Bethlehem Abbey Cistercian Family Blog

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We hope that the reflections given here can be a jumping off point for your own study and response, and how you find a way to incorporate the teachings into your daily living.  And remember St Benedict’s advice: Every time you begin a good work, you must pray to God most earnestly to bring it to perfection (Rule of St Benedict, Prologue).

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The Irish News…

The Irish News: Solitude, not isolation – Cistercians share their ancient tradition amid coronavirus

An article by Fr Aelred Magee OCSO of Bethlehem Abbey, recently published by The Irish News as part of their regular ‘Faith Matters’ column. Click on the title above to read…

All posts…

14th September – The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Hans Urs von Balthasar: The Cross is the midpoint of saving history, all the promises are realised in it, every aspect of the Law, with its quality as curse, is dashed to pieces on the Cross. The Cross is the centre of the world’s history, for it transcends the categories of ‘elect’ and ‘non-elect’ by reconciling all human beings in the crucified body which hangs there. It is the midpoint, too, of all creation and predestination, inasmuch as we were predestined, in Christ’s blood, to be the children of God before the foundation of the world. Paul himself simply intends to carry out the ministry of preaching, by way of service to the reconciliation of the world to God in the Cross of Jesus.

St Augustine of Hippo, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, 28th August

We keep the memory of the greatest convert in the Church after St Paul.  St Augustine – monk, bishop, theologian, preacher, writer – appeals universally to everyone with a God-seeking heart.  Listening to him exultant in his Confessions (Bk X.38) we might make his own new song our own today: Late have I loved you,Continue reading “St Augustine of Hippo, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, 28th August”

11th July – The Solemnity of St Benedict, Abbot

As we celebrate the solemnity of St Benedict today, we present for your consideration a series of thumbnail readings from the celebrated life of St Benedict found in Book II of the Dialogues of Gregory the Great.  This short work, a skilful blend of hagiography and history, is the only writing…

17th June – Blessed Marie-Joseph Cassant ocso

In keeping the memory of this Cistercian blessed, we open ourselves to the mystery of God’s work and call in the midst of the obscure, the simple and the ordinary. Blessed Joseph Cassant was born on 6th March, 1878, in Casseneuil in France, and died as a Cistercian – Trappist monk and priest…

Friday 11th June – Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Traditionally we consecrate our families to the protection of the Sacred Heart of Jesus today.  Why not, wherever you are, and particularly if you are with your family, do so: Sacred Heart of Jesus, you revealed to Blessed Margaret Mary your desire to reign over Christian families.  Behold us, therefore, assembled here today to proclaimContinue reading “Friday 11th June – Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus”

St Justin the Martyr, 1st June

With the feast of St Justin the Martyr we are taken right to the dynamic first years of the Church’s growth in the Roman Empire.  Justin was born in Samaria around 114AD, and was martyred some time around 165AD, during the reign of the emperor Marcus Aurelius.  What makes his life and witness truly outstanding is the fact that his writings – those which have survived – are among the earliest apologetic writings which have come down to us.

Pentecost – The Spirit Speaks to the Church

As we reflect on Pentecost Day just passed, when the Church bursts into life through the lives and witness of the apostles and first disciples, and they and the Holy Spirit together proclaim Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, we invite you to consider thoughts from that sometimes perplexing but always essential writing, the last book of the New Testament and of Sacred Scripture, the Book of Revelation.

Mark 9:14-29 – At the Bottom of the Mountain

From the ecstatic peace of the mountain we descend, with Christ and the three disciples, into the usual melée which is the backdrop to life on the ground.  For all of us it can be so appealing to want to remain in the thickness of the cloud, removed, as it were, from one reality to be able to experience real reality in the undiluted presence of God. 


25 April 2021 Saint Joseph: The Dream of Vocation Dear brothers and sisters, 8 December last, the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church, marked the beginning of a special year devoted to him (cf. Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary, 8 December 2020). For my part, IContinue reading “MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE 2021 WORLD DAY OF VOCATIONS”

-Bethlehem Abbey Cistercian Family-

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