Showing posts with label monasticism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label monasticism. Show all posts

Friday, May 18, 2007

Left at Caution Light to Abbey Entrance

Congratulations to my friend Father Seamus Malvey who was solemnly professed yesterday at the Abbey of Gethsemane. Directions to the monastery always include the last direction...either left or right at caution light--depending upon what direction you are coming from...very symbolic. When you leave the Monastery you have to turn left or right at the red light, depending upon where you are going.

What the piece below doesn't mention about the former "Jim" Malvey is that he arrived at the monastery on September 11, 2001.

I know him from the days we were in school together between 1983-1986 before he was ordained a priest for Palm Beach. I ran into him a few years ago when I was messing with the video equipment in the welcome center--neither of us recognized each other at first (time has a way of doing that) but both recognized the other's voice.

From the Palm Beach Post:

When Seamus Malvey takes his final vows as a Trappist monk today, he will be entering a third phase of his religious evolution.

The first phase consisted of 20 years in the Christian Brothers order. Then he became a priest in the Diocese of Palm Beach, serving nearly two decades at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola in Palm Beach Gardens, in other parishes and in several diocesan appointments.

His imagination was captured back in high school when he read The Seven Storey Mountain, the memoir of Thomas Merton, probably the most famous Trappist monk of the 20th century. Merton's combination of mysticism and outspoken political activism galvanized the post-World War II generation of spiritual seekers, many of whom followed him to the Abbey of Gethsemani in the hills of Kentucky.

But it wasn't until after his retirement from the diocese that Malvey finally made it to Gethsemani.

"I had always thought of being a contemplative, so I said, let me just write them and at least be rejected."

The monks at Gethsemani range in age from 30 to 92 and usually do not take postulants as old as Malvey, but the monks of the order voted to accept him.

There is a decidedly egalitarian streak at the abbey, where a priest or a Ph.D. may be assigned to do manual labor and abbots are elected by a community vote.

Still, he was surprised when the abbot transferred him from working in the laundry to running the abbey's busy visitor center and bookstore, where busloads of day-trippers and retreat-goers arrive year-round.

The abbey was established in 1848 by the French Cistercian order. From the beginning the abbey was self-sustaining, even built from bricks made by the monks. They still grow their own vegetables and make their own shoes and other necessities. The monastery does a brisk year-round business in its signature cheeses, bourbon-laced fudge and fruitcakes.

With 2,300 acres to oversee, the order even has its own forester monk.

Besides their daily duties in the kitchens and the fields, the monks chant the Psalms seven times a day, starting at 3 a.m., as they have every day since the abbey was founded.

Long periods of solitude produce interesting results, said Malvey.

"I can't pretend I'm humble and holy," Malvey says. "Eventually, it will break down and finally you become yourself. That's when grace takes over. God calls a person, the real you, not the person you would like to be."

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Into the Great Silence

We began watching this last night (movie totals close to 3 hours)and it would be hard to describe it accurately, but I'll try. I think what this movie does, not with words (because there are hardly any) is to immerse you into the silence of the Carthusians. I think you will get more out of this beautiful movie if you first read the excellent book written about the English Carthusians at Parkminster,An Infinity of Little Hours: Five Young Men and Their Trial of Faith in the Western World's Most Austere Monastic Order. This book will make the movie very intelligible to those who do not understand even the basics about monasticism....on the other hand you might watch the movie and then read the book to answer the questions that will inevitably arise from the experience.
And watching this film is an experience. Joseph who watched the early part of the film with me (which takes place during the winter) said, "there isn't much color" and I replied, "not much talking either." He was intrigued as the monks prayed, "kept vigil--watch" in the middle of the night...waiting for the Lord who will return "like a thief in the night"when we least expect so "keep watch" and wondered "do they ever sleep?" This is truly a film unlike any I've ever seen. I joked with Amy that she was about to see the monk's interviews--the camera focuses on them for a few minutes individually, they say nothing and in saying nothing they speak volumes.
Looking for a short retreat?

I once thought and still think that an encounter with monasticism challenges everything that we think about life and our purpose here in the great exile.

Update: Some have questioned how we have this when it hasn't been released yet, the answer is that we have the one-disc version that was available from the Canadians. However...this two disc version that will be available contains a great additional disc that will have some of the things that I felt I wanted to see and didn't in the actual how they make that liquor they are famous for....

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

St. Andrew: Pope's Audience on a Hot Roman Day

From Asia News Italy:

Today, Benedict XVI drew a picture of the personality of the brother of Simon, Andrew, who was the “first-called”, and therefore he is known as the “Protoclete”. The Pope said: “It is certain that because of the brotherly relationship between Peter and Andrew, the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople feel, in a special way, like sisters.” He continued: “To highlight this relationship, my predecessor Pope Paul VI, in 1964, restored the relics of St Andrew, which until then had been kept in the Vatican Basilica, to the Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop of the city of Patrasso in Greece, where according to tradition, the apostle was crucified.

The Pope did not talk merely about Andrew’s role as evangelizer of the Greek world; he also drew attention to his attitude when faced with the Cross on which he was to die. Tradition has it that Andrew defined the Cross as “blessed” because it was taking him to Jesus: an attitude that invites the faithful “to consider and to welcome” evils that strike us, “our crosses… as part of the cross of Christ”.

After recalling that the Gospels mention Andrew several times, showing him to be an eminent figure among the Twelve, the Pope added: “Very ancient traditions see Andrew not only as the interpreter of some Greeks meeting Jesus, they consider him as the Apostle of the Greeks in the years following Pentecost; they inform us that for the rest of his life, he proclaimed Jesus to the Greek world. Peter from Jerusalem reached Rome through Antioch to exercise his universal mission; Andrew, meanwhile, was the apostle of the Greek world: thus they appear in life and in death as true brothers – a brotherhood that is symbolically expressed in the special ties of the Sees of Rome and Constantinople, truly sister Churches”.

Benedict XVI also recalled the tradition of the death of Andrew at Patrasso, “where he too was submitted to the torment of crucifixion. At that supreme moment, however, like his brother Peter, he asked to be put on a cross different to that of Jesus. In his case, it was a saltire, x-shaped, tilted cross, that would become known as the ‘cross of St Andrew’. This is what the Apostle is said to have uttered on that occasion, according to an ancient narrative (from the early sixth century) entitled the Passion of Andrew: ‘Hail, O Cross that has been sanctified by the body of Christ, and adorned with his limbs as with precious stones! Before the Lord was nailed to you, you inspired fear on earth, but now you inspire heavenly love, and are desired as a blessing. Believers know how much joy you possess, how many gifts you have prepared. Thus I come to you assured and joy-filled, so that you may graciously receive me, the disciple of Him who hung upon you; O most beautiful cross that received majesty and beauty by carrying the body of Christ!... Take me, o cross, release me from my life among men and bring me to the Master so that through you he will receive me, he, who through you has saved me. Hail o Cross, yes hail!’” Evident here, continued Benedict XVI, is a very profound Christian spirituality, which considers the Cross not so much an instrument of torture as an incomparable means of full assimilation with the Redeemer. We must learn a very important lesson from this: our crosses acquire value if they are considered and welcomed as part of the cross of Christ, if they are touched by the reflection of his light. It is only through that Cross that our sufferings too are made noble and acquire their true meaning. The apostle Andrew, then, teaches us to follow Jesus promptly (cfr Mt 4:20; Mk 1:18), to speak to Him enthusiastically when we meet, and especially to cultivate a relationship of genuine familiarity with him, well aware that only in Him, we find the ultimate sense of our life and death.”

Monday, June 12, 2006

Cardinal's Predicted Clarification Arrives (see below)

I regret any confusion my words may have caused because I did not make myself sufficiently clear.”

The Parish of My Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation

To be merged which I thought this had already happened, does this really mean close?

Catholic diocese announces parish changes

From the Manchester Union Leader:

The St. Joseph Parish in Hinsdale will merge with the St. Stanislaus Parish in Winchester. The new parish, which will be known as "Mary, Queen of Peace," will share a pastor with the St. Bernard Parish in Keene.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Did He Challenge Them The Way Jesus Challenged?

Being with sinners and outcasts definitely is what Jesus did, but he brought them a life giving message that changed them forever--that seems to be what's missing here:

Ousted Newton priest cheered at gay pride service

``I told a friend of mine, about a month ago, that I was going to be here today, speaking at the gay pride interfaith service, and she said to me, `What's a Catholic priest doing at a gay pride service?' Cuenin said. ``My response was, `Why wouldn't a Catholic priest be here?' In the tradition of my own Christian faith, it seems to me, as I read it, that Jesus was always with those who were often the target of hatred and persecution."

Trinity Sunday-Pope's Angelus

From Asia News Italy:

This Sunday, dedicated to the most Holy Trinity, Benedict XVI addressed 40,000 people who came to St Peter’s Square to pray the Angelus. He stressed how “thanks to the Holy Spirit, who leads to understanding of the words of Jesus and guides one into all the truth (cfr Jn 14:26; 16:13), believers may know, so to speak, the intimacy of God himself, discovering that He is not infinite solitude but communion of light and love, life given and received in an eternal dialogue between Father and Son in the Holy Spirit – Lover, Loved One, and Love, to echo St Augustine.”

And although men cannot see him now, “the entire universe, for those who have faith, speaks of the One and Triune God. From the stellar systems to the microscopic particles, all that exists goes back to a Being who communicates through a multiplicity and variety of elements, like an immense symphony”, in which “all beings are arranged according to a harmonic dynamism that we can analogically call ‘love’. But it is only in the human being – free and endowed with reason – that this dynamism becomes spiritual; it becomes responsible love as a response to God and neighbour in a sincere giving of self. In this love, the human being finds his truth and happiness. Among the many analogies of the ineffable mystery of the One and Triune God that believers are capable of discerning, I wish to cite the family. This is called to be a community of love and life, in which diversities must come together to form a ‘parable of communion’.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Fr. Benedict on Venerable Solanus Casey

An Interesting Visitor, in the one sentence where Fr. Benedict references recently visiting St. Felix Friary where he once witnessed Solanus in ecstasy--I was with him, in fact drove him there. It was a blessed event as he would stop and recount his experiences of this future saint(I pray) of the Church.

Expect a Clarification from Cardinal McCarrick

McCarrick: Same-Sex Civil Unions Acceptable, But Not Marriage

I think it is the term "union" that should be unacceptable to a Catholic, not the "rights" issues.

New Bishop of Raleigh, New Auxiliary for Philly

The Holy Father has:

Appointed Bishop Michael Francis Burbidge, auxiliary of Philadelphia, U.S.A., as bishop of Raleigh, (area 82,524, population 4,073,983, Catholics 188,101, priests 138, permanent deacons 37, religious 118), U.S.A. He succeeds Bishop Francis Joseph Gossman, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

Appointed Msgr. Daniel E. Thomas of the clergy of the archdiocese of Philadelphia, U.S.A., pastor of the parish of Our Lady of the Assumption, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 5,652, population 3,875,021, Catholics 1,479,895, priests 1,048, permanent deacons 224, religious 3,733). The bishop-elect was born in Philadelphia in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1985.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Jesus Only Changed the Name of One

Simon bar Jonah, from the weekly audience:

Jesus did not usually change the names of his disciples”, in fact, “He never gave a new name to any of his disciples. However he did so with Simon, and that name, translated in Greek as Petros, would crop up several times in the Gospels and would end up by replacing his original name. This fact takes on particular significance when one recalls that in the Old Testament, changing a name was usually a prelude to entrusting one with a mission (cfr Jn 17:5; 32:28ff). In fact, the intention of Christ to attribute special importance to Peter within the Apostolic College emerges in many instances: in Capernaum, the Teacher went to lodge in Peter’s house (Mk 1:29); when the crowd flocked to the banks of the lake of Gennesaret, Jesus chose Peter’s boat from the two moored there (Lk 5:3); when in particular circumstances, Jesus took three disciples to accompany him, only Peter is always recalled as the first of the group: the same happened in the resurrection of the daughter of Jairus (cfr Mk 5:37; Lk 8:51); in the Transfiguration (cfr Mk 9:2; Mt 17:1; Lk 9:28), during the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (cfr Mk 14:33; Mt 16:37). And again: it was Peter who was approached by the tax collectors at the Temple and the Teacher paid for himself and for Peter alone (cfr Mt 17: 24-27); it was Peter whose feet He washed first at the Last Supper (cfr Jn 13:6) and it was only for him that He prayed so that his faith would not fail and that he may in turn strengthen his brothers (cfr Lk 22: 30-31)”.

“Peter himself is, after all, aware of his unique position: it is he who often, in the name also of the rest, speaks out, asking for an explanation for some difficult parable (Mt 15:15) or the exact meaning of a precept (Mt 18:21) or the formal promise of reward (Mt 19:27).”

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Three New Auxilary Bishops for Brooklyn

Monsignor Octavio Cisneros, Monsignor Guy Sansaricq, and Monsignor Frank J. Caggiano.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Pope: Stay Together and Pray if You Want the Holy Spirit

Actually, it is Jesus Christ who said this and the Pope is reminding us today in his homily:

Staying together was the condition imposed by Jesus to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit; a prerequisite of their harmony was prolonged prayer. In this, we can trace a formidable lesson for any Christian community. At times, it is thought that effective missionary work depends mainly on careful planning and consequent intelligent implementation through concrete commitment. Certainly, the Lord asks for our collaboration, but before any answer we may give, his initiative is necessary: it is his Spirit that is the true protagonist of the Church. The roots of our being and our actions lie in the knowing silence and providence of God.

The images that St Luke uses to indicate the descent of the Holy Spirit – wind and fire – recall Sinai, where God revealed himself to the people of Israel and conceded a covenant with them. (cfr Ex 19:3ff). The feast of Sinai, that Israel used to celebrate 50 days after Easter, was the feast of the Pact. Talking about tongues of fire (cfr Acts 2:3), St Luke wants to represent Pentecost as a new Sinai, as a feast of the new Pact in which the Covenant with Israel is extended to all the peoples of the Earth. The Church has been Catholic and missionary right from the time it was born. The universality of salvation is significantly highlighted by the list of numerous ethnicities of those who heard the first proclamation of the Apostles (cfr Acts 2:9-11).

The People of God, who found their first configuration on Sinai, have now been enlarged to the extent that they are no longer bound by any borders of race or culture, of space or time. As opposed to what happened with the tower of Babel (cfr Gen. 11:1-9), when men who wanted to build a path to heaven with their own hands, ended up by destroying their own capacity for mutual understanding, in Pentecost, the Spirit, with the gift of tongues, reveals how his presence unites and transforms confusion into communion. The pride and egotism of man always create division and build walls of indifference, of hate and of violence. The Holy Spirit, on the contrary, makes hearts capable of understanding the languages of all, because it re-establishes the bridge of authentic communion between Earth and Heaven. The Holy Spirit is love.

But how to enter into the mystery of the Holy Spirit, how to understand the secret of Love? The pages of today’s Gospel take us today to the Cenacle where, once the last Supper was over, a sense of confusion saddened the Apostles. The reason was that the words of Jesus had raised worrying questions: He talked about hatred of the world for him and his followers, he talked about his mysterious departure and there were many other things yet to be said, but for the time being, the Apostles were not capable of carrying the burden (cfr Jn:16:32). To tackle them, he explains the meaning of his distance: he will leave, but he will return; in the meantime, he will not abandon them, he will not leave them orphans. He will send the Consoler, the Spirit of the Father, and it will be the Spirit who will lead them to understand that the work of Christ is a labour of love: the love of He who has sacrificed himself, the love of the Father who gave him up.