- Friday, 29 July 2016 09:15
Today, on the Novus Ordo liturgical calendar the Church recalls St Martha. For Benedictines, today we seek the help of Saints Martha, Mary and Lazarus, Hosts of the Lord. All three are not only disciples of the Lord but are true friends. In the Benedictine tradition Saints Martha, Mary and Lazarus are venerated as living Saint Benedict’s mandate of hospitality: “Let all guests be received as Christ, for He will one day say, I came as a guest and you welcomed me.” (RSB 53:1). For this reason, one Benedictine Lectionary proposes the story of Abraham and Sarah extending hospitality.
In a time when hospitality is not a value, the Benedictine tradition gives us this feast of Saints Martha, Mary, and Lazarus to keep our hearts focussed on the practice hospitality. “Behold,” says the Lord, “I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him and he with me” (Rev. 3:20).
What we see in these saints we see first in the Eucharistic hospitality of God at the altar. Just as Martha, Mary and Lazarus opened the door to Jesus and made room for him, there is room for all of us at the temple of God where we are invited in to hear the Word and receive his gifts of Life.
May we learn what it means to be hospitable. Can we sit at the foot of the Master like Mary at the Eucharistic banquet and receive his mystical body and blood, or be a penitent like Lazarus or to set aside the anxieties of this world? Can we leave the anxieties of life to bring our entire humanity to the Lord through the transparency of prayer?
- Tuesday, 26 July 2016 08:01
The re-founder of Benedictine life in France in the 19th century, Dom Prosper Guéranger (1805-1875) has a cause introduced (2005) for study for possible sainthood. While no one is perfect in this world, there is reason to believe that God has made a saint of his monastic servant. The ideas and works point in a certain direction of the quality of the person being proposed for study but these things do not completely identify the person.
I chose this date to introduce the invitation to pray for the beatification of Guéranger because it is the date on which the newly formed Benedictines professed their solemn vows at Abbey of Saint Paul outside the Walls in Rome in 1837.
Prayer for the Beatification of Dom Prosper Guéranger:
God our Father, your servant Dom Prosper Guéranger, Abbot of Solesmes, guided by the Holy Spirit, helped a multitude of your faithful people rediscover the meaning of the liturgy as the source of true Christian life. May his devotion to your Holy Church and his filial love for the Immaculate Virgin, inspired by the mystery of the Incarnate Word, be a light for Christians of our own day. Deign, O Lord, to grant the favour we ask you by his intercession, so that his sanctity may be recognized by all and that the Church may soon allow us to invoke him as the one of your blessed and one of your saints. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
- Saturday, 16 July 2016 08:50
I found the following file on my computer this morning by accident –I wasn’t looking for it, but I was happy to find it. I’ve been harping on the Benedictine influence upon Dorothy Day and the importance the Rule of Benedict and the influence various monks had Day. For example, we have a good example of Dom Virgil Michel working with Dorothy Day at the Catholic Worker. Another is Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila Latourrette. Day’s sainthood cause is being studied at the moment and these things matter, in my opinion.
Virgil Michel, O.S.B., and the Benedictine Influence on the CW Movement:
Virgil Michel, Fellow Worker in Christ
by Dorothy Day
To us at the Catholic Worker, Father Virgil was a dear friend and adviser, bringing to us his tremendous strength and knowledge. He first came to visit us at our beginnings on East Fifteenth Street. He was like Peter Maurin in the friendly simple way he would come in and sit down, starting right in on the thought that was uppermost in his mind, telling us of the work he was engaged in at that particular moment and what he was planning for the future. He was at home with everyone, anywhere. He could sit down at a table in a tenement house kitchen, or under an apple tree at the farm, and talk of St. Thomas and today with whoever was at hand. He had such faith in people, faith in their intelligence and spiritual capacities, that he always gave the very best he had generously and openheartedly.
He was interested in everything we were trying to do, and made us feel, at all the Catholic Worker groups, that we were working with him. When he came in it was as though we had seen him just a few weeks before. He was at home at once, he remembered everybody, he listened to everybody.
Orate Frates, January, 1939
- Wednesday, 18 May 2016 10:05
Great news from Quarr Abbey! A new abbot has been elected. The Abbey is part of the Solesmes Congregation.
Dom Xavier Perrin has been elected as Abbot of Quarr Abbey, the Benedictine Abbey on the Isle of Wight. The election took place on Wednesday, May 11, 2016.
Fr Xavier Perrin, born in Tours in 1958, first studied French Literature in Rennes, and then History of Art at the Sorbonne. In 1980, he entered the Abbey of Sainte Anne de Kergonan, a monastery founded by Solesmes in South Brittany in 1897. He studied theology first at Solesmes, then at Fribourg in Switzerland, and finally in Munich. After his ordination in 1989, he took charge of the guesthouse, while teaching dogmatic theology and playing the organ. He was novice master from 1993 to 2010, choir master from 1996 to 2013, and prior from 2002 to 2013. He has written books and articles about the history of the Solesmes Congregation, liturgy, and spirituality. He has been involved in the promotion of Gregorian Chant through several week-ends, concerts and CDs. He was appointed Prior Administrator of Quarr Abbey (Isle of Wight) in April 2013.
He said, “I entrust my abbatial ministry to Our Lady of Quarr. I hope and pray that Quarr can continue to give its unique contribution to the Catholic Church in Britain, and be a beacon of light for the many visitors to the Isle of Wight.”
The picture: Abbot Xavier (on the right) standing next to Abbot Philippe Dupont, Abbot President of the Solesmes Congregation.