Blog Post - March 21st
S. Benedict| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
It is unfortunate that no contemporary biography was written of a man who has exercised the greatest influence on monasticism in the West. Benedict is well recognized in the later Dialogues of St. Gregory, but these are sketches to illustrate miraculous elements of his career.
Benedict was born into a distinguished family in central Italy, studied at Rome and early in life was drawn to the monastic life. At first he became a hermit, leaving a depressing world—pagan armies on the march, the Church torn by schism, people suffering from war, morality at a low ebb.
He soon realized that he could not live a hidden life in a small town any better than in a large city, so he withdrew to a cave high in the mountains for three years. Some monks chose him as their leader for a while, but found his strictness not to their taste. Still, the shift from hermit to community life had begun for him. He had an idea of gathering various families of monks into one “Grand Monastery” to give them the benefit of unity, fraternity, permanent worship in one house. Finally he began to build what was to become one of the most famous monasteries in the world—Monte Cassino, commanding three narrow valleys running toward the mountains north of Naples.
The Rule that gradually developed prescribed a life of liturgical prayer, study, manual labor and living together in community under a common father (abbot). Benedictine asceticism is known for its moderation, and Benedictine charity has always shown concern for the people in the surrounding countryside. In the course of the Middle Ages, all monasticism in the West was gradually brought under the Rule of St. Benedict.
Today the Benedictine family is represented by two branches: the Benedictine Federation and the Cistercians.
The Church has been blessed through Benedictine devotion to the liturgy, not only in its actual celebration with rich and proper ceremony in the great abbeys, but also through the scholarly studies of many of its members. Liturgy is sometimes confused with guitars or choirs, Latin or Bach. We should be grateful to those who both preserve and adapt the genuine tradition of worship in the Church.
“Rightly, then, the liturgy is considered as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. In the liturgy the sanctification of man is manifested by signs perceptible to the senses...; in the liturgy full public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and his members.
“From this it follows that every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of his Body the Church, is a sacred action, surpassing all others” (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 7).
Patron Saint of:
On the Right Path:
There are many ways to live one's life. The blessing and curse of being created in the image and likeness of God is that we get to decide for ourselves which path to take on our earthly polgrimage.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
S. Jerome was quite right when he compares vainglory to one's shadow...our shadow follows us everywhere and even marks our steps.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook One: 11-111
This first notebook of Saint Faustina begins her private revelations given from the Heart of Jesus to her. She writes in a beautiful and simple way. Though, as mentioned in the introduction to this book, her actual words are not quoted in these reflections that follow, the messages that she received and articulated are presented.
In truth, her messages are those contained in Sacred Scripture and in the Tradition of our Church. And if you were to read through the lives and teachings of the saints, you would find the same revelations. God has always spoken to us throughout the ages. He speaks the one Message of Truth, and He reveals that Message in love. The revelations to Saint Faustina are one new way that God continues to speak and reveal Himself to us, His sons and daughters.
The reflections in this first chapter, based on the first notebook, are intentionally short and focused. They are a way for you, the reader, to slowly and carefully listen to the Heart of God spoken to this great saint. Read these reflections slowly and prayerfully. Ponder them throughout the day and allow the Lord to speak to You the message He wants to give.
Reflection 80: At the Hour of Our Death
If you have prayed the “Hail Mary” prayer, then you have prayed for your last hour in this world: “Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.” Death is frightening to many people, and the hour of our death is not usually something we want to think about. But the “hour of our death” is a moment we should all look forward to with the utmost joy and anticipation. And we will look forward to it only if we are at peace with God, within our soul. If we have regularly confessed our sins and sought the presence of God throughout life, then our last hour will be one of great comfort and joy, even if it is mixed with suffering and pain (See Diary #321).
Think about that hour. If God were to give you the grace to prepare for that hour many months in advance, how would you prepare? What would you do differently so as to be ready for your final passing? Whatever comes to mind is most likely that which you should do today. Do not wait until the time is near to prepare your heart for your passing from death to new life. See that “hour” as an hour of the greatest grace. Pray for it, anticipate it and be watchful for the abundance of Mercy God wishes to bestow upon you, one day, at the glorious conclusion of your earthly life.
Lord, help me to be rid of all fear of death. Help me to continually remember that this world is but a preparation for the next. Help me to keep my eyes on that moment and to always anticipate the abundance of Mercy You will bestow. Mother Mary, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You.