In Praise of a Brood-less God

Saint Benedict of Nursia/Image, Public Domain

It is only we who brood over our sins. God does not brood over them; God dumps them at the bottom of the sea. --Saint Benedict of Nursia, attributed … [Read more...]

St. Frances of Rome, Patroness of Rome and Heavy Traffic!

St. Frances of Rome

O God, who have given to us in Saint Frances of Rome a singular model of both married and monastic life, grant us perseverance in your service, that in every circumstance of life we may see and follow you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. -- Collect from today's MassToday is the feastday of Saint Frances of Rome, particularly beloved by me because she was a wife and mother who lived monasticism … [Read more...]

When Children Love Saint Benedict!

Ben book cover

A friend of mine sent me this cute wrap-up of a conversation he had with his little daughters this morning. I reprint it here, with his permission, and am changing their names to protect their privacy, and also because I never got to name girl babies:Car Ride Conversation A Play in One Act ------------------------- Starring: Annaliese Serra* (7 yrs old) as herself Evangeline deSales* (5 yrs old) as herself Dad, as himselfScene: This frosty morning, driving my girls to their … [Read more...]

Praying for those who pray for us…

As our friends in Summit are reminding us, Pope Francis says today, November 21, is a day to thank God for cloistered religious: At the end of today’s general audience, Pope Francis noted that this Friday, Nov. 21, is the liturgical Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.Noting the Church will celebrate the Day pro Orantibus, dedicated to cloistered religious communities, he said, “It is an opportune occasion to thank the Lord for the gift of so many persons that, in mon … [Read more...]

Nun News: Autumn Vocation Roundup 2014 – UPDATED

Sr. Maria Teresa, OP receives ring signifying her solemn espousal to Christ

There has been "so much" Nun News this year that I have already posted not one, but two "mini-roundups" on the happenings concerning Catholic female religious.But on this Feastday of Saint Therese this is the big one -- I've been collecting information for months -- so settle in, and let's get to it. If you are unfamiliar with some terms, see this quick, helpful glossary. Go here for some perspective on habits and why some communities wear them while others do not.We must begin, as … [Read more...]

Benedictine Hospitality in Israel

Entrance to the Abbey of Saint Mary of the Resurrection, Abu Ghosh

Thanks to an oxygen-depriving case of pneumonia that cut the trip short, too many of my memories of Israel reside in a nebulous haze that has prevented me from writing about my experiences there. On this great feastday of Saint Benedict of Nursia, however, my Oblate's heart cannot help but share with you the experiences of Benedictine hospitality with which I was blessed and graced, even during so short a visit.The first occurred in Tabgha, at the Church of the Heptapegon, ("The Church of … [Read more...]

A Freaky Little Coda to the “Black Mass” Story

You like a little freaky? I got a little freaky for you, right here! This gave me goosebumps when I heard it, this morning, while visiting the gang at the Son Rise Morning show.Recall this earlier post about Joris-Karl Huysmans, the French novelist who described the "Black Mass" meant to be re-enacted at Harvard, on May 12 of this year. Huysmans died in 1907, as a Benedictine Oblate.Do you know the date of his death? You'll never guess, so I'll tell you: he died on May 12. 107 years to … [Read more...]

Describer of Planned “Black Mass”: Guess How He Died?

jubilee medal

The always-interesting and ever-pastoral Bishop Christopher Coyne of Indianapolis drops a particularly juicy and instructive codicil on the whole "Black Mass" Brouhaha of the past week and, as they say in Brooklyn, it's a doozy:. . .here is the "kicker," as a friend of mine shared with me this little historical tidbit. The spokesperson for the Satanic Temple said that the presentation of the Black Mass was to be based upon the description found in the book Lá-bas ("The Damned") published in … [Read more...]

A Free Online Course on Benedictine Spirituality

It has been my awesome and humbling privilege to live as a professed Benedictine Oblate for over a decade, (here is what that means) but living so far away from my monastery, and having no Oblate friends nearby, I've always felt like my formation was slip-shod -- half-duncecap, half-seat-of-the-pants.Here at Patheos we're growing our own little community of Oblates -- Father Dwight Longenecker is one, and Margaret Rose Realy is an Oblate Novice (and there are Benedictines in the Faith and … [Read more...]

Craving Silence to Hear: Atchison Blue

BC_AtchisonBlue_11

If I am late coming to a review of Judith Valente's new book -- which is currently being featured in the Patheos Book Club, it is only because the pope keeps all of us very busy these days, and Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith is too good for a slap-dash mention. After reading, it needed time for absorption, and even some revisits, to do it justice.People are fast to make comparisons between Atchison Blue and Kathleen Norris' beloved modern classic, … [Read more...]


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