On August 15 we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patroness of the Cistercian Order. Br. William presents a look at the life of Our Dear Lady: “Mary refers to herself as the Handmaid of the Lord. The term Handmaid comes from two Hebrew words (shiphchah and ‘amah) both meaning a female slave.
The Blessed Virgin used this term as a sign of humility and respectfulness in the presence of great men, prophets and kings. In that instance of the Annunciation from the angel Gabriel because he was a messenger of God.
Father Paul Mark comments on God's Harvest Bounty: "August inaugurates harvest season for us monks. We have been harvesting fresh fruit and produce for house use all summer, but August brings with it the grape harvest and ensuing crush, with a special harvest schedule, since all monk hands available need to be out in the vineyard picking grapes by 7:00 each morning. As the grape harvest is underway our prunes ripen and by the third week of August the harvesters arrive and begin their work shaking every individual tree. And finally, when September arrives, our walnuts are ready. Since t
Br. Peter Damian shares on God's Love and Christ as Our Mediator as taught by Blessed William of St. Thierry, a 12th Century Cistercian abbot:
William begins his treatise by speaking of the art of love and claims that the teaching of this art belongs exclusively to God. Love, as William puts it, is a power that carries the soul along by a natural tendency, as God created it to do, towards its end. For William, love is the motivation, the dynamic driving the soul to the God who is love.
Friends, a short post to share-
Heaven can be defined in only two letters: "us"
Hell can also be defined in only two letters: "me"
Reflect on this, then guide your life by it.
Br. Christopher and your brothers of New Clairvaux
FACEBOOK FRIDAY- A little lesson from life in the monastery- At a Saturday morning Mass some years ago, the brother assigned to read the Scripture passages forgot to recite the Responsorial Psalm after the first reading and promptly sat back down at his place in choir. Adjusting to the situation, the lead cantor speedily decided to step in and so got up to sing the Responsorial Psalm instead, but his fellow cantor whispered he was not familiar with the psalm melody. He had only been a cantor for a few months. The lead cantor said not to worry.
Br. Christopher responds to the question, Why do cloistered monks vow to live out their whole lives within the monastery and not to leave?: “To paraphrase St.
Brother Christopher speaks on the Two Hearts: “Unquestionably, one of the most frequently recited prayers in the Catholic world is the ‘Hail Mary’. When we recite it though there is one phrase that tends to be overlooked that I would like to highlight here. It is “The Lord is with you”. What does this mean? More, I think, than simply, “the Lord is next to you”, or “the Lord accompanies you”. I think there is a tremendously deep significance behind these words addressed to Our Lady. I think these are immensely hopeful words both for her and for us. I would invite our friends to ponder
Fr. Thomas speaks on how we can experience the Trinity in our daily life: “In John’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, will speak what he hears and declare it to us. ‘Everything that the Father has is mine; for that reason, I told you that the Holy Spirit will take from what is mine and declare it to you.’ (Jn. 16:15)
Fr. Paul Mark on the coming summer celebrations: "The liturgical season of Easter concluded with the solemnity of Pentecost, AKA the nativity of the church. The day after Pentecost we celebrate Mary, Mother of the Church which inaugurates the return to Ordinary Time that began after the Baptism of the Lord but interrupted by the Lenten and Paschal seasons. Numerous solemnities, the Church’s major liturgical celebrations, follow in succession in the month of June: Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi Sunday, the Sacred Heart, the Nativity of St.
Fr. Placid talks to us about a singular monk: “In Saint Bernard of Clairvaux's Steps of Humility and the Degrees of Pride, the fifth degree of Pride is called ‘singularity’. It is the opposite of the eighth step of Humility: "a monk does only what is endorsed by the common rule of the monastery and the example set by his superiors." (RB 7:45). He is presenting singularity as the opposite of this step.