Category Archives: Benedictines

Blessing of Water in Honor of Saint Willibrord

St Willibrord3.jpgA tradition on the day which the liturgical memorial of Saint Willibrord is celebrated is the blessing of water. As we know, Catholics use the natural world to “hook” on to the supernatural world. That is, the Incarnation of the Word came into human history to hallow creation and for the redemption of the world. The Church sensing this, has organically developed blessings of things and people to lead us into the deeper reality of our faith looking toward salvation. The opening prayer for the Mass of Saint Willibrord may be found here, and ritual for the blessing of water follows.

Saint Willibrord (d. 738) freed a home haunted by an evil spirit through the use of water blessed by him.

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

R. Who made heaven and earth.

Thou creature water, I purge thee of evil by the living + God, by the holy + God, that thou mayest become a saving remedy for body and soul, through Him Who shall come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

Let us pray.

Bless, + O Lord, this water as a remedy for repulsing the foe of mankind, and send down on it they Holy Spirit, so empowered by heaven it may drive out both sickness and the worst enemy of all, and be a source of health to all who drink thereof. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray.

O Lord Almighty! Bless + this water which thou has granted for mankind’s use in washing away all guilt of sin, so that, through invoking upon it thy holy name, it may prove an unfailing and divine remedy whatever it is sprinkled or used for drink. Let this water serve to wash away every impurity, and to bestow by thy beneficence health of body and soul upon all who use it, through Him Who shall come to judge the living and the dead and world of fire. Amen.

Let us pray.

O Lord, the Father Almighty! Bless + this creature of water that it become a saving means for humankind in removing all evil of body and soul and in expelling all harmful influence of the enemy. And grant that, through invoking thy holy name, we may possess in it a safeguard for our corporal and spiritual well-being. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray.

O God, Who has appointed illustrious promoters of the true faith for the various nations; grant, we beseech thee, that all who come seeking the intercession of our holy teacher, Saint Willibrord, may experience the joy of good health here on earth and prosperity and the glory of beatitude in the life to come. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forevermore. Amen.

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son + and Holy Spirit come upon this water and remain for all time. Amen.

Father John Oetgen, OSB, RIP

Fr John Oetgen.jpg

On 10 October 2009, Father John Oetgen, OSB, PhD, 85, died in the monastery of his monastic profession, Belmont Abbey (Mary, Help of Christians), Belmont, North Carolina. He was 65 years professed of monastic vows and 58 years a priest. Abbot Placid Solari celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial for Father John on Tuesday, 13 October in the Basilica of Mary, Help of Christians; he was buried in the abbey cemetery.
O God, Who did raise Your Servant Father John to the dignity of priest in the apostolic priesthood, grant, we beseech You, that he may be joined in the fellowship with Your Apostles forevermore.
I was speaking with one of the monks of Belmont Abbey two weeks ago, shortly before Father John’s death, and I realized intuitively that the end was near for a dear priest, monk and acquaintance. I got to know Father John on my visits to Belmont and when I had the privilege to being there for two months this past spring I had the opportunity to get to know him better. Though diminished in body he was not frail in mind or spirit. His presence, though strained because of his physical weakness was a significant example to me of placing trust in the Lord. One good connection I had with Father John was caring for his Saint Francis garden: I was elated when he came to visit me there on his way back from the doctor’s.
An appreciative interview with Father John published in the Spring of 2008 in Crossroads, the Belmont Abbey College magazine which gives a sense of who Father John was and why.
In February 2009, Abbot Placid gave him the Sacrament of Anointing, which I know he did several times later, in the company of the monastic community. My thoughts were posted here.

The Oblates of Belmont Abbey posted this obit for Father John.

The Gaston Gazette posted this obit for Father John.
May Father John Oetgen’s memory be eternal.

The response to God’s word is telling

First comes the word of God that addresses me, touches
me, calls me into question, wounds and judges me, but also heals and frees me.
Both prayer and silence can only be an answer to God’s word and may not precede
it
.


Thus Benedict requires that prayer should be frequent, but short. In it the
monastic is to respond to the word of God and express his or her readiness to
follow God’s demands with deeds. Thus we find in Benedict’s Rule no teaching on
mystical prayer, but very sober instruction to open one’s daily life to God
again and again in every situation
.

What is crucial is not our doing, but
living before God
, in God’s presence, listening to God’s word that addresses us
and shows us the way. In prayer the monastic responds that she or he has heard
God’s word and is now ready to follow it.

Benedict of Nursia His Message for
Today
Anselm Grun OSB

Seeing the Invisible will allow you to do the impossible

The monks of Cistercian Abbey, Spring Bank, WI, are featured in a PBS video.

These monks are proprietors of LaserMonks.com, a non-profit work providing a discount prices items for your printers and other products (some of which made by monks & nuns of other monasteries).
Watch the video…it’s fascinating to see their vocation lived.

The hard work of being a person of peace

The Benedictine ideal of the human being is not that
of one who achieves and accomplishes things, not a person with an unusual
religious gift, not a great ascetic, but the wise and mature person who knows
how to bring people together, who creates around herself or himself an
atmosphere of peace and mutual understanding.


Behind this ideal image stands a
high demand. No one can simply resolve to become a peacemaker. Only those who
have created peace within themselves can make peace
, only those who have become
reconciled with themselves, their own weaknesses and faults, their needs and
desires, their contradictory tendencies and ambitions.

Making peace is not a
program of action that one could write on one’s banners; rather, it must arise
from inner peace. And inner peace is achieved only through a hard and
unremitting struggle for inner purity and through prayer, in which one seeks to
accept everything God presents, whether one’s own weaknesses or those of
others
.

Benedict of Nursia: His Message for Today
Anselm Grun, OSB

PS: what Fr Anselm doesn’t say is that creating an atmosphere of peace is harder than it looks, but don’t stop striving…. The realization that we are person’s with great inner need, as in we need a mother or we need friendship, like we need God, is born out in our abandonment to the Divine Plan of seeking a deeper communion with God, as John rested his head on the breast of Jesus.

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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