Archive for July, 2015

Sunday, July 12 Readings

God sent his Son to teach us how to be holy, lavishing his grace on us and sealing us with the Holy Spirit. Eph 1:4-13

July 5 Sunday Readings

In difficult times, grace and power await only our prayer. 2 Cor 12:9-10

Finding Sanctuary

Finding Sanctuary by Abbot Christopher Jamison was written in response to the BBC television series in which five men spent forty days at Worth Monastery. Abbot Christopher addresses this book to anyone who would like to find sanctuary in his or her daily life. He walks us through the following steps: Wanting to Live a Good Life, Silence, Prayer, Obedience (and Humility), Commitment to the Community. Abbot Jamison’s final step for someone who wishes to find sanctuary is to participate in a religion: “A key task is for people to engage thoughtfully with their religious tradition and, from that base, to work with other religions to build peace.”

Seasons of Grace

Seasons of Grace: Wisdom from the Cloister by Mother Gail Fitzpatrick, OCSO, Abbess of Mississippi Abbey
This book is a series of “chapter talks” that Mother Gail gave to her community on Sundays and feast days throughout the year. She saw these talks as a way in which to encourage her community. My favorite talk is “Made for Love.” In this talk, Mother Gail says, “Saint Bernard labored to show that the inequality between the love of the creature and that of the Creator does not make any difference. Where love is concerned, there is no measuring. ‘For, although, being a creature, he or she loves less, because he or she is less; nevertheless, if he or she loves with his or her whole self, nothing is wanting where all is given.’ Again he wrote, ‘Love is the only one of all the movements, feelings and affections of the soul in which the creature is able to respond to its Creator, to repay like with like.’ We need from time to time to stretch beyond our little selves–or at least be open to being stretched–and realize that God is calling us to an actual union in love. This union is real, and it is for all of us–not just for the so-called saints. We need to be aware of our potential for this union. We need to be so grateful for it that we let our love pour out to others. This is the way love returns to its source.”

Strangers to the City

Strangers to the City: Reflections on the Beliefs and Values of the Rule of Saint Benedict by Michael Casey, OCSO, Cistercian monk of Terrawarra Abbey
This book is an insightful discussion of living according to the Rule of Saint Benedict. Michael Casey’s chapter on Christ includes a section on The Qualities of Love for Christ. In the section on “Personal love for Jesus goes hand in hand with the actualization of our deeper self,” he says, “When Jesus begins to emerge from the pages of the Gospel as a real person who engages us, then something begins to stir in our hearts that leads us in directions previously unconsidered. In the presence of Jesus the deeper, inner self comes to the surface and has a chance to refashion our lives.” This book takes on a path of what the refashioning might look like once we commit ourselves to seeking only God.