- Wednesday, 07 September 2011 05:13
One of the themes from Oblate retreat this past weekend was humility. And from within the Gospel and Saint Benedict’s vision of humility Brother John Mark spoke about love and fraternal relations, particularly rubbing elbows in true charity with your brother and sister in community. A stone is only polished when it meets other stones.
Pope Benedict brings up the human desire to be in community with other other people: how good it is for brothers and sisters to live in unity, St Paul says. But this unity and love have one condition: “You will love your neighbor as yourself” (Romans 13:8-10). Some take this point as an easy thing to do. I assure you, it is not. This past Sunday’s Scripture readings teach this point.
In his Rule, Saint Benedict places a strong emphasis on mutual responsibility (“a reciporcal responsibility” the Pope calls it) and charity toward the other person is lived only in a personal way. Benedict XVI argues as Saint Benedict did before him, “that there is a co-responsibility in the journey of the Christian life: everyone, conscious of his own limits and defects, is called to welcome fraternal correction and to help others with this particular service [of forgiveness and healing injuries].
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- Friday, 02 September 2011 16:11
This weekend is the 71 st annual retreat of the New York area Benedictine Oblates of the Archabbey of Saint Meinrad. The retreat is being held at Mariandale Retreat House, Ossining, NY with the retreat master being Brother John Mark Falkenheim, OSB. His theme is “Grace and Human Nature in the Rule of Saint Benedict.”
Pray for the 35 Oblates.
- Tuesday, 16 August 2011 09:47
This morning on my train ride into the City, I was reading a monograph by Archabbot Lambert Reilly, OSB, the emeritus archabbot of St Meinrad Archabbey, “Prayer: A Conversation with God.” I recommend it. Why? Because I need to be reminded that prayer is not a monologue but a dialogue; it is the heart speaking to the Heart. I also have to remember it is not about me exclusively but about Him who is greater than I.
The Archabbot is conversational in his presentation; one would be tempted to think that there’s a lot of words but no content because he’s narrating his experience. On the contrary, this essay-turned-talk is full of good advice on prayer; it was prepared for Benedictine Oblates but is applicable to many others. Get the piece if you can.
Archabbot Lambert speaks of three types of attention in prayer:
1. “the attention by which we are lost in God.” A short-lived experience of God; a gift from Himself; no strings attached; +Lambert quotes Saint Teresa of Avila: “Don’t seek the consolations of God; seek the God of consolations.”
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- Wednesday, 13 July 2011 10:01
The Church recalls the witness of an emperor and a Benedictine Oblate, Saint Henry (972-1024), Duke of Bavaria. Henry was crowned king in Rome by Pope Benedict VIII in 1014. It is said that Henry was assisted by the saints throughout his life but especially at Mass when he was anointed king. He was an insightful leader, lay man who had concern for the discipline of the Church and who had love for the Benedictine monastic life. He was a supporter of Cluny’s reforms. It was through Saint Henry that the King of Hungary and later saint, Stephen, met Christ and was baptized.
Benedictine history tells us that he made a vow to the Abbot of Saint-Vanne in Verdun, thus, the tradition of Henry being an Oblate. (For more of what a Benedictine Oblate is, read this post
Both he and his wife, Cunegunda were canonized by the Church and revered as saints.
- Thursday, 15 January 2009 05:45
O God, you have filled us with wonder by the example of monastic observance in the lives of your blessed confessors Maurus and Placid. As we celebrate their memory and follow in their footsteps, may we come to share in their reward.
What we know of these saints we know from Saint Gregory the Great
who introduces them in his Life of Saint Benedict. These early companions of Saint Benedict are what you may call the first Benedictine oblates, ones who made an offering of themselves to God’s service. In time they lived their monastic life fully and without reservation.
On the life of Saint Maur.