Friday, February 25, 2005

St Benedict Week 2

We all met for dinner before our study time, and it was great to welcome Pete back amongst us. Continung our study of the rule of St Benedict, we dug around in the rule to see how it orders the monastics life, giving a balance between all of the parts of our lives. Reading chapters of material about food and drink, authority, work and care helped us try and see areas of our own lives which needed more balance and/or time commited to them.

As always we ended with compline - bringing some peace and stillness at the end of our busy days.


Friday, February 18, 2005

Lenten Study

This week was our first lenten talk. We have decided to learn more about the Benedictine life and Benedict himself as we all have some connection with the Benedictine life through our visits to New Norcia's monastry and our interactions with the Monks there. Chris gave a talk detailing some of Benedicts life with many anecdotal stories about what he did, who he worked with and the attempts by others to poison him.
We concluded the evening in prayer using a prayer time regularly used at New Norcia- our Lent Compline prayer was the perfect way to conclude and pray for each other and the members of our group who were unable to join us on this evening.
Take care and God bless.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Ash Wednesday

We saw in Ash Wednesday with Vespers as we normally do, but this night in particular was quite prayerful and reflective. During Vespers we listened to a reading by Cardinal Murphy O'Connor, from his address for Ash Wednesday to be given also during vespers in the Westminster Cathedral.
The main thrust of the reading was to do with what stops us from spending time with God. Below is an excerpt from Cardinal Murphy O'Connor's address:
"So if people ask me what they should do for Lent, I am inclined to say, on this Ash Wednesday, you should not try to do without something, but to get something done as if your eternal salvation depended on it. If Lent is to mean anything in our lives, it has to be a season of renewal. The word "Lent" itself means "springtime." The idea is that we die with Christ like the seed in the ground and rise with Him to more abundant life. We die to sin and rise to integrity. We die to selfishness and rise to generosity, especially towards the poor.
Whatever penance we do, whatever we choose to give up or do without, should help us to put on these new clothes, and to grow into stronger, healthier Christians. Each one of us should spend more time in prayer during these 40 days; some time in reading a Lenten book about how better to follow Jesus Christ, and some exercise which involves care for others, perhaps a visit to someone less fortunate than we are. What we should give up is whatever stops us doing that extra thing."
May each of our Lenten journeys be a time of growing closer to God.
Love in Christ
Linda F