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“…the monastic idea of renunciation tends to seem burdensome to us. It implies feelings of deprivation and loss. But he learned to view renunciation instead as non-addiction to our desires, which turned it on its head — rather than the adoption of a new burden, it’s the shedding of an old one.” David Cain
contemporary reflections on the Rule of St Benedict.
Ian Mobsby’s address to the Archbishops Examination Day, Lambeth Palace, 9 Oct 2014
Everyone wants to slow down these days; they just want to do it quickly.
I am not a breadmaker. Though I’ve certainly made my share of bread and other yeasty goods, it’s never been a habit. And let’s be honest, habit is essential to the craft. I am, however, inspired by those who embrace the disciplines of breadmaking as part of their daily practice.
It’s just shy of twenty years ago that my beloved and I showed up to a bookshop in Pasadena (California) to hear the Jesuit Brother Rick Curry speak about his book The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking. The Brother not only spoke of his passions for bread and faith, but created and kneaded a simple dough as he spoke. It was all the more captivating for the fact that he had only one arm.
At the time Curry was running a school in New York for disabled actors who aspired to careers in the theatre. To support the school, he worked…
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Did you know this 20th century martyr studied ascetical theology?
According to his biographer, James Brockman, Romero’s spiritual journey had some of these characteristics:
- love for the Church of Rome, shown by his episcopal motto, “to be of one mind with the Church,” a phrase he took from St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises;
- a tendency to make a very deep examination of conscience;
- an emphasis on sincere piety;
- mortification and penance through his duties;
- providing protection for his chastity;
- spiritual direction (Romero said he “entrusted with great satisfaction the spiritual direction of my life and that of other priests” to priests of Opus Dei);
- “being one with the Church incarnated in this people which stands in need of liberation”;
- eagerness for contemplative prayer and finding God in others;
- fidelity to the will of God;
- self-offering to Jesus Christ.
This week I moved from Canberra, Australia to London, England to spend a year at Meditatio House. Meditatio House is a community house of the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM). It is a contemplative house which has at its heart three times of meditation per day, as well as a living out of the Rule of Saint Benedict. It is contemplative in that its focus is a fostering of the personal and communal experience of God. The Rule of Benedict provides the guide and structure for this. The goal is nothing less than a human transformation (wrought by God) into an ever deepening expression of love, both personal and communal.
Meditatio House is part of a broader outreach of the WCCM called Meditatio. Meditatio is the name given to the WCCM’s attempt to enter into a dialogue with secular consciousness and the broader contemporary world. The premise…
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The Henri Nouwen Story.