Tag Archives: Cistercian

Of Gods and Men

OF Gods and Men.jpg

Xavier Beauvois’ new film “Of Gods and Men” (Des Hommes et des Dieux) is an intense and moving film of 7 Trappist monks in Algeria who had a coexistence with Muslim neighbors until extremists threatened and killed the monks. The Atlas Martyrs gave their lives in the night of 27-28 March 1996.

John Kiser wrote of the monks in his 2002 The Monks of Tibhirine which I recommend to give you a sense of what’s going on here.

“Of Gods and Men” is being shown on the East coast, now in NYC and next week in New Haven. Here’s the trailor.

Know the monks: Atlas Martyrs Biographies.pdf

Love is eternal hope…

Charity is the only good reason to do anything

The Cistercian
monk, philosopher and theologian Isaac of Stella (1100-1169) was featured in
the Office of Readings today: Charity is the reason why anything should be done
or left undone.

Charity is the only good reason to do anything, but it also
sometimes demands that we not do something we might think we want to do. There
are a lot of fine distinctions one has to make in this area to live spiritually
in common life and ministry. For example:

  • We are called to support one another,
    but not to enable maladaptive behaviors, debilitating addictions, and sins. We
    must bear with the burdens of others, and be willing to wash feet, but we
    should not take responsibility for the feelings of others.
  • We must seek ways to
    invite both individuals and institutions to benefit from our strengths, and
    invite them into the success that derives from them,
    but–again–we should be
    careful not to take interior or exterior responsibility for situations that the
    Holy Spirit
    has not, or not yet, seen fit to put in our care.
  • Sometimes the
    greatest charity–and often the most painful–is not giving someone what he
    thinks he wants
  • We must be good to ourselves, practicing good self-care, but
    that doesn’t mean taking it easy and just ‘being nice’ to ourselves. On the one
    hand, we must not be so hard on ourselves that our whole spiritual life becomes
    a rehearsal of faults and sins, for this is one of the devil’s tricks in making
    us fail to notice God, and on the other we must also be careful not be overly
    forgiving of ourselves so as to effectively give up struggling with certain
    selfishnesses and sins.
  • We must practice the sort of self-charity that
    nourishes our gifts and virtues
    , and is ruthless in the unwillingness to put up
    with sin.
Thanks to my friend Friar Charles for providing grist for the mill.

Fr Mauro-Giuseppe Lepori –new Abbot General of the Cistercian Order, elected

Generalabt Maurus Lepori von Hauterive .jpgThe General Chapter of the Order of Cistercians elected Dom Mauro-Giuseppe Lepori, 52, as their new Abbot General, succeeding Abbot Mauro Estevez. It is reported that Lepori received 109 of 134 votes. His work as abbot general will last for the next 10 years with about 1700 monks and nuns of the Order of Cistercians throughout the world.

Abbot Mauro-Giuseppi, until now has been a monk and the abbot of the Abbey of Hauterive. He entered the abbey in 1984 and was elected abbot on May 16, 1994 when he was 35 years old. The Cistercian of Hauterive is outside of Fribourg, Switzerland. Abbot Mauro earned a licentiate in philosophy and theology from the Catholic University of Fribourg. The new abbot general is a Swiss-Italian born (from Lugano) monk who, before his entrance into the cloister was an active follower of Communion and Liberation (but entrance into the monastery only meant that he didn’t attend all the meetings of CL but he kept up with work of the Movement!).

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http://www.abbaye-hauterive.ch/Abbot Mauro-Giuseppi is the author of Simon, Called Peter: In the Company of a Man in Search of God. The Forward to the book was written by Angelo Cardinal Scola, Patriarch of Venice, a close friend of the late Monsignor Luigi Giussani and who continues to be active in following Communion and Liberation.
A 2003 interview with Abbot Mauro at the CL Rimini Meeting can be read here and a brief article in Traces by the abbot can be read here.
Saints Robert, Alberic, & Stephen, pray for us.
Saint Bernard, pray for us.
Saint Aelred, pray for us.
Saint Alice, pray for us.
Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac, pray for us.
The English Cistercian Martyrs, pray for us.

Cistercians and Dominicans meet in General Chapter

Generalkapitel.jpgPrayers are requested for the members of the General Chapters of the Cistercian monks and the Dominican Friars who begin their meetings today in Rome. In the coming days both Chapters will deal the Order’s business and hold an election for new leadership: the Cistercians will elect a new Father General and the Dominicans a Master General.

You can follow the Cistercians here and here.
You can follow the Dominicans here.

OP gen chap.jpg

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
Saints Robert, Alberic, Stephen and Dominic, pray for us.

Fr André Louf, OCSO RIP

Thumbnail image for Andre Louf.jpgThe Trappist monk and prominent theologian and retreat master, Father André Louf, died on July 12, 2010. Louf was a monk of Mont-des-Cats, in France. He was born in 1929 in Leuven, Belgium; he entered the monastery in 1947 and elected abbot of his monastery in 1963, a ministry he exercised for 34 years. Upon retirement in 1997 he lived as a hermit and served for a while as a chaplain to a group of nun in the south of France.

Famously he was the author of the 2004 meditations of the Way of the Cross at the invitation of Pope John Paul II. If you’ve not read them, get your hands on a copy which are available online.

… The sentiment which, in the end, will prevail for the truly humble person is an unshakeable confidence in God’s mercy of which he has tasted at least a glimmer even in the midst of failure. How then could he doubt any longer? (A. Louf, The Way of Humility)

His obit is here.

May Father André’s memory be eternal!

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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