The future's so bright, they gotta upgrade!

Public Chapel, Monastery of Our Lady of the RosaryWe've been keeping track of many religious orders that are lately bursting with new postulants and novices.One of our favorite communities, the Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ, have been investing new novices with some heartening regularity. Their blog, Moniales, is an inspiring, enlightening and often fun window into their monastic life, making it more understandable and less strange to people, while also helping young women discern if such a … [Read more...]

Election '08: Coming down to Authenticity?

Bill Whittle, writing at NRO, nails it; he explains why the left is having so much trouble "getting" Palin. And why, when CNN uses the spectacularly unsympathetic son-tasing "poor fired trooper" to hurt Palin, it backfires on them. The elites don't understand how much every part of her story resonates with us in one way or another.She is so absolutely, remarkably, spectacularly ordinary. I think the magic of Sarah Palin speaks to a belief that so many of us share: the sense that we … [Read more...]

Merton: The Seven Storey Mountain

If you've never read the remarkable book The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton, you really should consider it. It's not just for Catholics; it is a tremendously readable autobiography of a brilliant man on spiritual sojourn. One of those books you pick up and have difficulty putting down. I quote some of the book - and share how it made me think.Here is a video about Merton and the evolution of the book … [Read more...]

Isle of Wight, for Male & Female Monastics

Icon of St. Benedict, New Clairvaux Abbey, Vina, California Written by a nun of St. Cecilia's Abbey, Ryde, UKI've long admired the website for the Benedictine Nuns at St. Cecilia's Abbey in the Isle of Wight, UK, but it's nice to see it highlighted and discover a lovely website in the bargain. Fr. Ray Blake quotes the Benedictines as to why they still chant the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin:We made a deliberate choice to keep the rest in Latin for several reasons. First, the Gregorian … [Read more...]

Hillary’s right; we ARE all in this together…

Hillary Clinton says she doesn't like all of this individualism stuff - the rugged individuality which is the very definition of America does not appeal to her very much. She prefers the socialist collective. Resistance is futile."I prefer a 'we're all in it together' society," she said. "I believe our government can once again work for all Americans. It can promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all and special privileges for none." [...] That means pairing growth with … [Read more...]

Orthodoxy, Benedict and Stability

Siggy sent this my way, and I thought it was more than worth sharing:In 1935 (to pick a date), the most common pattern in our country was for a local boy to meet and marry a local girl and to settle down and raise their children in the community in which they themselves were born, with relatives and friends forming a network of relationships that surrounded and nurtured (or harrassed) them. Divorce rates and crime rates were relatively low in most places. Stable communities tend to have stable … [Read more...]

More on “It’s a Wonderful Life”

A few days ago, while writing about Will Smith's new film The Pursuit of Happyness, I also found myself talking about the classic, "It's a Wonderful Life," starring James Stewart.My L'il Bro Thom added his thoughts, and I wanted to share them:It’s a very deceptive movie – froth and cream on top, but bitter and full of bile underneath. I know now why people were so upset when it was colorized in the 80s – it needs to be told in black and white. The scene when George Bailey returns to his hou … [Read more...]

Vespers for Monday, Dec 18

The Dominican nuns of Summit, New Jersey have made a video of vespers for tonight. Not perfect (they're very apologetic about that) but perfectly lovely, and I hope they share more of this with us. They sounded like angels to me as they sang the second of what are known as the O Antiphons, which we chant in the last week of Advent, as the antiphon just prior to the chanting of the Magnificat. These antiphons are especially beautiful. They started yesterday with the O Sapientia: “O Wisdom, O h … [Read more...]

“…and I shall truly live.”

Sr. Kathleen Clare Lahl, OSB, makes her solemn vowWhen a Benedictine monastic of either sex makes solemn vows, one of the most moving parts of the ritual is when he or she stands before the altar of the Lord, arms upraised, and makes the triple "suscipe," proclaiming three times, "Accept me, Lord, as you have promised, and I shall truly live..."It is an ancient formula and a tremendous moment. Here is a rather nice story of a nun making her final vows at the Clyde monastery which - as with … [Read more...]

Vocations flowering

It's been happening for a while, but increasingly we're seeing religious communities, particularly those which keep Jesus within the Eucharist as their focus, increase in numbers, even as the more progressive orders are fading.At St. Michael's Abbey in Orange County, California (OC, for pete's sake!) The Norbertine Fathers are looking for more space because they are turning young men away from their prayerful place for lack of room. (The picture of the rose, btw, is from their photo … [Read more...]


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