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).
To complement the short articles offered here we will, from time to time, provide some titles for recommended reading: RECOMMENDED READING.
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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…
Today we keep the memory of a Cistercian saint of the 20th century, St Rafael (1911 – 1938). A gifted young man, who studied architecture and showed himself a talented and perceptive artist, he was captivated by the Cistercian monastic life and entered the Spanish monastery of San Isidro. However, he soon became ill withContinue reading “More on St Rafael Arnaiz Baron, Cistercian Oblate – 27th April”
Rafael Arnáiz Barón was born in Burgos on April 9th, 1911. He was a student of architecture in Madrid when he felt the call of God. He gave up a brilliant career and entered the Cistercian monastery of San Isidro de Duenas (Palencia) on January 15th, 1934. In this monastic community he gave himself inContinue reading “Feast of St Rafael Arnáiz Barón, Cistercian Oblate, 27th April.”
Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 John 13:1-15 In his Encyclical Letter on the Holy Eucharist, Mysterium Fidei (The Mystery of Faith, 1965), Pope Paul VI wrote powerfully about the presence of Christ and how this presence is mediated in various ways through various means made manifest in the Church’s life and mission: 35. AllContinue reading “Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper”
Today, all those religious who follow the Rule of St Benedict as a principle tool for their way of life – and that includes, of course, Cistercians – celebrate the Transitus of St Benedict, literally, his crossing over, or rather more plainly, the day of his death. We might also, using the very beautiful patristicContinue reading “21st March – The Passing of St Benedict”
To celebrate the solemnity of the Apostle of the Irish, the one who enlightened us by sowing the seed of the Gospel among us, we would like to offer a splendid poem, attributed to the Irish monk Oengus Céili Dé, and in translation by Thomas Kinsella. It recalls Patrick’s own Breastplate and the invocation styleContinue reading “St Patrick’s Day”
At no other place in the Rule does St Benedict devote a specific chapter separately to a season of the Church’s year. Certainly in dealing with the scheme by which the Work of God should be fulfilled the entire year is embraced in a sort of microcosm, and within that “holy Easter” is certainly highlighted. Continue reading “The Observance of Lent”
A World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Men and Women – Why?
Following the guidelines offered by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, we ask you to consider and pray, individually or together with family or friends, these biblical reflections and prayers to accompany the annual call for Christians to acknowledge our discord and to hear again Christ’s call that we may be one as heContinue reading “The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 18th – 25th January”
Celebrating this feast, which is effectively the first Sunday in Ordinary Time, we have an opportunity to celebrate, in a sense, our own baptism, not as a single celebration locked in a past moment of history, but as a dynamic reality shaping our Christian witness, vocation and action. It is as a good a chanceContinue reading “Feast of the Baptism of the Lord”
The octave before the feast of Christmas has always been marked by the singing of the Great “O” Antiphons, usually with the Magnificat (Song of Mary) at the office of Vespers. These wonderful antiphons, short but rich texts, draw together phrases from the sacred scriptures of the Old Testament, a prophetic voice looking forward toContinue reading “Late Advent with the Cistercian Fathers – O Antiphons Revisited”
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