Solesmes Abbey

2015-12-15T08:07:55-04:00December 15th, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , |

Solesmes Abbey, France Because of revolution, the Benedictine life in France had nearly died out. Dom Prosper Gueranger restored the life at Solesmes. The abbey was suppressed four times by the French government, but the community survived. In the early twentieth century the monks were forced into exile in England and established Quarr Abbey [...]

Ely Cathedral, England

2015-12-01T22:18:25-04:00December 1st, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , , |

The central panels of Ely Cathedral's Nave ceiling Ely Cathedral was originally the Abbey Church of the Great Benedictine monastery founded by St Etheldreda in 672AD. The present building dates back to 1083, and cathedral status was granted it in 1109. Until the Revolution of Henry VIII it was the Church of St Etheldreda and St Peter. [...]

L’Abbaye St Benoit sur Loire

2015-12-01T19:57:10-04:00December 1st, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , , |

Abbey Church St Benoit sur Loire  (click to enlarge picture) In the heart of France beside the River Loire stands the historic abbey of Fleury, also known as St Benoit sur Loire. I visited here for a few days during my 1987 hitch hiking pilgrimage from England to Jerusalem. The great Romanesque church houses [...]

Luke Skywalker, Skellig Michael and Star Wars

2015-12-01T12:56:44-04:00December 1st, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , |

Skellig Michael The ancient Irish hermitages of Skellig Michael were used as a location for filming the new Star Wars movie. Skellig Michael (Irish: Sceilig Mhichíl), or Great Skellig (Irish: Sceilig Mhór) is the larger of the two Skellig Islands located 11.6 km west of the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland.[2] A Christian monastery was founded on the island at some point between the 6th and 8th [...]

The Carthusians

2015-11-25T14:03:44-04:00November 25th, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , |

They say the Carthusian Order of monks is the only one that has never had to be reformed. The Carthusian Order, also called the Order of Saint Bruno, is a Catholic religious order of enclosed monastics. The order was founded by Saint Bruno of Cologne in 1084 and includes both monks and nuns. The order has its own Rule, called the Statutes, rather than the Rule of Saint Benedict, [...]

Julian of Norwich

2015-11-20T17:50:31-04:00November 20th, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , , , , |

I was introduced to one of the great treasures of English medieval spirituality (sadly neglected by most Catholics) the Revelations of Divine Love by the anchoress and mystic Julian of Norwich when I took a course in the fourteenth century mystics at Blackfriars in Oxford. Fr Simon Tugwell OP was the brilliantly witty and erudite lecturer. The Lady Juliana was born about [...]

The Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan

2015-11-11T10:20:26-04:00November 11th, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , , , |

Idleness is the enemy of the soul, and so monks should be occupied at some times with manual labor, and at certain times with holy reading. — Rule of St Benedict I've written here on the importance of reading and study for the spiritual life. As a consequence, a few readers have asked me [...]

Morning at Fountains

2015-11-07T06:55:40-04:00November 7th, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , , |

  Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire, England After a dispute and riot in 1132 at the Benedictine house of St Mary's Abbey, in York, 13 monks were expelled (among them Saint Robert of Newminster) and, after unsuccessfully attempting to return to the early 6th-century Rule of St Benedict, were taken into the protection of Thurstan, Archbishop of York.[3] He provided them with land in the [...]

The Catholic Roots of England

2015-11-05T12:43:30-04:00November 5th, 2015|Categories: Anglican Matters, Catholic Culture|Tags: , , |

Pope St Gregory the Great - Apostle for England I was watching the service of Evensong from Westminster Abbey the other night that took place during Benedict XVI's visit to England. It was all very splendid and you could tell Benedict was impressed with the Anglican music and ceremonial. His speech emphasized, however, the [...]

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