Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Solemnity of All Saints - Pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory from November 1 to the 8th.

November: Month of the Holy Souls

Pope's Intention
  • Ministers of the Gospel. That bishops, priests, and all ministers of the Gospel may bear the courageous witness of fidelity to the crucified and risen Lord.
  • Pilgrim Church. That the pilgrim Church on earth may shine as a light to the nations.

Ordinary Time: November 1st

Solemnity of All Saints 

It so happens that the Saints featured on the Gregory Palamas' Night Office  Readings 

TUESDAY 30 October 2012 Year II
First Reading Wisdom 3:1-19
                                                                 Responsory           Wis 3:6.7.9
The Lord tested his chosen ones like gold tested by fire; he has received them as a sacrificial offering; at the time of his visitation men shall see, + for grace and mercy shall be given to his chosen ones.
V. Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall live with him in love. + For grace and ...

Second Reading
From a homily by Gregory Palamas (Hom. 25: PG 151,322-323)

To all his people God will give power and strength
God is truly wonderful in his saints. And so when the psalmist prophesies: God is wonderful in his saints, he adds: he will give power and strength to his people. Think over in your minds the meaning of the prophetic words: to all his people God will give power and strength, for God is no respecter of persons, but it is only in his saints that he is seen in wonder.
From heaven God showers upon all his abundant help; he is a fount of salvation and light which flows eternally with mercy and goodness. But not everyone can profit by his grace and power in the exercise and perfection of virtue or even in the display of miracles; it is only those who have made the good choice and whose actions show their faith and love of God. They have finally turned aside from their evil ways, and clinging securely to God's commandments they keep their mental vision fixed on Christ the sun of righteousness. Not only does Christ stretch out from heaven an unseen hand of help to those engaged in the struggle, but still today we can hear his voice exhorting us in the words of the gospel:
Those who acknowledge me before the world I shall acknowledge before my Father in heaven. And so you see how we cannot openly profess our faith in Christ without his powerful help. Nor will our Lord Jesus Christ speak out for us in the world to come, and unite and reconcile us with his heavenly Father, unless we ourselves give him the chance to do so.
For all the saints, as servants of God, have openly professed their faith during this life on earth and in the presence of their fellow mortals, and what is more for just a short moment in this age of time and before only a small number of people. But our Lord Jesus Christ, as God and Lord of heaven and earth, will speak out for us in the eternal life of the world to come in the presence of God the Father, surrounded by angels and archangels and all the heavenly powers, and with the whole human race present from Adam to the end of the world. For all will rise and stand at the judgment-seat of Christ. And at that time, in the presence and sight of all, he will praise and glorify and give the crown of victory to those who have shown their faith in him to the end.
Responsory                                      In 8:12; Rom 13:12
I am the light of the world. + Anyone who follows me will not walk
in darkness, but will have the light of life.

V. Let us cast off the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. +Anyone who ... 

COMMENT: Heart of the World, Hans Urs von Balthasar

Cambridge Companion to
Hans Urs von Balthasar

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Donald
To: William J W . . .
Sent: Tuesday, 30 October 2012, 21:47

Subject: Fw: [Blog] HE AND i, Gabrielle B.- "Exchange of Hearts", 1940 (GB found)

Monday, 17 September 2012

HE AND i, GB. 1940 November 4 Nantes Recreation time

Dear William,
Many thanks.
This is so true  an animated conversation. in this very special revolving over and over a paragraph.

Your very reminding opens up on going light. 

Likewise, my most recent previous 'blog' is even less than the countless turning over in mind, heart, and love.

Von Balthaser, e.g., is brilliant, enlightening and speaks in his voice, and entirely different is the communion of  Gabrielle, the contrast of  the theologian's script and the simplicity of HIM.

Any diagnosis of the gifts of the Spirit leaves adrift adrift in the theological logics on the waves.
Cambridge Companion Article 
*12 The theo-logic
Aidan Nichols
When Hans Urs von Balthasar set out in 1947 to write what wouldlater become in 1985 the first volume of the Theologik, he was already convinced that Jesus Christ was the heart of the world. Historically, the Jesuit order (Society of Jesus), to which he belonged at the time, had often been
linked with devotion to Jesus’ Sacred Heart. But long before the Second Vatican Council this devotion had come under attack for its lachrymose sentimentality. So in Heart of the World (first published in German in 1945), Balthasar had tried to give more tough-minded consideration than was usual to that spiritual theme. Moreover, he realized that one could not flesh out the claim that Jesus Christ was the midpoint of being without a thoroughgoing investigation into the relations of christology with ontology, the study of being, the exploration of reality in its fundamental pith, shape, direction. 

The MAGNIFICAT quote from Hans Urs von Balthasar in Heart of the World,(Ignatius Press, 1979) seems indicate a language more to the heart, different from, Theo-Logic.... Volume I: The Truth of the World• Volume IITruth of God • Volume III: The Spirit of the Truth. Theo-Drama ....

Happy surfing the soars of heights. 
In Dno.
---- Forwarded Message -----
From: William W. . .
Sent: Tuesday, 30 October 2012, 18:59
Subject: Re: [Blog] HE AND i, Gabrielle B.- "Exchange of Hearts", 1940

Dear Father Donald,
I am caught up with delight at your extract, and reading on I am celebrating in the paragraph over the page from your extract (Nov 4th 1940). There is described the 'exchange' that goes right to the 'heart' of her relationship with Our Lord:
"You know how much more intensely one loves when one feels loved. It's like an animated conversation. Only in this one there is no need of any words. We love; that's all. And I am so much yours that you don't even feel that I come down or that you rise up, but it seems quite simple to you that we talk to each other on the same level, share as equals, even exchange our two hearts, since for Bridegroom and bride everything is in common, and although you give yourself utterly, you keep your personality and only enhance it the more".
Truly her's is a living relationship, an exquisite exchange!
With my love in Our Lord,

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

COMMENT: Richard North, LINK

Thanks for the Blogspot, Christina, and other news.
Richard North, other chapters too - all in the Link.
In Dno.

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Christina . . . ,.
To: Fr Donald  . . .
Sent: Tuesday, 30 October 2012, 5:55
Subject: Re: [Dom Donald's Blog]
 Fools for God Online - Two Nunraw Chapters on the Cistercians, I c1, V c.8

Dearest Don,
I greatly enjoyed your blog on early Nunraw history..Fools for God. 
It sure brought back many happy memories of our beloved Nunraw. 
You obviously impressed the writer and I can well understand why..
Are the other chapters coming later?
Hope you are both fighting fit and my loving wishes to Mark and all the community.
Lots of love and prayer.


The Picture: 
                      Compline is one of the most lovely offices, thanking God for the day.  
I was paying some attention to it, but mostly allowed the prettiness of the music, 
and the thin, scratchy, weak singing of one of the monks 
whose job it was to sing the solo bits, to wash over me.  
I wanted to try to pin some of the faces in the choir stalls more firmly in my mind.
I can still hear the melodies, and still find singular resonance 
in the words sung each night: 
Keep us, Lord, as the apple of your eye; 
Hide us in the shelter of your wings.
by Richard North   
Published by Collins, 1987

COMMENT: Von Balthaser 'soaring up'. Gabrielle 'upsoaring'

Loch Tummel, Killiecrankie

MAGNIFICANT Tues 30th October 2012. Luke 13:18
The Mustard Seed
Whoever lives in me, whoever is taken up into me, is taken up in resurrection. I am the transformation
As bread and wine are transformed, so the world is transformed into me. The grain of mustard is tiny, and yet its inner might does not rest until it overshadows all the world's plants
Neither does my Resurrection rest until the grave of the last soul has burst, and my powers have reached even to the furthest-branch of creation. 
You see death; you feel the descent to the end. 
But death is itself a life, perhaps the most living life; it is the darkening depth of my life, and the end is itself the beginning, and the descent is itself the soaring up ... Every horror became for my love a garment in which to conceal itself, a wall through which to walk.

Cardinal von Balthasar (+ 1988) was an eminent Swiss Catholic theologian and co-founder of a religious community. His extensive writings were an important influence on Blessed John Paul II. From ‘Heart of the World’ 1979.

HE AND i, Gabrielle B., 1940

The diary from Gabrielle's "HE ANDi", at the end of October, strikes chords with the Capitulum and Responses of Terce.
End  of October 1940
October -  After Communion. Notre Dame. Nantes.
 "You remember when I called you in C. 's little chapel, 
how you wished that there were a chapel in every house.
You didn't know then that I was in you, that there 
was no sanctuary more secret than that of your heart.
You do not even need to open a door, just a look, 
a longing, and you are at My feet.
There I will tell you, 'Climb higher. Rest on My heart, 
My friend, My chosen one,
and breathe the air of the mountain peaks 
to take strength for a new up soaring,
My frail little child'. "

Monday, 29 October 2012

Fools for God Online - Two Nunraw Chapters on the Cistercians, I c1, V c.8

                      Compline is one of the most lovely offices, thanking God for the day.  
I was paying some attention to it, but mostly allowed the prettiness of the music, 
and the thin, scratchy, weak singing of one of the monks 
whose job it was to sing the solo bits, to wash over me.  
I wanted to try to pin some of the faces in the choir stalls more firmly in my mind.
I can still hear the melodies, and still find singular resonance 
in the words sung each night: 
Keep us, Lord, as the apple of your eye; 
Hide us in the shelter of your wings.
by Richard North   
Published by Collins, 1987  

Part I
Zones of Silence 
In a civilization which is more and more mobile, noisy and talkative, zones of silence and of rest become vitally necessary.  Monasteries - in their original format - have more than ever, therefore, a vocation to remain places of peace and inwardness.  Don't let pressures, either internal or external, affect your traditions and your means of recuperation.  Rather, make yourself educate your guests and retreatants to the virtue of silence.  You will know that I had occasion to remind the participants in the plenary session of the Congregation of Religious, on 7 March last, of the rigorous observance of monastic enclosure.  I remembered the very strong words on this subject of my predecessor Paul VI:
'Enclosure does not isolate contemplative souls from communion of the mystical Body.  More than that, it puts them at the very heart of the Church.'
Love your separation from the world, which is totally comparable to the biblical desert.  Paradoxically, this longing is not for emptiness.  It is there that the Lord speaks to your heart and associates himself closely with his work of salvation.
John Paul II, 1980

Chapter I, pp. 13-20
The Cardinal's Room

The Cardinal's room was light, airy and bare.  There was a wash basin, hospital-style armchair in tubular steel, wooden office armchair, a large table, a public school sort of bed, an incongruous great cupboard, of a seaside boarding house type, a crucifix over the bed with an unmemorable Christ, plastic curtains which rustled at every motion of the wind, swing windows.
A timetable was on the table, as though the landlady of a hotel were advising her guests to be prompt to high tea.  Luckily, I had no idea then that I had been put anywhere quite so grand as the smartest set of rooms in the place, or I might have left there and then.
            The view from the window, in the south side of the modern Nunraw Abbey, looked out to gently sloping hills: conifers, grazing land and ripening corn.  Beyond, the Lammermuirs high moorlands, reservoirs, and winding narrow roads.  It was a stunning evening.  A butterfly wandered in, fluttered around hazardously and found its way out again.
This is a Cistercian monastery, home to thirty- plus Trappist monks - Cistercians of the Strict Observance - sworn to poverty, chastity, obédience, stabilité, conversio morum (the continual struggle for personal change).  Famously, the Cistercian is devoted to silence.  The quiet of the place was periodically disturbed by the ringing of a phone or the slamming of a door.  Every sound could swell itself along the bare, wide, high corridors.  It was a hospital kind of noisiness. I sat on the bed and then on a chair at the table. I lay down, stood up, unpacked my toothpaste, thought about writing a letter, opened a book.  There was nothing whatever that I had to do.
            I had arrived down the road at the Old Abbey, now used as a guesthouse, earlier that day.  After tea, a phone call had summoned me to meet the Abbot, up at the purpose-built monastery on the hill. I had given him a shopping list, downstairs in a big meeting room, which appeared to be neutral ground where the monks could meet the outside world.  A few meals in the refectory - would that be possible?  A talk with some of the monks?  Coming to the night offices?  Perhaps an insight into the work that the monks do?  Reading in the library?
He cut me short after these questions and said that naturally I would have to live at the monastery proper if I were to do any of these things easily.  A large, pink man, Abbot Donald McGIyn made any sort of timidity impossible.  When a man reminds one of a farmer going about practical business, and requiring not to,be slowed in it by deferential nonsense, it becomes easy to state what is required, and to accept what is offered without anxiety.
            Faced with something so unknown and unlikely as living with monks, and Trappist monks at that, I went into underdrive.  It may feel like that to be an overweight woman checking into a health clinic: a very pleasurable shedding of responsibility.  There was no point wondering how to pass my tirne with these Trappists: I had, for once, given up directing or pretending to direct - my life.
            Something rather like this may happen to cheerful old recidivists as the doors of Pentonville Prison clang shut behind them on yet another Christrnas Eve, with them safely on the inside, when otherwise they would have to face the perils of a festive season with nothing to celebrate.
            When I had come back from the guesthouse, the Prior (second in command) took a hand in things.  Red-faced, sharp-featured, with razored white hair stubbling his skull, he had a keen look to him.  Rather severe, I thought.  He was wearing the Cistercian uniform: creamy rough wool habit and black scapula.  He took my hand in a solid grip, and gave me a broad, conspiratorial wink.  It seemed almost to be saying that this was an exceedingly rum place, and that he and I were quite probably the only sane people in it.  This was kindly done.  We drove round to the garages behind the monastery: it was slightly odd to find that one could do this so easily.  Where the great whispering gates?  Where the grille with a lurking, half-seen face?
            Nunraw is built like an open prison without the fences.  It is long and low and penitential in its demeanour.  Coming on it from the village, from the north side, it turns out to be in a softly beige stone, rough cut, and a rather good mixture of the airy and the monumental.  In the west side, where the visitors park their cars, there is a scruffy wall where there ought to be a brand new church, and at each end an inconspicuous door.  One leads to the 'temporary' church, and the other to the noman's-land room, and the enclosure beyond.
            A drive swirls round from the western side of the building to the southern.  A small 'Private' sign is all that separates the sacred from the profane. There is a workshop and garage area which might belong to an army camp or a school, and from which runs a path through a little municipal-style lawn and flower beds, to a door which leads into the nether regions of the monastery.     The whole place is perched on the brow of a hill.  It is a very exposed position.
            'Up here, the wind fairly cuts through you in winter', said the Prior, Brother Stephen, as we walked from the car.  He insisted on carrying my suitcase.  His step was lively.  He installed me in my room, and showed me the route to the loos, the church, and the refectory.  The rest, he said, could wait.  The Abbot came and brought me some things to read: well chosen, useful books, and a doctorate thesis devoted to an American Trappist monastery, which had been printed as a kind of brochure.  As I went down to Compline, Brother Stephen found me, and told me he would come and call me at 3.15 the next morning to go to Vigils.  I told him not to bother but he said he had to get everyone up anyway, so it was no trouble.  

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Cistercian "Fools of God" by Richard North

Google 28 Oct 2012
About 1,240 results (0.23 seconds)
The view from the window, in the south side of the modern Nunraw Abbey...... a UN-inspired peace-keeping outfit, and had run up to the monastery because ...... under the heel with fresh denim ('Do you repair your garment with new cloth?

Surfing, above, surfaced Richard North "Fools For God". And thanks to him, the Archive Online version is available in this Link.
His two chapters on the Cistercians at Nunraw show that he has some kind friends.
That was in 1987. Much stream has undergone under bridge in Richard North writing and, in currents, the flow continues on monastic life.
One article is gloriously apt. 'Being a Fly on the Monastery Enclosure'
Our "Fools For GOD" Link opens up a Midas of fruitful associations..

Richard D. North's Fools For God, an account of Christian monasticism (Collins, 1986) is available for free download More recently Richard D. North is the author of Rich is Beautiful: A Very Personal Defence of Mass Affluence and the just published Scrap the BBC!: Ten Years to Set Broadcasters Free.

North Richard D Environment Social Affairs 
MARCH 09, 2007
Being a fly on the monastery enclosure wall: Into Great Silence - Philip Gröning
Posted by Richard D. North
Into Great Silence
Directed by Philip Gröning
certificate U, 2005/2007
At my local art-house, there have been packed audiences for Into Great Silence. It's an exceptional account of life at La Grande Chartreuse, the mother Charterhouse near Grenoble in the French Alps. At two and three quarter hours, its running time alone reminds one of the challenges of asceticism. With no voice-over, no obvious narrative trajectory and vast amounts of silence, the piece is a challenge. 

Richard D. North asks, could Chris McCandless, a.k.a. Alex Supertramp, have made a good monk? Into the Wild - Sean Penn
Posted by Richard D. North
Spiritual extremism strikes a nerve now as it always has. We have recently had Into Great Silence [see my review: Being a fly on the monastery enclosure wall] the movie about La Grande Chartreuse and it demonstrates that such people still get formed and still greatly pique our curiosity. Indeed, in her book An Infinity of Little Hours: Five young men and their trial of faith, Nancy Klein Maguire has just given a very vivid account of how a handful of young men in the 60s disappeared themselves into the Parkminster charterhouse in England, and in hisFinding Sanctuary, Christopher Jamison, the Abbot of Worth, tells us that Parkminster is full of monks, right now.

Bartimiaeus 30th Sunday Year B

27 Oct 2009
[CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (c.150-215) was born at Athens of pagan parents. Nothing is known of his early life nor of the reasons for his conversion. He was the pupil and the assistant of Pantaenus, the director of the ...


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: William .....
Sent: Sunday, 28 October 2012, 11:40
Subject: Re: [Blog] Blind Bartimaeus

Dear Father Donald,
I so well remember a homily on today's Gospel when attending a Mass the year we became, ..., thirty years ago - which says a great deal regarding the effectiveness of the homily presentation! The priest spoke for less than five minutes each Sunday. He began today's homily with a chuckle followed by, "What a question to ask a blind man!" He concluded the homily by enquiring of each of us what obvious question Jesus might have addressed to us, or rather, be addressing to us!
Pithy stuff! terse and vigorously expressive!
With my love in Our Lord,

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Nunraw Monastery refurbishing 'United Nations task-force'

COMMENT:  re Clock  back one hour. saved!  
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Anne Marie . . . 
Sent: Sunday, 28 October 2012, 10:04
Subject: Re: [Dom Donald's Blog] Nunraw Monastery refurbishing 'United Nations task-force'

Well, well,well.  You will be snoozing rather than praying in that cosy spot.  Your sacristan duties will include waking your brothers up.

Sent from my iPad

  Progress is underway with the new style monastery refurbishing, installing double glaze windows in the Church. The main winter winds, the north westerlies penetrate ten un-sheltered eight windows.

 Foreman, Alec, called us, "the United Nations task-force of the workers, 2 Poles, 1 Dutchman and the other Scots." 

At this point the workers are under pressure for the use of the Church for the Sunday Mass.

The question came to me, after Compline, (transferred to the Oratory), and I went to the Church to check the number of WINDOWS IN THE CHURCH. 
In fact, there are eleven windows.  After all the years it seems as I am no different from the story about Saint Bernard, "He also tells of St. Bernard, that he practiced custody of the eyes to such a degree that after a year's novitiate he did not know how the ceiling of his cell was made, whether it was arched or flat; that he always believed there was one window in the church, while there were three; that he walked, one day, with his companions on the short of a lake, without knowing it was there, so that when they were speaking of the lake in the evening, he asked where they had seen it."

The construction firm is from Musselburgh.
The double-glaze windows produced from Norway