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In The School Of Contemplation

Author: Andre Louf
Publisher: Liturgical Press
ISBN: 0879074876
Size: 44.11 MB
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Dom André Louf (+2010) was abbot of the Trappist-Cistercian monastery of Mont-des-Cats in northern France from 1963 to 1997. This book brings together talks given to a variety of audiences in which he shared his spiritual experience from both his life of prayer and his life in community. Each chapter offers inspiring insights on the spiritual experience, the priority of love, and other areas of our Christian life: community life, obedience, prayer, psalms, the liturgy, and more. In this book we enter "a school of contemplation" wherein the monastic experience enlightens our lives and service to the world and the Church.

Saint Bernard S Three Course Banquet

Author: Bernard Bonowitz
Publisher: Liturgical Press
ISBN: 0879070390
Size: 60.72 MB
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Saint Bernard’s famous work, The Steps of Humility and Pride (in Latin, De gradibus humilitatis et superbiae), is a short book consisting of a mere fifty-seven paragraphs. In it, the Abbot of Clairvaux unpacks the doctrine of the very crucial chapter 7 of Saint Benedict’s sixth-century Rule for Monks, which explores the dynamic "steps” or "degrees” of both humility and pride. This chapter by Benedict could well be considered the spiritual basis of all Benedictine existence. In Saint Bernard’s Three-Course Banquet, Dom Bernard Bonowitz makes the teaching of both Bernard and Benedict accessible to modern readers in a set of conferences originally conceived for and delivered to a group of Cistercian "juniors,” that is, monks and nuns who had completed their novitiate but had not yet made their solemn vows. With Dom Bernard as a guide, many more readers can be sure of drinking at the purest sources of the monastic tradition, which at that depth becomes one with the Gospel itself. A convert from Judaism with a degree in Classics from Columbia University, Bernard Bonowitz was a Jesuit for nine years before entering St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts. Immediately upon professing vows, his abbot named him master of novices, a position he held for ten years and that gave him ample opportunity to share considerable gifts of mind and heart while initiating newcomers into monastic life, at the levels of both classroom teaching and spiritual direction. In 1996 he was elected superior of the monastery of Novo Mundo in Brazil, which he soon shepherded into a true monastic springtime. In 2008, he became abbot of Novo Mundo, now a community attracting an impressive number of young men anxious to follow the way of Cistercian discipleship.

Centered On Christ

Author: Augustine Roberts
Publisher: Liturgical Press
ISBN: 9780879070748
Size: 34.67 MB
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"Explores the meaning of religious vows (including dimensions such as poverty, obedience, sexuality, obedience, and stability) from a monastic perspective that benefits laypersons and professed religious alike; considers monastic practices"--Provided by publisher.

An Introduction To Christian Mysticism

Author: Thomas Merton
Publisher: Liturgical Press
ISBN: 9780879070137
Size: 72.34 MB
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In these conferences, originally given to novices, Thomas Merton provides an overview of major themes and figures in the Christian mystical tradition. From Fathers of the Church through important medieval theologians to the great Spanish Carmelites, Merton traces such key topics as the integration of theology and spirituality and the importance of ?natural contemplation”?recognizing the divine presence in creation; the centrality of apophatic or ?dark” contemplation; and the role of spiritual direction in forming mature and balanced contemplatives.

Essential Monastic Wisdom

Author: Hugh Feiss
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060624825
Size: 80.15 MB
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An exploration of monastic life offers a short history of monasteries, examples from monastic writers including Hildegard and Merton, and a look at monastic traditions

Cassian And The Fathers

Author: Thomas Merton
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780879070014
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Cassian and the Fathers is the initial volume in the series of Novitiate Conferences of Thomas Merton, the classes he presented to young men beginning their monastic life at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. They contain Merton's insights on important Patristic and monastic figures preceding the time of St. Benedict, above al John Cassian, the most significant bridge between the early desert fathers and the development of monastic life in the West, and they reveal the continuing relevance of their teachings for contemporary monastics and other Christians. Much of the value and interest of Cassian and the Fathers, as of the novitiate conferences in general, lies in the light it casts on Merton himself as teacher, novice master and monk. These notes provide a privileged standpoint for observing Merton functioning as an integral and important member of his monastic community. The 'public' Merton has long been visible in his works written for publication, and has more recently been complemented by the 'interpersonal' Merton disclosed in his correspondence and the 'intimate' Merton revealed in his complete journals. While the novitiate conferences may not equal in significance these other sources, they do allow access to yet another stratum of Merton's wide-ranging and immensely productive engagement with his world from the distinctive standpoint he had chosen within a tradition dating back more than sixteen centuries. While these lectures need to be used critically and carefully in evaluating Merton's own perspectives and commitments, nevertheless they do need to be used. The dialectical relationship between Merton's private and more public statements, including those made to his novice classes, makes possible a more complex and thus a richer picture of his monastic identity and so of his personal identity. In learning aboutCassian and the Fathers from Merton, one learns as well about Merton as monk, as heir to the great monastic teachers, and as teacher of a new generation of monks, an easily overlooked and undervalued, yet integral, even central component of his vocation for more than half his monastic life. Thus the publication of the novitiate conferences will fill a significant lacuna in Merton studies and contribute to a balanced, holistic comprehension and appreciation of Thomas Merton's life and work. This edition includes an extensive introduction situating these conferences and Merton's years as novice master in the context of his broader life as monk and writer, an extensively annotated edition of the text of the conferences based on Merton's own typescript, and helpful appendices indicating changes Merton made to his text, correlating the written text with taped versions of the actual classes, and providing suggestions for further reading both in Merton's other works and in more recent studies of the figures he discusses here.

The Life Of The Vows

Author: Thomas Merton
Publisher: Liturgical Press
ISBN: 0879070307
Size: 42.14 MB
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As novice master of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Kentucky, Thomas Merton presented weekly conferences to familiarize his charges with the meaning and purpose of the vows they aspired to undertake. In this setting, he offered a thorough exposition of the theological, canonical, and above all spiritual dimensions of the vows. Merton set the vows firmly in the context of the anthropological, moral, soteriological, and ecclesial dimensions of human, Christian, and monastic life. He addressed such classical themes of Christian morality as the nature of the human person and his acts; the importance of justice in relation to the Passion of Christ, to friendship and to love; and self-surrender as the key to grace, prayer and the vowed life. Merton's words on these topics clearly spring from a committed heart and often flow with the soaring intensity of style that we have come to expect in his more enthusiastic prose. The texts of these conferences represent the longest and most systematically organized of any of numerous series of conferences that Merton presented during the decade of his mastership. They may be the most directly pastoral work Merton ever wrote.

The Artist S Rule

Author: Christine Valters Paintner
Publisher: Sorin Books
ISBN: 9781933495293
Size: 28.80 MB
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A twelve-week course to discover and develop creative gifts drawing on the insights and practices of Benedictine spirituality.

Contemplative Love

Author: Kenneth Russell
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 9781517284336
Size: 15.16 MB
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The "spiritual life," just like every other kind of life or aspect of living and being and relating, begins in darkness and obscurity, long before any particular awareness has started to emerge. The bonds of living and relating are there long before we become consciously aware of them. And as we do become aware, we begin to explore and cultivate these bonds of living and relating, and then the journey of discovery, the adventure of seeking begins in earnest. Descriptions and studies of the spiritual journey, this adventure, abound, not surprisingly produced for the most part by those who most professionally attend to it, religious men and women and priests. But of course the project is common to all human beings, and, one way or another, more or less consciously and explicitly, we all fumble through it, through the varied ups and downs of a life-time. Some of the authors dealing with this aspect of human existence, particularly in the Christian context, seem to present an ordered progression, with predictable laws governing it and passing through characteristic "stages." But it is a fairly common experience that life is not always so flawlessly organised, that there are indeed ups and downs, twists and turns, and when we have every reason to believe that we are on a consistently ascending path, darkness and disenchantment may hit, and the whole project may come to appear as futile. Or, on the other hand, when all things seem to be going wrong, and the ground seems to have been pulled from under our feet, we are surprised by an unexpected gift of light. We are tempted to try and measure our progress, but we find that we are at a loss for a measure, a yardstick, that comparisons are not helpful, and we are in no position to make sense of the will, or plan, or logic of God with respect to our life. The nature of a posthumous collection of studies and reflections on the various aspects of a life aimed at deepening and realising a contemplative love at the heart of everything we live through, of diverse articles on varied aspects of this often unpredictable journey, perhaps corresponds more closely to the fits and starts of a real spiritual life than what many a systematic treatise would have us imagine. In fact, we shall plunge early on into the puzzling setbacks systematicians of the spiritual life usually place further along the road, after the glow of one's "honeymoon" with God has worn off and the initial euphoria and enthusiasm have run out of steam. We will encounter the "'familiar figure' we all know - indeed whom we meet in ourselves...'the time-filler whose sole effort seems to be to avoid getting down to the job and whose singular joy is a well-stretched coffee break and a long lunch hour.'" Acedia seems to be "the Noon-Day Devil" most pilgrims on the way struggle with for the longest stretches: the fertile ground in which all distractions, temptations, discouragement and habitual sins flourish.

Monastic Observances

Author: Thomas Merton
Publisher: Liturgical Press
ISBN: 0879070250
Size: 38.83 MB
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In this set of novitiate conferences from the late 1950s, Thomas Merton provides a vivid and detailed introduction to the traditional pattern and practices of the monastic day during the period immediately preceding the momentous changes that would be introduced in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. Combining practical instruction with spiritual and theological reflection, this fifth volume of Merton's teaching notes brings the reader into the choir and chapter room, scriptorium and cloisters of the Abbey of Gethsemani, and provides insight into the ecclesial, contemplative, paschal, and Trinitarian dimensions of Cistercian life. Patrick F. O'Connell is professor in the departments of English and theology at Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania. A founding member and former president of the International Thomas Merton Society, he edits The Merton Seasonaland is coauthor (with William H. Shannon and Christine M. Bochen) of The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia. He has edited four previous volumes of Thomas Merton's monastic conferences for the Monastic Wisdom series: Cassian and the Fathers; Pre-Benedictine Monasticism; An Introduction to Christian Mysticism; and The Rule of Saint Benedict.