Tag Archives: Cistercian

7 years since Basil Pennington

M. Basil Pennington.jpegToday marks the 7th anniversary of death of M. Basil Pennington, OCSO, monk, priest, abbot, writer. In 2005 he died on the feast of the Sacred Heart.

Abbot Basil died as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident at the age of 73.
He was described aptly as a “great, loving bear of a man” with a terrific sense of humor and laugh. He was energetic and an impressive leader with a very large capacity for friendship. His openness and keen intellect allowed him to publish 57 books and more than a 1000 articles.
Father Charles Cummings’ obit of Dom Basil can be read here. If you’ve not known about Basil, then I would make the humble suggestion to read this piece and find the book, As We Knew Him, to introduce yourself.
Rest in peace, Dom Basil.

Be living sacraments of Christ’s presence in the world leading all to eternal life

I am slowly reading a book written by Dom Michael Casey, a Cistercian monk from the Abbey of Tarrawara (Australia), The Road to Eternal Life, a series of reflections on the Prologue of the Rue of St Benedict. With all the talk of being a good witness and yesterday’s emphasis on our destiny in Christ, I thought Dom Michael’s reflection on boasting in the Lord makes some sense for us today. I recommend the book.

“And again he says, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord’.” (2 Cor 10:17 quoted in the Rule of St Benedict, Prologue v. 32)

The one in the New Testament who speaks most about boastfulness is Saint Paul. He sees boasting as an expression of an autonomy that weakens a person’s total reliance on God-that is, it weakens faith. Those who think that religion is simply a matter of conforming to the precepts of the law, or perhaps so twisting the precepts of the law so that they are comfortable, have not yet learned the art of putting their trust in God, relying on God’s mercy. They are locked into the schemes of self-perfection that they themselves have crafted. The end of such self-assurance can be only disaster. As Saint Ignatius of Antioch wrote to Polycarp, “The one who boasts has already come to nothing”.

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Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

St Bernard.jpgI consider that the blessing of a fuller sanctification
descended upon her [Mary, the Mother of God], so as not only to sanctify her birth, but also to keep her
life pure from all sin; which gift is believed to have been bestowed upon none
other born of woman. This singular privilege of sanctity, to lead her life
without any sin, entirely benefited the queen of virgins, who should bear the
Destroyer of sin and death, who should obtain the gift of life and
righteousness for all. 

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, 1090-1153, Cistercian, Abbot and Doctor
of the Church

Cistercian nun leaves monastery to visit Pope Benedict, first time in 84 years

Sr Teresita.jpgA Cistercian nun at 103 years, is leaving the monastery for the first time in 84 years to meet Pope Benedict while he’s in Spain for World Youth Day.

Sister Teresa entered the Monasterio de Buenafuente del Sistal on the very day of Benedict’s birth, 16 April 1927. Aside from a distraction of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) that caused the nuns to flee fighting, Sister Teresa has lived her vocation as a cloister nun in that place.
A journalist for El Mundo, Jesús García, authored a book about 10 nuns, of whom Sister Teresa was included, titled, ¿Qué hace una chica como tú en una sitio como éste? (2011; What is a Girl Like You Doing In A Place Like This?)
Sister’s monastery was founded in the 13th century, and for 20 years was the religious superior.

Ratzinger Prize given to 3

WOW! Imagine giving a prize in your own name! Well, if you are the Pope and an eminent theologian, you can (and will). This is cool, as “they” say. Vatican Radio announced today that the Pope has given the prize in theological studies in this thought. While 2 of the 3 are senior in age and wisdom, but don’t be fooled: all of them are top scholars and widely known; the youngest recipient has a lot more juice in him. Abbot Maximillian is the author of a brilliant book on Ratzinger’s theology, Joseph Ratzinger: Life in the Church and Living Theology (Ignatius Press 2007). 

The Rome Reports story is here. The Holy See’s story follows:

Thumbnail image for b16 at the Lateran.jpg

The first three winners of the Ratzinger Prize were
announced on Tuesday in the Vatican Press Office. The prize was established
last year to promote theological studies on the writings of the Pope, and to
reward promising scholars. The prizes will be given out by Pope Benedict on
June 30th.

The Ratzinger Prize is a project of the Joseph
Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation, which was funded by Pope Benedict
with the royalties he has received from his books.

The prizes and the
conferences the foundation sponsors focus on helping the truth, meaning and
beauty of Christianity in relation to today’s culture and society emerge.

Tuesday, the first three winners of the Ratzinger Prize were announced.

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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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