June 1st Resolution; ora AT labora – UPDATED

The motto of the Benedictines is ora et labora; pray and work.In his Holy Rule, our Father Benedict writes that prayer should preface all activity throughout the day, so that a meeting should not take place, a meal should not be eaten, a guest should not be greeted or a specific labor should not be performed, until one has taken a moment to place oneself in the presence of God, and ask his blessing, and for the strength to do his will.A monk may spend several hours in prayer, in choir, then … [Read more...]

A Plethora of Nun Pictures – UPDATED

Suspecting that only Carolina Cannonball is more fixated than I on all things nun-ish, I bring you something pretty extraordinary, via Kansas Catholic, four pages (count 'em, four) pages of pictures detailing the solemn professions of eleven Benedictines of Mary, in the Extraordinary Rite:As they are still forming, and in the process of building their monastery, the Benedictines of Mary are not strictly enclosed yet, but you still might call them "old school" Benedictines. Their day-to-day … [Read more...]

Nun News: New Novice!

Our good friends, the Dominican Nuns of Summit, New Jersey (who have added lovely lilac and lilly of the valley scents to their line of soaps and lotions) are celebrating with pizza today as they receive yet another novice to the novitiate and clothe her in monastic habit of the Order of Preachers. The former Sr. Janlyn has taken the name Cecilia, and has brought them music!Sr. Cecilia of the Annunciation, Clothed in HabitI like the Homily of the Prioress, which includes this:Sr. Janlyn … [Read more...]

St. Anselm, Bishop & Doctor -UPDATED

A prayer of St. Anselm: “Come now, little man, turn aside for a while from your daily employment, escape for a moment from the tumult of your thoughts. Put aside your weighty cares, let your burdensome distractions wait, free yourself awhile for God and rest awhile in him. Enter the inner chamber of your soul, shut out everything except God and that which can help you in seeking him, and when you have shut the door, seek him. Now, my whole heart, say to God: "I seek your face, Lord, it is y … [Read more...]

John Allen; definitive on Benedict, Scandals

The great John Allen, perhaps the best English-language reporter on the Vatican beat, does yeoman's work in three different articles, to which I am linking today. Allen takes knowledgeable, sometimes devastating but always fair looks at Pope Benedict XVI and the crisis that has engulfed him over the past few weeks and has come to -rather unjustly- define his papacy.None of these pieces is fun to read. All of them are thoughtful, instructive and very valuable, particularly to anyone who wants … [Read more...]

Benedictine Women, Beautifully Revealed

Photographer Robert Falcetti's collection of photographs taken at the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis is stunning. Unfortunately, I could not manage to copy it to the site, but I urge you to take a few minutes to retreat to beauty. … [Read more...]

Young Women of Good Intention

I'm going to ask a favor of my readers who pray, to keep the intentions of a few young women in their prayers, particularly for the next week.First up, Elder Son's Sweet Girlfriend. This kid has been going to grad school full time (and earning all-A's) while working full time, and managing to pull it all off as she commutes between two states. Last semester was an absolute killer, but she never gave up. Now, it looks like she may have an opportunity to snag a much-desired assistant's job on … [Read more...]

"Why does 'green' have to look so Commie?"

Got that question in an email today along with this link to a story and video showcasing the move by the Benedictine Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey (a venerable, beautiful and historical monastery) to their new digs:The community is used to upheaval, having moved five times in its 385-year history, including an 18-month stretch behind bars during the French revolution. The latest move was prompted by a need to down-size.An overall decline in Catholic vocations has left the community with 22 … [Read more...]

St. Catherine & Me!

For a Benedictine, I do seem to write an awful lot about Dominicans and particularly about St. Catherine of Siena.Kind of odd, don't you think?My latest on the Unforgettable Catherine can be found on the First Things Home Page today, a review of Edmund G. Gardner's The Road to Siena; The Essential Biography of St. Catherine, and I think you'll enjoy it. Please check it out and I'll be back with a round up of Catholic/Anglican reactions and more, later! … [Read more...]

The Leadership Void; we need St. Benedict – UPDATED

Deacon Greg sent this my way, noting, "this is extraordinary, and the piece mentions you, too!"Such a star, I am!What is "extraordinary" is the lengthy post Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley put up in his blog, addressing the criticism he has received for presiding (in a very minimalist way, it must be said) at the Funeral Mass of Sen. Ted Kennedy.For the record, I wasn't one of those suggesting Kennedy should not have a Catholic funeral; my gripe was with the sanctification of the man by … [Read more...]


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