Category Archives: Benedictines

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

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
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, 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

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.

Visiting Bethlehem: the Abbey of Regina Laudis

Abbey of Regina Laudis chapel int.jpgOne of the blessings in Connecticut is the presence of Abbey of Regina Laudis, a monastery of nearly 40 Benedictine nuns in the hills of Litchfield, County (in the Archdiocese of Hartford). Looking out in the choir there were 5 white veil novices and 1 postulant among the other professed nuns.

I went to the abbey with Father Ignacio today so that he could celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass for the nuns since they are without a resident chaplain. Father Ignacio is a newly ordained priest of the Bridgeport Diocese currently serving at Saint Rose of Lima Church (Newtown, CT). Mass at the abbey follows the Mass of Pope Paul VI, also called the Novus Ordo (the new Order [Mass]). Often Mass is celebrated using the Latin language except for the Scripture readings and homily. However, the Mass is often in English with the Latin chants.
Like a number of monasteries and convents the sisters are without a resident priest these days. And you can guess the reasons for this. The abbey’s past chaplain, a Benedictine monk, transfered his vow of stability from his abbey of profession to another. Thus, he had to move to his new abbey.
I was happy to be at Regina Laudis again after being away for 2 years. This time was especially happy because I was able to meet Mother Placid again after 9 years (I don’t usually call on the nuns for a visit when I stop in for a visit to the bookstore and chapel). Mother Placid is the first American vocation to stay at the Abbey with the foundress, Lady Abbess Benedict. As Providence would have it, I greeted the mother of a former student. And from a distance I saw a former classmate from the seminary. Amazing who one meets at a bucolic Benedictine monastery.
As a side note, the nuns are land based. Meaning, they farm the land by raising vegetables, tending the forest, raising a beef herd for local consumption and dairy cattle for the abbey’s use. Many of the nuns are professionally trained in the various sciences to assist in the proper use of the land. The good and proper use of the land is a particularly Benedictine characteristic. The nuns tend to the beauty of creation as a theological statement of belief in the Incarnation.
Dancing sheep ARL.jpgAdditionally, the abbey has through the years attracted women from all walks of life and pedigree: some have been lawyers, physicians, artists, poets, actresses, theologians, minor nobility and the like. Mother Foundress’ leadership and vision was the result of the integration of faith and reason. She knew deeply the Catholic tradition of the religious, artistic and intellectual life. Hers was a monastic life that is virtually unknown in the United States. Regina Laudis is likely one of 4 or 5 similar monasteries of women. Historically, Mother Benedict knew personally Popes Pius XII, John XXIII and Paul VI and all of them encouraged the Foundress to keep alive Benedictine culture, ecumenism, the Latin chants and the intellect (that is, if a woman came to the abbey is a professional credential, or later earned one, she was keep current in that field).
A good read is Antonette Bosco’s biography, Mother Benedict: Foundress of Regina Laudis

Benedictine missionary reflects

A Benedictine monk and priest for more than 50 years reflects on his vocation as a missionary in Africa. His call from the Lord may be spoken of as a call within a call found in a call. After all, he said he abandoned his will into the hands of the Divine Will. Father Damian Milliken is a monk of a missionary group of Benedictine monks who work around the world in local monasteries while doing proper missionary work of friendship, evangelization and projects of social concern. Read Father Milliken’s story.

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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