Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Benedictine Monastic Spirituality Examiner. A Benedictine oblate blog

[The Examiner.com logo is a trademark of Clarity Digital Group LLC d/b/a Examiner.com. All Rights reserved]
I am also a new Benedictine Monastic Spirituality Examiner on Examiner.com. I became interested in the Examiner model when Examiner articles kept showing up in my Internet searches on spiritual, church, and other topics.

After I decided to try to become an Examiner, I was impressed by their professional operation. So, I will see how it goes.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Links to oblate resources. A Benedictine oblate blog

The "Links to oblate resources" page has been revised. The page is on the companion web site to this blog. "Links to oblate resources" was reformatted and the content was slightly revised. Both changes should make it easier to locate information.

Instead of one page, there are now two pages so the pages should load faster. Page 4 of "Links to oblate resources" contains a wide range of topics while new page 4.1 contains information about Benedictine books.

Links on both pages have been reorganized to make it easier to scan the information.


Picture is Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire, Wales, 6 October 2005 by PhillipC

Monday, September 7, 2009

Oblate Sunday August. A Benedictine oblate blog

The oblate Sunday in August followed the regular schedule of:

— Mass
— Oblate novice class led by a monk
— Midday Prayer with the monks
— Lunch with the monks
— Oblate class led by the abbot
We start at 10:00 am and finish about 2:00 pm.

In the oblate novice class we are going through the Rule of St. Benedict.

In the August session we read and discussed chapter 5 of the Rule of St. Benedict on obedience and chapter 6 of the Rule on the spirit of silence.

Later in the oblate class I wrote in my notes that wisdom is for the community’s benefit and that lectio divina is for the community’s benefit.

The relation of lectio divina to the theme of silence in chapter 6 of the Rule of St. Benedict and to community benefit is apparent, but wisdom’s link to obedience and hence community benefit took some thought to click in my understanding.

It is easy for the modern mind to link wisdom to personal achievement, I appreciate the Benedictines for helping me to see wisdom’s wider and perhaps older place in a community of God’s servants.



The picture is To Beseech Thee by The Wandering Angel.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Internet-wise nuns. A Benedictine oblate blog

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The Benedictine nuns of Holy Trinity Monastery in East Hendred, Wantage, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom were established in 2004 — an Internet-generation monastery for sure. They have an excellent and constantly expanding Internet presence or should I say Internet cloister.

The Holy Trinity Monastery nuns are cloistered which means the nuns live enclosed or shut away (Latin: clausura) from the world. But their enclosure is a physical one, certainly not a spiritual one. We might even say that their physical separation strengthens their spiritual work for God in the world.

The Internet supports the nuns’ cloistered life while making their works of words, pictures, audios, and videos instantly available to everyone in the world. Cloistered monasteries often have a room with a lattice-work screen or grating separating themselves from the parlor where guests may come to talk with the nuns. Today, that screen is often a computer screen for thousands of visitors to these nuns in England.

Some of my favorite pages on their web site are:
1. FAQs on becoming a nun. Fascinating description of this monastery’s heart and soul.

2. A way to shop online in England that generates income for the nuns

3. Two videos of Bible teaching

4. Trinity Audio Lectures 2009. These three talks were the subject of my previous blog.

5. A pretty Digital Book of poems about Mary. When the book opens adjust its location on the screen with your mouse and then freeze the dimensions by clicking on the Eye-looking icon in the Navigation Bar at the top of the book, then click on DRAG. Otherwise the default view will constantly move about the page.

6. Message Board (Online Interactive Forum) for Benedictine oblates.
I believe that “it is important, too, that people at all levels of the Church use the Internet creatively to meet their responsibilities and help fulfill the Church's mission. Hanging back timidly from fear of technology or for some other reason is not acceptable, in view of the very many positive possibilities of the Internet.” The quote is from the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communications, 2002.

The Holy Trinity Monastery nuns are not hanging back nor are they timid. Way to go nuns!



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