Friday, May 25, 2018

Heaven

"I have given them the glory you gave me... I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them." As Jesus speaks these words to his Father in the 17th chapter of Saint John's Gospel, we are reminded of the beauty and dignity that are ours in him.   

And we hear echoes of the following words of Saint John Chrysostom, "But what do I care about heaven, when I myself have become heaven?" Indeed through baptism into Christ, we have become temples of the most high God in the Spirit.

Photograph of Abbey meadow by Brother Casimir.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Mary's Month

May is Mary's month. She is never far from from our hearts and our prayer.

In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal.

Virgin and Child with Two Angels; Verocchio, c. 1475
Text: Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Outpouring

What is good is “diffusive of itself”, says St. Thomas. God is too good, and therefore too “diffusive” of himself—too exuberant and squandering of his Being—to keep his secret delight to himself. The action of a divine self-outpouring is a central biblical category already at work from the first verses of Genesis: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…. And the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light.’” Each of these verbs—creating, moving and saying—imply a dynamic outward movement on God’s part, beyond the sphere of his own self-sufficient Being and into the void of nothingness, that he may pour himself out into what is not-God. 

Meditation by Father Simeon.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

More

There is always more when it comes to God. God always has more for us- as much as we can bear. In a way, we can say that the Holy Spirit is God’s more- God’s overflowing more for each one of us. So, how much can we bear? How much of God’s love can we bear?

The Spirit guides each one of us in countless and diverse ways. There are absolutely no circumstances in our personal life journeys that exclude the Spirit’s presence. When we sin, the Spirit guides us into repentance. When we are sick, the Spirit guides us into strength and healing. When we face death, the Spirit will guide us into the fullness of life. So, how can we remain open and receptive to the Spirit’s guidance? To my mind there is one essential condition for such openness and receptivity. We need moments in our lives when we can be still, when we can be silent, when we can listen. 

Meditation by Abbot Damian.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Saint Dunstan

When the Abbey was constructed  in the early 1950's numerous reasonably priced antique pieces were acquired to furnish the main rooms, other pieces were donated by generous patrons. Among the latter acquisitions were fragments of stained glass, some rare and important. In the Abbey library, shown above, an oculus window high above the mantle was filled with a fragment of stained glass depicting Saint Dunstan. The glass is probably of the fourteenth century, English and quite rare, since much pre-Reformation glass was destroyed during the Dissolution. 

A very popular early medieval saint, Dunstan (909 –988) was an Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, later appointed Bishop of Manchester and London and subsequently named Archbishop of Canterbury. He is credited with the restoration of monastic life in England and the reformation of the English Church. Dunstan was a highly skilled artist and scribe and served as an important minister of state to several of the English kings. 

As portrayed in our fragment, Saint Dunstan wears the mitre, rings, gloves and white wool pallium of his episcopal office. He carries his archbishop's cross. And the dove of the Holy Spirit perched on the apparel of his amice whispers divine inspiration. Saint Dunstan's feastday is May 19th.



Library photograph by Michel Raguin. Photographs of glass by Virginia Raguin.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Come Holy Spirit


Come, Creator Spirit,
visit the minds of your children,
and fill the hearts you have made,
with heavenly grace.

You are called the Comforter, 
the gift of God most high,
living spring, and fire, love,
and spiritual anointing.
You are sevenfold in your gifts,

the finger of God’s right hand;
you are the Father’s  true promise,
endowing our tongues with speech.Enkindle your light in our senses,
infuse your life in our hearts;
strengthen our bodies’ weakness
by your never failing might. 


Drive far away our foe,
and grant peace without end,
that with you to lead us on,

we may escape all harm.Grant us, through you,
to know the Father, also the Son;
may we ever believe in you,

the Spirit of them both.
Amen.



In preparation for the great Solemnity of Pentecost, we pray our novena to the Holy Spirit. And each evening at Vespers, we chant this ancient Latin hymn. We share a fine translation completed by one of the monks.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Hidden with Him

Be glad, find joy there, gathered together and present to Him who dwells within, since He is so close to you; desire Him there, adore Him there, and do not go off looking for Him elsewhere... There is just one thing: even though He is within you, He is hidden.

Saint John of the Cross