Category Archives: Benedictines

Advent is to proclaim salvation

Tonight, the Latin Church begins her preparation for the Nativity of the Lord. Pope Benedict said at one of his addresses at the Sunday Angelus:

… we have been experiencing the liturgical season of Advent: a time of openness to God’s future, a time of preparation for Christmas, when he, the Lord, who is the absolute novelty, came to dwell in the midst of this fallen humanity to renew it from within. In the Advent liturgy there resounds a message full of hope, which invites us to lift up our gaze to the ultimate horizon, but at the same time to recognize the signs of God-with-us in the present. The Lord wants to do in Advent: to speak to the heart of his people and, through them, to the whole of humanity, to proclaim salvation.

 

As a Benedictine Oblate, I have to myself:

How has my Oblation lifted my gaze to my ultimate horizon? That is, in what ways does my Oblate life lead me closer to my destiny with God? In what ways does my Oblate life open my heart to hear the Lord speaking to me and open my hands in putting my faith into action?

St. Eleutherius the Abbot

I have a very vague recollection of today’s saint, Eleutherius, from some travels in Italy. A friend posted this sketch of a 6th century monk. Just to situate him: St Benedict died in 547. Some recent theological discussion in the Communio Study Circle about angels and demons leads me think more deeply about persons like Eleutherius.

St. Eleutherius (d. 585 A.D.) was a monk living in Spoleto, Italy. Little is known of his early life. He became the Abbot of St. Mark’s Abbey and was well-known as a man of simplicity and penance. He also demonstrated the gift of miracles and exorcism, and raised a dead man to life. After he healed a boy from demonic possession and saw that the child was afterwards left unharmed, St. Eleutherius made a remark to this effect: “Since the child is among the servants of God, the devil dares not approach him.”

Then the boy, who came to live at St. Mark’s Abbey to be educated by the monks, became possessed again. St. Eleutherius repented of his vain and presumptuous remark, and the whole monastery underwent a penitential fast before the devil would leave the boy for the final time. St. Eleutherius was a friend of Pope St. Gregory the Great, the latter having called upon the saint to pray for him in his illness. St. Eleutherius died in Rome in 585 A.D. Today is his feast day.   (DG)

Maximilian Buonocore ordained priest

Waterbury, CT native DOM Maximilian Peter Buonocore, OSB, 60, was ordained priest of Jesus Christ today by Joseph Cardinal Tobin, CSsR, the archbishop of Newark.

The new priest, Father Maximilian, is a Benedictine monk of Newark Abbey. He’s the first priest ordained there in a few decades.

The monks of Newark Abbey operate St. Benedict’s Prep, St Mary’s Grammar School and the priests assist locally in parishes and convents.

Father Maximillian’s First Mass is Sunday at the Abbey.

Benedictine spirituality is simple

Lady Abbess Benedict Duss (+2005) of Regina Laudis in a 1998 conference with the Core Oblates of the Abbey that may be of interest to those who live –or try to live– according the Rule of Benedict:

“Benedictine Spirituality is very elusive, because it is so simple. We have great aspirations, which can cause us to lose sight of the simple, and achievement is not helped, thereof.”

Benedictine monk preserves Christian history

The word “rescue” doesn’t always connect in people’s monks with the life and work of a Benedictine monk, but when you read a recent article in The Atlantic, you will have a new appreciation of the connection. It is a fact that Father Columba Stewart, monk of St. John’s Abbey (Collegeville, MN) spends a great deal of time rescuing some of the world’s precious manuscripts from possible human destruction –think of ISIS– and natural decay in a project sponsored by Saint John’s Abbey and University —Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML). The HMML project puts on microfilm and in digital format manuscripts the world has a rarely seen.

This is human project with Divine blessing; a true ecumenical and inter-faith project that reaches into the deep for the sake of something greater: Truth. What else could you expect a monk to do as a fruit of his contemplation? This, for me, is crucial consequence of the Incarnation of the Lord.

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]yahoo.com.
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