Benedictines: May 2012 Archives

I am slowly reading a book written by Dom Michael Casey, a Cistercian monk from the Abbey of Tarrawara (Australia), The Road to Eternal Life, a series of reflections on the Prologue of the Rue of St Benedict. With all the talk of being a good witness and yesterday's emphasis on our destiny in Christ, I thought Dom Michael's reflection on boasting in the Lord makes some sense for us today. I recommend the book.

"And again he says, 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord'." (2 Cor 10:17 quoted in the Rule of St Benedict, Prologue v. 32)

The one in the New Testament who speaks most about boastfulness is Saint Paul. He sees boasting as an expression of an autonomy that weakens a person's total reliance on God-that is, it weakens faith. Those who think that religion is simply a matter of conforming to the precepts of the law, or perhaps so twisting the precepts of the law so that they are comfortable, have not yet learned the art of putting their trust in God, relying on God's mercy. They are locked into the schemes of self-perfection that they themselves have crafted. The end of such self-assurance can be only disaster. As Saint Ignatius of Antioch wrote to Polycarp, "The one who boasts has already come to nothing".


Saint Hildegard of Bingen is getting some press these days. Many are very curious to know how and why the Pope did such an unusual thing in making her cult as concrete as possible. Being inscribed as a saint in the album of the saints is pretty concrete, I'd say.

The Church's official teaching is seen by the use of concepts like "extension of Hildegard of Bingne's cult to the entire Church," meaning that she is proposed as a model of holiness with moral certainty to the faithful. Remember, only the Blessed Trinity is worshiped at the Liturgy. Saints and Blesseds are venerated, honored. Not the same. Hence, the definition of "cult" in Catholic theology is that the veneration saints particularly at the sacred Liturgy (i.e., the worship of God at Holy Mass, Lauds and Vespers) is made possible by the Church recognizing that this person is with God in heaven and is a reliable witness for Christian living.

Honoring the inner monk

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St Meinrad Archabbey.jpegThe monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey are gaining traction in the use of social media to promote prayer, the monastic life and ecclesial service.

What and who is the Archabbey of Saint Meinrad?

Watch Brother Elijah and Abbot Justin ... encouraging each of us to honor the inner monk ... or support the vocation to the religious sisterhood with the Nun Run 2012 ... watch the joy of two  men being ordained to the Order of Deacon at Saint Meinrad's ... or watch a piece on what being a Benedictine Oblate means through the eyes of Oblates and monks.

Great work Saint Meinrad's!!!!

Laura Adshead.jpgOne of the US's monasteries of Benedictine nuns is getting a lot media attention lately. Regina Laudis Abbey (Bethlehem, CT) is now recognized by the European Catholic press for a story written by Mauro Pianta for the Vatican Insider, "U.S.: Cameron's former lover becomes cloistered nun." Mr. Pianta tells of the UK's Prime Minister David Cameron's former very beautiful girlfriend who found her vocation in the American abbey after a conversion in her life. Sister John Mary known in history as Laura Adshead left the world to follow Christ. Let's note, however, Sister John Mary has been at the Abbey for four years, now. So this story is not exactly new, but it is good to know that smart women still follow the Lord's call.

The original story online at The Daily Mail reveals the story better.

Recently, Regina Laudis has been in the press due to Mother Dolores Hart's new documentary "God is the Bigger Elvis." Mother Dolores will receive the 2012 Christopher Life Achievement Award on May 24th for a film that works to "affirm the highest values of the human spirit."
St Schoalstica vocation ad.jpg
In my opinion, there are few Benedictine monasteries of women in the USA who are serious about the monastic life, and St Scholastica Priory is one. Women, give this Priory a good look.
Magnificat, anima mea Dominum!
Caedmon Holmes blesses Grotto.jpg

Earlier today my friend Peter and I journeyed to Portsmouth Abbey and School for the blessing of the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto.  An outdoor shrine to dedicated to the Virgin Mary who appeared in Lourdes France in the 19th century. Abbot Caedmon led the blessing and School choir sang the traditional hymns to Our Lady.

Abbot Caedmon drew our attention to the humility of Mary appearing to Saint Bernadette asking her to tell the world of the need for prayer and penance. A message clearly consistent with the Gospel of Christ. It is Mary, the Mother of God, Mother of the Church who calls us to greater fidelity to her Son and Our Savior, Jesus. And so the Gospel and Our Lady of Lourdes, so with us today.

The Grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes on the west side of the Portsmouth Abbey campus is the generous gift of an anonymous former student and benefactor of Portsmouth. The generosity of this man is borne of his desire to make the Virgin Mary of Lourdes known and to inspire among those connected with Portsmouth the enduring commitment of faith, reason and service for one's salvation and the salvation of the world. A significant example of this witness is that the Abbey School, for the last 34 years, has joined with the Ampleforth Abbey Pilgrimage (England) for a service to trip to assist the sick on pilgrimage seeking a divine healing and cure at the great Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in southern France in July.

The stone for the Grotto was harvested from the Abbey property (as was the stone used for the Abbey Church) and a local landscaping crew did the labor. Benedictine Brother Joseph contributed his expertise to the project.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Benedictines category from May 2012.

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