Blessings, Peace and Harmony: Monks are Prophetic Seeds of Renewal in a World Waiting to be Reborn
such a great renewal in our day. It is no accident that he took the name Benedict as he responded to the Lord's invitation to serve the Church as the successor of Peter.
He had just returned from a retreat at Subiaco, the cave where St. Benedict had spent three years in prayer. In a General Audience on April 29, 2008, he spoke at length of Benedict whom he calls the "Patron of His Pontificate".
Throughout her history, just when naysayers count the Catholic Church out, she again rises, refreshed by the Holy Spirit, and changes history. After all, the Church is God's plan for the whole human race. He has not changed His mind.
As the Catechism expresses so beautifully, borrowing from the writings of the early fathers, "To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church."
"The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is "the world reconciled." She is that bark which "in the full sail of the Lord's cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world." According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood." (CCC#845)
Monks are always involved in the rising of the Church. They help to water the growth of the renewal it signals. Monks are prophetic seeds of the kingdom to come who always seem to be around right when we need them the most. So, when I discover something special involving monks, it always touches a soft spot in my heart - and I want to pass it on to as many people as possible.
On October 17, 2012, six monks appeared on the Today Show and sang the ancient yet ever new chants which open the heavens and bring them down to those of us who need the gentle rain of grace in the desert of our daily lives.
Three of the Benedictine Monks came from the Abbey of Christ in the Desert in New Mexico and three from Mount Savior Monastery in New York. Together they sang "Alleluia Iustus Germinabit", taken from their beautiful recording entitled "Monks in the Desert: Blessings, Peace and Harmony" recording which can be purchased here. You can also listen to selections from their CD at the same site.
I love listening to monastic chant. It opens my heart just as wide as it opens the heavens. My most recent memory of its transformative effect comes from those years I commuted to do my doctoral studies in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America.
It was monastic chant which provided a portal to prayer in those early pre-dawn hours spent driving while trying to avoid the gridlock of Washington, DC traffic. The inside of my car became a holy place of encounter. On many mornings, it was the chant which also saved me from road rage!
These wonderful monks opened the viewing audience of the Today show, and its hosts, to their supernaturally natural way of life. They planted eternal seeds with their simplicity, joy and radiant faith. You can view the spot here. You can also experience the serenity borne of their deep interior life in the Lord, hear the life story of the Abbot and some of the inspiring storiesof the monks of the desert here.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Blessings, Peace and Harmony, Monks, Monastic, Abbey of Christ in the Desert, Mount Savior Monastery, gregorian chant, religious life, prayer, contemplation, Today Show, Deacon Keith Fournier
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