Tag Archives: St Augustine

Fraternal love and correction essential, Pope reminds

Christ washing the feet Tintoretto.jpgOne 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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Saint Augustine of Hippo

St Augustine caravaggio.jpgChrist humbled himself, you have something, Christian,
to latch onto. Christ became obedient. Why do you behave proudly? 


When you read what the Pope has to say about Saint Augustine, you can tell that he really loves and knows Saint Augustine…as we all ought. He’s given us a lot to think about using Augustine’s thinking. Here’s the 2008 discourse of the Pope on the saintly Bishop of Hippo.

Given what is said above, pay close attention to the second half of the Pope’s talk.

World Youth Day participants to consecrate themselves to the Sacred Heart

As Catholic grammar school student I was introduced to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by the Nazareth sisters. Everyday we said a prayer to the Sacred Heart and we did the Litany to the Sacred Heart yearly in church. To me it was normal; the image of the heart outside the body was at first weird but in became indicative. Over time I realized that others had no idea of God’s unconditional love. My devotion to the Sacred Heart grew as time went on; my religious practice was helped by reading a bit of history and my friend Dom Ambrose who wrote his license thesis on St Gertrude’s teaching of the Sacred Heart.  Also, that first Friday devotion of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, like many, would relish in observing the First Friday with Mass, and hopefully confession if I could find a priest. The organizers of the World Youth Day captured part of Spanish religious and civil history by making a connection with proposing an Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to all the participants. What a great idea!!! This is a yet another concrete way to be “planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith.” What follows is merely an interesting paragraph from the catechesis prepared for the WYD; you can read the preparatory Catechesis here. Today, and certainly during the WYD, make an offering of yourself to your Lord and Savior.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, King.jpgThis search of man’s heart ends when one discovers God’s Heart. On this topic, St. Augustine says: “You made us for yourself, Oh God, and our heart is restless until it rests in you”. The concern to which St. Augustine refers is the difficulty we all have in attaining true Love as a consequence of our condition of creatures; we are finite; moreover, we are sinners. Over and over again we run into the difficulty of our selfishness, the chaos of our passions, that throws away this true Love. Man’s heart “needs” a heart at his same level, a heart that can enter into his history, and, on the other hand, an “all-powerful” heart that can take him out of his limitations and sins. We can say that In Jesus Christ, God has met mankind and has loved us with a “human heart”. In the encounter of man’s heart with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the mystery of salvation becomes real. “In fact, from the infinite horizon of his love, God wished to enter into the limits of human history and the human condition. He took on a body and a heart. Thus, we can contemplate and encounter the infinite in the finite, the invisible and ineffable Mystery in the human Heart of Jesus, the Nazarene” (Benedict XVI, Angelus, 1/VI/2008)

Christ crucified transforms the old man, a new creation: is our gaze on Him?

The Church is silent. The Lord is dead; His mother and the Beloved disciple have buried the Lord. We carry on in sorrow, our hearts are quiet and searching for the one who made the promise that things would be different if we believed in Him. Holy Saturday is a distinct day in the Church. Good Friday totally transforms us from something old to something new, this is a time of patient awareness that it is not business as usual. If it is, if we can’t see that our real lives are not the same, then we need to beg the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Mother to show the reasons why life is different now with Jesus crucified and in the tomb. 

Pope Benedict’s meditation at the Colosseum lst evening gives us focus:

Via Crucis Colosseum April 22 2011.jpg

This evening, in faith, we have accompanied Jesus as he takes the final steps of his earthly journey, the most painful steps, the steps that lead to Calvary. We have heard the cries of the crowd, the words of condemnation, the insults of the soldiers, the lamentation of the Virgin Mary and of the women. Now we are immersed in the silence of this night, in the silence of the cross, the silence of death. It is a silence pregnant with the burden of pain borne by a man rejected, oppressed, downtrodden, the burden of sin which mars his face, the burden of evil. Tonight we have re-lived, deep within our hearts, the drama of Jesus, weighed down by pain, by evil, by human sin.

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Life Around the Collar … on the Canons Regular of St Augustine of Klosterneuburg

This is a must see video on the life of the Canons of Klosterneuburg, some of whom are moving to the Rockville Centre in the Spring 2011. The producer of the video, Jason Fudge, did a terrific job in making “Life Around the Collar.”

Americans of Klosterneuburg.jpg

The Canons Regular of St. Augustine of the Klosterneuburg is one of the oldest
Latin Rite orders. The canons live together in community and take three vows of
chastity, poverty and obedience. Because of this, many times they are confused
with monks who live a cloistered, contemplative life. However, the canonical
life is clerical and engages in public ministry of liturgy and sacraments for those
who visit their churches.

As one of Austria’s oldest and most historically
important orders, the order has been traditionally Austrian. However in the
last 20 years, people outside of Austria have decided to take the solemn vow to
become a canon at the monastery.

For almost 900 years a monastery in Austria
has been devoted to preserving a religious life, culture and science. The
origin dates back to Margrave Leopold III when he founded the monastery in
1114. In 1133, the Canons Regular of St. Augustine were summoned to develop the
monastery. Alongside the canons’ devotion to religion, they also viewed it
their duty to preserve culture and art. Since its foundation, the monastery has
grown to be one of the wealthiest monasteries and owns the largest private
scholarly library in the country.

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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