Here is a Benedictine monk who sought the face of Christ and serve the Church. His physical challenges were likely the condition by which Christ called and loved him.
The Benedictine monk, abbot, bishop and Cardinal is honored on this date: Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster. As a Roman by birth, he was a professed Benedictine monk and later abbot of the Abbey of Saint Paul outside the Walls (Rome). He was a liturgical scholar and professor at Sant’Anselmo.
“The Church’s Liturgy may…be considered as a sacred poem, in the framing of which both heaven and earth have taken part, and by which our humanity, redeemed in the blood of the Lamb without spot, rises on the wings of the Spirit even unto the throne of God himself. This is more than a mere aspiration, for the Sacred Liturgy not only shows forth and expresses the ineffable and the divine, but also, by means of the sacraments and of its forms of prayer, develops and fulfils the supernatural in the souls of the faithful, to whom it communicates the grace of redemption. It may even be said that the very source of holiness of the Church is fully contained in her Liturgy; for, without the holy sacraments, the Passion of our Lord, in the existing dispensation instituted by almighty God, we would have no efficacy in us, since there would be no channels capable of conveying its treasure to our souls.”
ldefonso Schuster, The Sacramentary, vol. I (Burns, Oates & Washbourne, London, 1923) p. 3.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux composed the famous prayer to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary known as The Memorare. This year is Bernard’s 900th anniversary!
MEMORARE, O piissima Virgo Maria, non esse auditum a saeculo, quemquam ad tua currentem praesidia, tua implorantem auxilia, tua petentem suffragia, esse derelictum. Ego tali animatus confidentia, ad te, Virgo Virginum, Mater, curro, ad te venio, coram te gemens peccator assisto. Noli, Mater Verbi, verba mea despicere; sed audi propitia et exaudi. Amen.
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
Today, the Church honors Saint Benedict (the Translation of the Relics, not the Transitus which is celebrated in March), Patron of Europe. Those over at the Miraculous Medal apostolate have proposed this prayer to Benedict. Every Benedictine monk, nun, sister and oblate has a sincere devotion the Blessed Mother.
Dear Saint Benedict, You are a ‘blessing’ indeed, as your name indicates. Practicing what you preached, you founded the monastic tradition of the West by joining prayer to labor for God – both liturgical and private prayer. Help all religious to follow their Rule and be true to their vocation. May they labor and pay for the world to the greater glory of God.
God our Father, You made St. Benedict an outstanding guide to teach men how to live in Your service. Grant that by preferring Your love to everything else, we may walk in the way of Your commandments. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
We honor the memory of a venerable Benedictine monk and Churchman, Saint Bede. He is the only English Doctor of the Church and a fine example of monastic learning and holiness. Most people relate to him as the historian of the English Church because of his famous work, Historia Ecclesiastica.
Christ was his King. No other lord
Did Bede aspire to serve.
No other love could claim the heart
He gave without reserve.
From boyhood onward his delight
Was in the scriptures found,
Or singing praise to him who hung
Upon the Rood, thorn-crowned.
Like Easter night, Bede’s quiet cell
Saw Christ arising there;
And when Ascension dawned at last
The Son shone bright and fair.
To Christ the King of glory sing,
And God the Father praise,
Whose Spirit dwells in peaceful hearts
And guides them in his ways.
The text is an ancient monastic hymn. It was translated by Dame Catherine of Holy Trinity Monastery, Herefordshire, UK.