Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sharing in God's preference for the little ones

If you read this blog regularly you might notice our slightly split personality.

On the one half, very monastic. valuing silence and liturgy, valuing times apart and a contemplative sense, as well as community life.

But there is another side, and it is not the dark side!
Our other side is being close to our suburban communities, our neighbours and, as they cross our path, the stranger.

Bringing Christ to them is the other half of our community life. By our sharing of their life, joys and struggles, and when the moment arrives, to discuss the Love of God, without pressure or fear.

The last post focused on the monastic tradition, new and old, and people who draw great riches from it.

I thought it may be good to also list some of the other ideas which have influenced us/me in gentle ways as we seek to be authentically Christ like.

The Jerusalem Communities live in inner city rental accomodation, work part time, and bring contmeplative space to the urban sprawl.

French Worker Priests (three links there!) were an awesome experiment which should have probably continued...

The communities inspired by Charles de Foucauld spend life with the poor and in contemplation. Their approach of spending an hour before the blessed sacrament, or an icon, is a key element of their spirituality. I have been beginning to pray this way for a while.

Hope you find all of this interesting!

In the diverse ways of life ... BEING WITH may become a simple presence, among people who surround us, commitment to the liberation of humanity and/or the proclamation of the Word of God.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Neo Monastic emerging bloggerama

Over at Prodigal Kiwis they're doing a link fest to emerging/ missional bloggers who may have shot under the radar. I thought it would be cool to do the same with the neo monastic communities groups and individuals, but also including some interesting links to articles etc.

To participate, copy this list into a new post on your own blog, and add the names you have to the bottom of the list, and encourage others to do the same.

When you’ve done that, leave a comment here so I can keep track of who ends up participating.

As you can see I am desperately out of the loop!


Coming to the Quiet
Bryan Sherwood
Alan Creech
Christianity Today The New Monasticism
Houston Catholic The New Lay Monasticism!
The New Lay Monasticism
Fides Quaerens Intellectum, Credo Ut Intellegam

Favourite Monastic Sites
Community of Sant'Egidio
Elm Grove Community
Jerusalem Communities
The Grandchamps Community
Brothers and Sisters of Saint John.
Beatitudes Community

Thursday, March 22, 2007


The Latin Theology likes to put everything in its proper place and keep it there. It touches nothing that it does not petrify. It is forever distinguishing, isolating, antagonizing what are really complementary. It must have things fixed and settled for good - - else it feels that all is confusion and uncertainty. It holds to Tradition - - which is the Inspiration of the past, handed on - - in such a way that it cannot recognize Inspiration in the present. Growth is alien to its spirit; every change seems a disturbance; every movement of new life an evil wrecking of a comfortable and settled balance, or an intrusion of a hostile force.

Gilbert Binyon in The Christian Socialist Movement in England

Ten Years

Me and the missus have been married ten years today!

You can check out her very un -up -to-date blog here.

I'll write about us over at afternoons soon.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Last post...

No this is not the last one!

The Litugy Wars post has caused some to defend their position quite strongly so comments moderation is on.

It has all made me a little sad that Christians are getting stuck into each other over this stuff, which to my mind seems a lot less important than trying to follow Jesus...

More later as I am feeling abit down about alot today.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Liturgy Wars

With the release of Pope Benedict's Apostolic Exhortation " Sacramentum Caritatis" (sacrament of charity) this week, the blog debate has been absolutely full on. I may be new to this, but the vitriol on both sides of the debate is incredible - especially in a church where we should be able to be truly "Catholic" and have reasoned discussion without constantly criticizing each other meaninglessly and questioning the "validity"of whatever rite, ritual or service we are discussing. And of course, I have probably just identified myself as a raving liberal (which I'm not) and half of the people I am about to link to, and/or discuss, will ignore me ( which is too bad really...)

The argument seems to go like this. Since Vatican II, Liturgy has fallen into a woeful state - mainly because of secular liberalism and other such nasties creeping into how priests and liturgists approach the liturgy. Everything has gone wrong - not enough silence ( I agree) , Bad Music (I am still agreeing), Clergy not sticking to the rite down to the letter of the law (Sometimes good, usually bland), Liturgical Dance (Never seen it done well, but heard about a ballerina who blew peoples minds as an after communion reflection), using glass eucharistic vessels (seem to be missing the point with this one...) - and so the list of supposed, and real, atrocities, continues.

The solution offered by many is simple. Back to the Tridentine rite. Only "Classical" music (especially chant). Use Latin more often (if not all the time). Celebrate the Eucharist with the Priests back facing the people. Its out with the "Community" approach to Liturgy and in with an older "God-ward one" (Personally I think we can have both). Punish those who don't think or do like we do, who ignore the rubrics of the rite, especially because obviously we are the holders of the truth...

True and ... Not true. I became a Catholic because of my experience with the New rite. Not the Tridentine. I have heard truly bad "classical " music at a mass which left me angry and shaken, and been lifted by a simple folk trio who performed with love, skill and reverence. I have yet to hear consistently good homilies anywhere. And I can't imagine trying to take a 5 and 7 year old to a Latin Mass...

So the truth continues to be that we can exist with a multitude of practices, but that all of us should be willing to try and improve our celebrations. And Sacramentum Caritatis gives good guidance in that respect.

I love what Amy Welborn wrote about it "There's a sense in which we are being asked to think about these things at a different level, to focus on the central doctrines, and most especially on the Person at the center of it all." So true - and necessary.

My main concern is how the two sides don't seem to able to communicate without really digging the knife in - not that I don't agree with some of what they say (on both sides), just how upset and angry they seem to get with each other, and then do a blanket exclusion of "Them and their kind"

Check out some of these and let me know what you think.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Our Friend, Mike Done

Mike Done, legendery local music artist (he once sang with Chris De Burgh!) is running three websites at the moment

Michael Done's Extremely Creatively Named Blog

"Snoggie the Snail & Jesus" - A Slow Moving Story


"The Five Dangerous Graces"

Especially check out this last one for Mikes spiritual journey.

Thanks for sharing Mike!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Mass Reflection

Two great thing at Mass today (I finally made it - with three kids!)

Firstly, Father preached probably the best homliyI have ever heard him give . He compared the Old Testament reading about Moses and the burning bush with the gifts of Scripture and the Eucharist. All three of them keep giving without being depleted, and they increase our faith by realizing we are standing on holy ground when we encounter them.

Secondly, the powerpoint was used VERY effectively to lead the faithful in a self-examination after the homily. It used images and phrases from the readings to stimulate our reflection.

Glad I went.

Slow Down

The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us,
and we see nothing but sand;
the angels come to visit us,
and we only know them when they are gone.

George Eliot

(Hat tip Maggie)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The buzz

All busy here.

Using a terrifc Lenten resource called "Everyday with Jesus" - but don't think of Selwyn Hughes. It is a lovely, prayerful, well prepared study of the Lenten Sunday Scriptures.
You can look at it here.

Check out Chris' site for his thinking on ritual, rite anglocatholisicm and other thriling stuff!