Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

A prayer flowing from a place of deep humility and obedience (0)

February 7, 2016 • Category: Br. Mark, Oblate Formation

Yesterday (2/6/16) I had the honor of talking with those who are beginning their journey as ‘Lay Cistercians’ of our order. We talked about the ‘Rule of St. Benedict”, focusing on obedience and humility. I shared some of my own struggles with these topics in living out my own monastic life. There is never an […]

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Benedictine Wisdom»

God cannot be regarded with indifference (Comments Off)

So loving and generous a God cannot simply be regarded with indifference, or be a matter for dispassionate, rational speculation. The Cistercians, therefore, are far readier to speak to God than about God: Now, therefore, Lord, in complete faith I worship you. You who are God, the one Cause of all that is, the Wisdom […]

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Br. Mark»

A prayer flowing from a place of deep humility and obedience (0)

Yesterday (2/6/16) I had the honor of talking with those who are beginning their journey as ‘Lay Cistercians’ of our order. We talked about the ‘Rule of St. Benedict”, focusing on obedience and humility. I shared some of my own struggles with these topics in living out my own monastic life. There is never an […]

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Church Fathers»

What can we learn from St. Jerome? (Comments Off)

What can we learn from St Jerome? It seems to me, this above all; to love the Word of God in Sacred Scripture. St Jerome said: “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ”. It is therefore important that every Christian live in contact and in personal dialogue with the Word of God given to […]

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Church News & Info»

Feast of the Presentation (0)

Today’s Feast, which marks the end of the Christmas season [in the old liturgical calendar], is a feast both of Jesus and of Mary: of Jesus, because He is presented by His Mother in the Temple forty days after His birth, according to the requirements of the law; of Mary, because she submits herself to […]

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Desert Wisdom»

Renouncing the World (Comments Off)

A brother renounced the world and gave his goods to the poor, but he kept back a little for his personal expenses. He went to see Abba Anthony. When he told him this, the old man said to him, ‘If you want to be a monk, go into the village, buy some meat, cover your […]

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Human Rights»

On the Run from the Islamic State, Iraqi Christians Are Trying to Save Their Heritage (0)

VICE News: The international community is struggling to come up with a strategy to defeat the Islamic State (IS) — but on the ground in northern Iraq, a Roman Catholic priest has found his own way to fight the jihadists. Father Gabriel Tooma is not going after them with weapons. He is not involved with any […]

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Instruction»

We Live in the Time of the Two Advents of Christ (Comments Off)

History itself acquired a new meaning, or rather its hidden meaning was revealed, when the Word of God became incarnate and entered into history. Time itself was now an Epiphany of the Creator and of the Redeemer, the “Lord of Ages.” And yet time also acquired a new solemnity, a new urgency, since the Lord […]

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Lectio Divina»

Six Great Mysteries of the Bible (Comments Off)

The Old Testament answers some of the greatest questions of all time—where did we come from? Why do we desire the good yet do evil? Why do our souls yearn for eternity while our bodies yield to death and decay? Yet, the Hebrew Scriptures leave so many other tantalizing questions unanswered. These mysteries have nagged […]

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Liturgy of the Hours»

The “O” Antiphons (Comments Off)

The Roman Church has been singing the “O” Antiphons since at least the eighth century. They are the antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer from December 17-23. They are a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming Christ as […]

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Lives of Saints»

St. Blaise (0)

Little is known about Saint Blaise prior to his mention in a court physician’s medical journal. The physician, Aëtius Amidenus, spoke of Saint Blaise’s aid in treating objects caught in the throat. He was also mentioned in the book of Acts, where he was aided by animals and treated people and beasts alike. Saint Blaise […]

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Living the Rule»

We are made of fire (0)

The inner life is like the weather. Or like the Atlantic Ocean. Weather changes for there are storms, rain, bright lightning and loud thunder and snow and hail. Then there is spring, sunshine, summer, grinding heat and fall and winter. Constant flux seems to be the only steady-state in our inner lives. Sometimes the waves […]

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Marian»

Mary’s Friendship in Monastic Life (Comments Off)

The friendship of Mary is probably most often experienced in monastic life as the presence and action of a unique companion. A friend is one who sticks with you in joy and sorrow, in success and failure. When all others depart, your friend remains. Just so with Mary. She is present at a moment’s notice, […]

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Monastery»

Important: Formal Oblations delayed (0)

Because of a scheduling conflict in the Abbey Church, the Mass and Renewal of Oblations originally scheduled have been cancelled. This is a disappoint for those of you who have been waiting but it simply cannot be avoided. More information will be provided in the next newsletter.

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Oblate Formation»

Vacare Deo: What Will Fill the Spaces We Empty This Lent? (0)

In a few days it’ll be Lent, and I will again hang in the oratory the small plaque with two words: Vacare Deo, to empty oneself for God. It’s a reminder for spiritual cleaning. As it’s midwinter, and I’m already bored with being indoors, I am looking for things to do. This translates to “it’s […]

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Rule»

Have you turned a deaf ear? (Comments Off)

We ought to have the humility to admit we do not know all about ourselves, that we are not experts at running our own lives. We ought to stop taking our conscious plans and decisions with such infinite seriousness. It may well be that we are not the martyrs or the mystics or the apostles […]

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St Benedict»

Passing of St. Benedict (Comments Off)

24. It is not only the bygone ages that had reason to profit from the benefits of this Patriarch; our own age has many important lessons to learn from him. Let those first of all who belong to his numerous family learn – We do not doubt that they do – to follow daily ever […]

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Work of God»

Feast of the Magi (Epiphany 2016) (Comments Off)

Outside of the Jewish faith, three men who sought wisdom all the days of their lives, seeking the light, truth and wisdom, followed the Star over the land facing danger, discomfort and even death.  O Lord, that we may also seek truth and wisdom without rancor towards others and not allowing fear or anxiety to […]

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