On the Craftsmen

Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 57 for April 10If there are craftsmen in the monastery, let them practice their crafts with all humility, provided the Abbot has given permission. But if any one of them becomes conceited over his skill in his craft, because he seems to be conferring a benefit on the monastery, let him be taken from his craft and no longer exercise it unless, after he has humbled himself, the Abbot again gives him permission. If any of the work of the craftsmen is to be … [Read more...]

On the Measure of Food

Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 39 - for March 18... Let a good pound weight of bread suffice for the day, whether there be only one meal or both dinner and supper. If they are to have supper, the cellarer shall reserve a third of that pound to be given them at supper. But if it happens that the work was heavier, it shall lie within the Abbot's discretion and power, should it be expedient, to add something to the fare. Above all things, however, overindulgence must be avoided and a monk must … [Read more...]

Pilgrim, Ora et Labora; the Fountain of Youth?

Look at this 103 year-old Catholic Sister, Sr. Cecilia Adorni, as she dances a remarkably spry polka amid the senior citizens whom she still serves. Watch her dance -- I know 60 year-olds who can't move like that -- and notice her skin, which is gorgeous and youthful!We concern ourselves with holding on to our youthfulness and "defying age" with all sorts of medicines and foods and goops and ointments, while this sister appears to have found a "fountain of youth," and it's one St. Benedict of … [Read more...]

Nuns, Monks, Friars Linkfest! – UPDATED

It's unusual to be writing much about monks, nuns and friars in February, but for some reason I have a flurry of news and reports, so here goes!The Norbertine Sisters are a very interesting group of women. You know they make fabulous Christmas Wreaths each year (we had ours by the end of November and only just threw it out because it seemed oddball to have a wreath up at Valentine's Day, but it still looked great, still wasn't dropping needles!)Well, the sisters are finally established as … [Read more...]

St. Scholastica; Irritating Sister

photosourceWhen I made my first inquiries about becoming a Benedictine Oblate, I received this icon with the monastery's response. It sits on my desk, still.Today is the feast of St. Scholastica, the twin sister of St. Benedict of Nursia. Very little is known about her, historically, and there is some debate about where her relics may be. While in Rome, we were able to take a tour of the monastery and cave at Subiaco, where Benedict founded the order, and our helpful guide communicated … [Read more...]

The Passing of a "True Monk"

A gorgeous remembrance of Sr. Angelika, OSB, by her Abbess at St. Walburga's:In 1980, with Mother Maria-Thomas as superior, she was chosen to be the prioress. She served this call beautifully for many, many years. And she encouraged us in the same way that she encouraged the young monks. One of the sisters was saying this morning that you would go to her with a problem and she would sit there and listen very intently and she would give you an answer and you would say, “How did you know that?” A … [Read more...]

"Prosper the work of our hands…"

How dare these monks try to make a living for themselves?Margaret Cabaniss has moreVia InstapunditRelated: St. Joseph's Abbey and a lovely gallery of abbey photos … [Read more...]

A Benedictine Community Copes

Sr. Denise Mosier, OSB + 2010This is so worth reading.In the midst of life, we are in death; in the midst of death, we are in life. In the midst of a tumultuous world of noise and hyper-everything, we find stability, the very thing Benedictines vow themselves to.There is an amazing backdrop this week for the Benedictine nuns in Virginia who are reeling from a deadly drunk-driving crash: silent retreat.The community of 33 women had their annual retreat scheduled when the crash happened … [Read more...]

July 11th St. Benedict

Benedict this morningSince it is July 11th, and I am his spiritual daughter, I must present to you once more my dear St. Benedict of Nursia, and this excerpt from his Holy Rule, which contains wisdom that may be applied to the management of home, family, business. Hey, the Benedictines has rolled with it for these 1500 years; the track record is proven:From the Rule of St. Benedict, abbot, thoughts on the proper mindset with which to begin an undertaking (which we have previously explored … [Read more...]

Tumbling Empires & the Taming Church

In the late 1970's the genial science historian James Burke wrote and presented a ten-part series entitled Connections, which became appointment-tv for my husband and me. He had a way of applying past lessons to present circumstances that was both fascinating and entertaining and sometimes--as in this video--loaded with the prescience that comes from actually listening to history.At about the 3:30 mark, you find Burke once again presenting past as prelude:" The last time a world empire fell … [Read more...]