Tag Archives: St Norbert

St Norbert

O God, Who did make of Blessed Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop, an excellent preacher of the Word, and by his means did enrich Thy Church with new offspring, grant, we beseech Thee, that through his intercession we may put in practice by Thy grace what he taught us, both in word and work.

Awake, O Lord, in Thy Church the Spirit by Whom St. Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop was guided, in order that, filled with the same spirit, we may love what he loved and live as he taught us.

O Lord, grant to us Thy servant’s constancy in Thy faith and service, that, rooted in Divine charity, we may not be conquered by any temptation. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Praised be the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar and the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Praised be Jesus Christ. Amen

St Norbert and the spider

“Sometime later he was wearing himself out by severe fasting and abstinence, pushing himself day and night with vigils and prayer. While he was celebrating Mass as customary in a certain crypt, a spider fell into the already consecrated chalice.[6-2] When the priest saw it he was shocked. Life and death hovered before his eyes. The spider was large. What should the man do whose faith[6-3] was now deeply rooted in the Lord? Lest the sacrifice suffer any loss he chose rather to undergo the danger and consumed whatever was in the chalice.

When the sacrifice was finished he expected to die immediately. While he remained at his place before the altar he commended his awaited end to the Lord in prayer. When he was disturbed by an itching in his nose he scratched it and suddenly he sneezed expelling the whole spider. Once again God did not want the death[6-4] but the faith of his priest who he knew would be useful to him.”

-Life of Norbert B (Vita Norberti B)

Saint Norbert

St Norbert detailBrian Fitzgerald’s 2014 essay, “Teaching by Word and Example: St Norbert of Xanten”(Crisis Magazine online) gives an insightful glimpse into a man we in the USA don’t know too much about but who continues to impact the way we live our common Catholic faith in communio. In some ways, the 11th century Norbert was a new “St Paul.” His contemporary Saint Bernard of Clairvaulx called Norbert “heavenly water pipe” yet no word of this text survives these centuries. Norbert founded a community of canons who followed the Rule of St Augustine which adhered to the idea: “docere verbo et exemplo” (to teach by word and example).

Several things that we ought to clue-in on from Norbert:

1. the centrality of preaching and Liturgy to the apostolic life;
2. the unity of the active and contemplative lives, the “mixed life”
3. Christians are to be “imitators of Christ’s disciples”
4. the Christian faith makes sense only in the communal aspect.

Saint Norbert, pray for us.

Saint Norbert

St Norbert with Eucharist and olive branch

This hymn text by J. Michael Thompson was published before, but it bears repeating again because as a prayer, it names the desires of the heart and puts us in right-relation to the Lord through the life of Saint Norbert.

“I myself shall lead my sheep,
Guarding them from danger;
They shall hear and follow me,
Not go with a stranger.
Into pastures rich and green—
God the Lord has spoken—
I shall bring my Israel,
With my love as token.”

Norbert, father of his flock,
Took to heart this warning,
And in all his works and words
Toiled from night to morning.
Guiding all within his cure,
He took time to nourish
With the love of Christ most fair,
Causing souls to flourish.

Father of the canon’s life,
Bishop of his city,
Prayed before the Eucharist,
Served the poor with pity.
Crowned a sacrificial life
With a death of glory;
Now we join with saints above
To retell his story!

Glory to the Father give,
Source of ev’ry blessing,
Glory to the Son we sing,
Who, our wrongs addressing,
Came to us as one of us!
To the Spirit, praises!
Hear the songs of thankfulness
Each believer raises!

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2010, World Library Publications
76 76 D
ST. KEVIN, AVE VIRGO VIRGINUM

Norbertine sisters bless new monastery

Norbertine SistersThis past summer –so this is old news for some– the Sisters of the Mountain, the Norbertine Canonesses, established the first monastery for women in the USA. The Norbertine vocation is different from being a Dominican, Augustinian or Benedictine.

The new monastery, The Bethlehem Priory of St Joseph, is located in Tehachapi, California. A life of seclusion, separated from the outside world, opens the door to do the Lord’s work of prayer and sacrifice for the salvation of souls.

A seven minute video by a local news station did a very nice profile of the Canonesses giving a glimpse of the Norbertine vocation and the making of a monastery. How often do you hear of this type of news? I recommend it…

A print article on the monastery blessing is covered here.

Why is this important? It’s not. At least it is not important on the secular level. But, on the supernatural level, the new monastery’s creation and blessing is sign of God’s Providence and humanity’s response. On this level, a monastery is a place of healing, spiritual and intellectual growth, it is a place to do spiritual battle. The monastic presence is a sign for all Christians of the building of the Kingdom of God on earth so that we may enjoy God in heaven.

May God grant success to the work of their hands. May the Holy Theotokos, St Joseph and St Norbert protect.

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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