returned home to Tagaste only to find his mother so despondent over his loose living and decision to follow the Manicheism heresy, she refused to let him live at home….at first. St Monica had a vision, one that I’ve kept in mind many times as I pray for my own children;   One day as she was weeping over his behavior, a figure appeared and asked her the cause of...

O Miraculous Child Jesus

O Miraculous Child Jesus

  O miraculous Child Jesus!   I come before Your sacred Image, moved by love and by hope, and I beseech You to look mercifully into my troubled heart. Let Your own tender Love, always inclined to compassion, mitigate my troubles and alleviate my sufferings. Take from me if it be Your Will, all unbearable afflictions and let me never surrender to despair. Grant me, Dear Child Jesus, the special grace I ask from You today in all humility and with a loving trust, and for the sake of Your Sacred Infancy, always hear my prayers. Be generous with Your aid and consolation, that I may praise You, and the Father and the Holy Spirit. Amen.   I have two very special requests I’m asking of the Lord. Both will require a miracle of trust and faith for me...

The Queenship of Mary

The Queenship of Mary

    Mary the Dawn, Christ the Perfect Day; Mary the Gate, Christ the Heav’nly Way! Mary the Root, Christ the Mystic Vine; Mary the Grape, Christ the Sacred Wine! Mary the Wheat-sheaf, Christ the Living Bread; Mary the Rose-Tree, Christ the Rose Blood-red! Mary the Font, Christ the Cleansing Flood; Mary the Chalice, Christ the Saving Blood! Mary the Temple, Christ the Temple’s Lord; Mary the Shrine, Christ the God adored! Mary the Beacon, Christ the Haven’s Rest; Mary the Mirror, Christ the Vision Blest! Mary the Mother, Christ the Mother’s Son. Both ever blest while endless ages run.   Amen.   Had I read this medieval poem as a Protestant, perhaps I would have understood true Marian devotion a little sooner. In the midst of living in a...

Egypt’s Christians

Egypt’s Christians

  Are facing a Jihad:   “Violent aggression by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists, including those sympathetic to al-Qaeda, continues to be directed at one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, following the military’s break up last week of Brotherhood sit-ins.   The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party has been inciting the anti-Christian pogroms on its web and Facebook pages.   One such page, posted on August 14, lists a bill of particulars against the Christian Coptic minority, blaming it, and only it, for the military’s crackdown against the Brotherhood, alleging that the Church has declared a “war against Islam and Muslims.” It concludes with the threat,   “For every action there is a reaction.”   Let our...

Consumed With Zeal for Your House

Consumed With Zeal for Your House

  Today the church celebrates the memorial of one of the great Doctor’s of the Church, St Bernard of Clairvaux. He was born near Dijon, France and entered the reformed Benedictine abbey of Citeaux at the age of 22, though his intelligence would have suited him for great worldly accomplishments. Seeing himself as a soldier for Christ in the age of knights and crusaders, it was through his mystical and theological writings and personal charm that St Bernard, began to attract many to Clairvaux and other Cistercian monasteries, leading to many new foundations. It’s interesting to note that in addition to writing works that have had lasting impact on Catholic spirituality he, governed a monastery that soon housed several hundred monks sending forth...

Truth is the Trumpet of Liberty

Truth is the Trumpet of Liberty

  In a church I attended this week, the sermon was a bit…off. Maybe the pastor was having a bad day– I don’t know. But, when you begin to teach on the gospel with words of warning, that perhaps what Jesus is saying is not at all what He’s REALLY saying because the language has gone from Aramaic to Greek to English and were that Scripture to be substituted into the words of the Eucharistic prayer, well you’d see right off that they clash with what we know of our Savior’s call for …peace.   Here’s the gospel reading I’m referring to:   Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and...

Are You Relevant?

Are You Relevant?

  rel·e·vant [ rélləvənt ] 1- connected: having some sensible or logical connection with something else such as a matter being discussed or investigated 2- having social significance: having some bearing on or importance for real-world issues, present-day events, or the current state of society     The older you get the easier it is to think you’re becoming, ‘not relevant.’ If you’re in ‘that bracket’ maybe, like me, you occasionally sense that a technology tsunami has dragged you out to sea and like trying to tread water in a rip current, you can’t get back to shore. It’s not that I don’t see the value of all the latest click enhancers, or use some of them; but truth be told, I put up with...

Jesus, King of All Nations

Jesus, King of All Nations

    638 souls; gone from the world– and a list of Christian churches and institutions that have been attacked and burned down.  Targets of the rioters are Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical religious houses of worship and other religious sites, as well as private homes and property of the Christian minority.   More violence is being called for today   It appears, says one source, that Christian churches and institutions have been made a scapegoat for the anger of extremists .. I ask you to pray for these precious people; Christians who are living on the front line of this chaotic storm. Is prayer enough anymore? I frequently get this question on my hospital visits; and I tell people that as Christians we must be ready always to lean on...