Thursday, November 13, 2008

What I did this week. A Benedictine oblate blog

I was inspired by all the oblate, monastic, and spiritual blogs I read this week. All the blogs I link to were particularly meaningful to me this week. Each one described some aspect of God’s love, mercy, grace or my relation to it and a path to a more spiritual life. I found myself saying, “oh yes, now I see that more clearly than I did before.”

I have also remembered the saints this week, with a focus on the Benedictine saints. I have thought about saints, read about them, watched EWTN shows(1) on saints, and prayed the divine offices about saints this week — all those activities were particularly meaningful to me this week.

Lastly, I watched several EWTN TV shows (I had recorded previously) on Catholics in Russia and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church under the Soviets.

These TV shows gave me just a glimpse at how many people have suffered and died for their faith in the recent past.

The movement of the Church from decades of underground existence to more public expressions and the rebuilding of Catholic churches and institutions such as seminaries is one of the major Church events happening in the world today. It is a big deal.

To help document the time when the Church in Ukraine was underground, about 100,000 pages of interviews have been taken so that this chapter in history will not be lost.

Being underground meant that nothing was written, no pictures were taken, everything was secret, no buildings were built, no media campaigns were conducted, no one blogged about being a Catholic, no conferences were held, because to do so meant imprisonment or death.

All worked far more than me, they faced suffering that I cannot imagine, but they never turned their backs on Truth or God’s love.

Doesn’t everything happen in or in relation to the United States? To me, as I live in the United States, I was wrong to think that those courageous Christians in Russia and the Ukraine were somehow disconnected from the life of the Church, instead I think that it was through their hands that the Church was brought to the third millennium. It was their hands on the line, not mine.



(1) “Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) is now “the largest religious media network in the world, transmitting programming 24 hours a day to more than 148 million homes in 140 countries and territories on more than 4,800 cable systems, wireless cable, Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS), low power TV and individual satellite users.”

EWTN's web site, has extensive written materials on Catholic topics. EWTN's reference materials are some of the best on the Internet.


  1. I don't think that we in America realize the freedoms we have to express our belief's. Today, as we are speaking people are suffering for their religious belief's.
    It is important that we remain in prayer so that we may be strong in the face of adversity if it should per chance come our way.
    Jesus Lives!

  2. Carol, thank you.

    I have been spending a lot of time studying the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) in the 20th century. Wow, the things I do not know about .....and the great gift of my religious freedom is another.

    For about half of the 20th century, the UGCC was the largest outlawed church in the world.

  3. John, I am here wishing you a peaceful Thanksgiving. There are many lonely people today. I am holding them in prayer.
    People may even be lonely amid a crowd of family members. May Our Lord Jesus and The Blessed Family comfort those who may feel they are alone.
    My five children are all doing their separate thing today. May God Bless them too.

  4. Anonymous,

    I did have a peaceful Thanksgiving. We had six family members over to our house for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. My wife had decorated the house for Christmas so we were all set when they arrived — I think that helped put everyone into a festive mood.

    The other eight family members who often come to our house for Thanksgiving were away or working or rotating to other family — so we missed them a lot.

    I too think about those who are alone and pray they are not lonely and sad.

    Thank you for the good wishes.

  5. Here is to Christ the King! I enjoyed my Christmas Eve immensely. I was with all five of my children and seven of my grandchildren. We ate and enjoyed each others company. Thank you Jesus. I remember too, that some have not been with family and I pray for peace and contentment for them. May the Holy Spirit encamp around them.

  6. Thank you Carol for the comment. You had a full house of joy this Christmas.