Monastic Wisdom

New Every Morning – Resolutions for 2017

2017-10-01T18:32:20-04:00December 31st, 2016|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , |

This morning I tried to think of the New Years resolutions I might make if I were truly a Benedictine hermit. They would be based in the three duties of Prayer, Study and Work. These three are important because they minister to the three aspects of the human person. Reading (or Study) illuminates and stretches the mind. Prayer [...]

A Transparent Personality

2016-12-30T10:17:41-04:00December 30th, 2016|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , |

Benedictine Nuns Make Final Vows A Benedictine nun writes, The end of Benedictine spirituality is to develop a transparent personality. Dissimulation, half answers, vindictive attitudes, a false presentation of self are all barbs in the soul of the monastic. This is especially important in our commercialized, plastic, artificial society. Everywhere we look we are [...]

Learning Lectio Divina

2016-06-22T10:08:04-04:00June 22nd, 2016|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , , |

Lectio Divina, or Holy Reading, is a wonderful, monastic contribution to spirituality. It combines two aspects of the threefold Benedictine life of Work, Prayer and Reading. When we participate in Lectio Divina we pray and read. We read and pray. The essential idea is that we read the sacred Scriptures not critically or even to gather information, [...]

Lent with Thomas Merton – 1

2016-02-12T08:37:56-04:00February 12th, 2016|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , |

Thomas Merton was a hermit at the Trappist Monastery of Gethesamani in Kentucky. His autobiography The Seven Story  Mountain is one of the best tales of God getting hold of a man and that man's true conversion. Merton's later life was controversial as he was caught up in the turmoil of the 1960s, but his writings are beautiful [...]

St Augustine’s Christmas Sermon

2015-12-24T08:27:41-04:00December 24th, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , , , |

Angel, Reims Cathedral Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man. Awake, you who sleep, rise up from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you. I tell you again: for your sake, God became man. You would have suffered eternal death, had he not been born in time. Never would you have been freed from [...]

My Heart is Fixed – On Stability

2015-12-15T13:35:18-04:00December 15th, 2015|Categories: Suburban Hermit|Tags: , , , |

This post is an excerpt from my book St Benedict and St Therese--The Little Rule and the Little Way The monk’s vow of stability is intimately linked with his vow of obedience. When the monk submits to his superior he fulfils his vow of obedience. When he submits to his particular environment and set of circumstances he [...]

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