Guide for Celebrating the Liturgy of the Hours
Anthony Ruff OSB
Throughout the history of the Church, Christians have consecrated time by pausing at various moments throughout the day to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office. Day after day, hour after hour, Christians unite their hearts with Christ and his Church as they pray the Divine Office. This book will assist parish communities and groups of Christians who wish to gather to pray the Liturgy of the Hours.
The Rule of Benedict: An Invitation to the Christian Life
Georg Holzherr OSB and Mark Thamert OSB
In his introduction to this commentary on the Rule of Benedict, Abbot Georg Holzherr offers this analogy: "The Rule is comparable to an old heavy red wine that is enjoyed in small sips. . . . Head and heart, soul and mind should taste the words of the Rule, just as the eye enjoys the color of the wine while tongue, nose, and mouth take in the delightful gift of God each in their own way."
In this new translation, based on the completely revised seventh edition of Die Benediktsregel, Holzherr has created a profoundly rich commentary using up-to-date research methods and the latest translations of ancient monastic texts. At the same time, this commentary is meant not only for experts in the field of ancient monasticism but also for all lay and monastic readers interested in delving into the teachings and spirituality of Saint Benedict and his spiritual predecessors in the East and in the West.
This edition also features a completely revised and expanded introduction and commentary. New research in the field of early monasticism is offered, including new insights into the monastic life of women. Finally, the updated bibliography and a detailed index are valuable tools for anyone wanting to explore the extraordinary world of Saint Benedict.
Georg Holzherr, OSB, entered monastic life at the Abbey of Einsiedeln in Switzerland in 1949. Upon completing studies in Einsiedeln and Rome, he received the Dr. jur. can. and began teaching at the Theologische Schule Einsiedeln in 1957. He was elected abbot of Einsiedeln Abbey in 1969. Holzherr is recognized as one of today's leading experts on the Rule of Saint Benedict and its sources, spirituality, and applicability to everyday life.
Mark Thamert, OSB, is a monk of Saint John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota. Since receiving his PhD in Germanic languages and literatures from Princeton University in 1985, Thamert has taught all levels of German in the Language and Cultures Department at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University.
Welcoming Other Religions: A New Dimension of the Christian Faith
William Skudlarek OSB
The Benedictine monk Pierre-François de Béthune has dedicated his life to following the lead of the great pioneers of interreligious dialogue at the level of spiritual experience. Having practiced zazen and "Way of tea" assiduously for decades, he now leads readers along the path of spiritual hospitality, describing how welcoming other religions transformed him and brought him to rediscover the Gospel. In this volume, he evokes the spiritual journeys of some of the pioneers of interreligious dialogue, among them, Thomas Merton, Henri Le Saux, Raimon Panikkar, and Christian de Chergé and the monks of Tibhirine. In doing so, he proposes that their commitment to dialogue, hospitality, and welcoming the other corresponds to what the Gospel requires of the followers of Jesus.
Benedictine Daily Prayer: A Short Breviary
Maxwell E. Johnson and Saint John's Abbey
Benedictine Daily Prayer provides an everyday edition of the Divine Office for people who desire to pray with the church in a simple manner. Based on fifteen hundred years of liturgical prayer within the Benedictine monastic tradition, Benedictine Daily Prayer offers a rich diet of classic office hymnody, psalmody, and Scripture.
This fully revised edition includes: A more user-friendly layout; a new organization for the Office of Vigils, structured on a two-week cycle; Daily Offices also arranged on a two-week cycle; Patristic readings for each Sunday; concluding prayers for the daily and seasonal offices; slightly taller format. It is arranged by date.
Benedictine Daily Prayer is designed for all who pray in the monastic tradition including Benedictine oblates and Benedictine monastics. Scripture readings are from the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version).
One Hope: Re-Membering the Body of Christ
John Klassen OSB, Julie K. Aageson, John Borelli, Derek R. Nelson, Martha Ellen Stortz, and Jessica Wrobleski
One Hope: Re-Membering the Body of Christ is a rich ecumenical resource designed to help Catholic and Lutheran communities mark the approaching 500th anniversary of the Reformation. By gathering together to reflect on and discuss its contents, Christians will foster the church’s unity on a grassroots level and grow in their awareness of the ways that unity already exists. The essays in One Hope are the product of an intense collaborative process by six gifted scholars and pastoral leaders, three Lutheran and three Catholic.
Common Good, Uncommon Questions: Topics in Moral Theology
Timothy Backous OSB and William C. Graham
Places the Catholic Church's guidance into contemporary context by considering stories, poems, and articles to challenge preconceptions, asking what contribution the Church can make to moral debate.
Kilian McDonnell OSB
The Bible contains vast and varied portraits of God's multifaceted mercy. In his typical style Kilian McDonnell's latest collection of poems reveals a lifetime of contemplating biblical characters and their experience of the tenacious mercy of the Sovereign God. What might the Prodigal Son have been rehearsing on his way back home to his father? Did the disciples think Jesus was "teasing" them when he asked them to feed the five thousand? Imagine Mary trying to explain her "bulging belly" to her mother. How are we to understand God's mercy in the turmoil brought about by the birth order of Esau and Jacob? Where was mercy for Jesus on the cross? "Dark Night of the Heart" explores the question of the apparent absence of God's mercy. Enter the drama and amazement of the first miracle at Cana and Jesus' pursuit of wild, ornery fishermen after a long day at sea.
Aggressive Mercy demonstrates the mystery of an extravagantly merciful God. "Who would believe that God / gives away gold buillion / with professional absurdity?" Most poems are accompanied by a Scripture passage and offer readers a starting point to plumb the depths of this coveted characteristic of God and to wonder, struggle, and be awed by the unfathomable mercy of God.
Refuge in Crestone: A Sanctuary for Interreligious Dialogue
Aaron Thomas Raverty OSB
As globalization proceeds at an ever-increasing and more unrelenting pace, relations among the world’s religions are taking on both a new visibility and a new urgency. Christian theologians and others intent on innovative formulations in the theology of religions are making interreligious dialogue with non-Christians a priority. One way to promote creative scholarship in this quest is to tap into interdisciplinary resources, and the author of this volume is uniquely qualified to do so since he holds graduate degrees in both theology and cultural anthropology. This book elucidates how the praxis of interreligious dialogue, as outlined in key Vatican documents in the Catholic Church, could be better served by attending to the qualitative ethnographic methods of sociocultural anthropology. Because the material, behavioral, and cognitive aspects of dialogue—as revealed in daily life, common social and political action, religious experience, and theological exchange—are embedded in culture, they are amenable to ethnographic analysis. Using the unique, multireligious Colorado site of Crestone and its environs as a fieldwork “laboratory” and self-described “Refuge for World Truths,” the ethnographic data gleaned from this project exemplify the creative interdisciplinary contributions of anthropology to theologizing. It seeks to demonstrate, using an empirical, multireligious community as its focus, how anthropology can support interreligious dialogue. The results of such dialogue could not only assist the scholarly community by helping theologians arrive at new formulations in the burgeoning area of the theology of religions, but might also serve the more practical goal of promoting peace—as an alternative to violence—in today’s complex and sorely troubled world.
Monks and Muslims II: Creating Communities of Friendship
Mohammad A. Shomali and William Skudlarek OSB
If Christians and Muslims are to live in peace, encouraging one another to grow in holiness and working together for the good of all God's creation, they must move beyond politicized and often negative images of one another. Monastic/Muslim dialogue issuing from friendship and focused on revelation, prayer, and witness is an important component in this effort. Indeed, it is essential.
A conference jointly sponsored by the International Institute for Islamic Studies and Monastic Interreligious Dialogue brought together Iranian Shi‘a Muslims and Christian monastics to Qum, Iran. Their first gathering was held a year previous in Rome, Italy and focused on spiritual topics like meditation and prayer. The second meeting in Qum was an occasion to deepen the bonds of friendship that had already been established. The conference theme centered on friendship and the dialogue explored the scriptural, theological, spiritual, philosophical, and practical bases for friendship between monks and Muslims. This follow up book invites readers to listen in and learn from their conversation and witness.
A Time of Fulfillment: Spiritual Reflections for Advent and Christmas
Anselm Grün OSB and Mark Thamert OSB
Allow the mystery of Advent and Christmas to touch and transform you. In A Time of Fulfillment: Spiritual Reflections for Advent and Christmas, Anselm Grün brings fresh meaning to the traditional texts of the season and encourages you to experience the deep peace promised by this holy time of year.
Starting with the ancient images of the "O" antiphons, you will rediscover in Advent the profound joy of waiting for Christ's coming. Continuing with the Scriptures of Christmas, you will find new meaning in the mystery of the incarnation.
Make your celebration of Advent and Christmas a powerful time of growth and healing. The simple meditations and spiritual exercises in A Time of Fulfillment will help you remember the closeness of Christ in your heart and renew your faith.
Anselm Grün, OSB, is a monk of the Benedictine abbey of Münsterschwarzach, Germany, where he has been cellarer since 1977. He is the author of many books, lectures, and courses on themes of spiritual life.
Word and Image: The Hermeneutics and Application of the Saint John's Bible
Michael Patella OSB
In Word and Image, Michael Patella explores the principles, intentions, and aims of The Saint John's Bible - the first handwritten and hand-illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine abbey since the invention of the printing press. Patella focuses not on how it was made but on how it can be read, viewed, and interpreted in a way that respects biblical inspiration and Christian tradition in our postmodern context. It is a book that is sure to appeal to academics, pastors, teachers, and educated laypersons.
Patella considers this Bible in the context of the great Christian tradition of illuminated Bibles across the ages and also the fascinating ways The Saint John's Bible reflects third-millennium concerns. He seeks to rekindle interest in sacred art by allowing The Saint John's Bible to teach its readers and viewers how to work with text and image. As an accomplished Scripture scholar, a highly regarded teacher, a monk of Saint John's Abbey, and the chair of the Committee on Illumination and Text that provided the Vision to the artists who created it, Patella may be the only one who could write this book with such insight, expertise, and love.
Angels and Demons: A Christian Primer of the Spiritual World
Michael Patella OSB
The supernatural world is prominent in many of today's movies, television shows, novels, and the popular imagination. But some of what is presented as grounded in a Christian worldview is in fact far from that. In Angels and Demons, Michael Patella, OSB, offers an accessible and fascinating look at supernatural realities as they really are presented in the Bible and Christian tradition. Among the topics Patella explores with a valuable combination of pastoral wisdom and academic rigor are: the role of angels in the ministry of Jesus; the apocalyptic battle in Revelation; the occult, possession, and the work of Satan; what angels are and what they're not; the Last Judgment: how? when?
Readers will appreciate Patella's level-headed appraisal of the views of the supernatural world in the various sections of the Bible. They will be engaged by his lucid account of "Who's Who in Hell." They will be both comforted and inspired by his foundational conviction that Christ has claimed creation for the forces of good, evil is on the run, and there is no chance of the tide ever turning the other way, evil actions and human suffering notwithstanding.
Canticum Novum: Gregorian Chant for Today's Choirs
Anthony Ruff OSB
The book contains 100 hymns and antiphons with psalm verses for every season and occasion. Word-by-word English translations of the Latin responses are provided to aid the singers’ understanding. The psalm verses are in Latin and English on facing pages with easy-to-follow pointing to match the psalm tones. The English psalm verses are from the Revised Grail Psalms. A demonstration recording of chants from Canticum novum is also available.
Primarily Latin antiphons with psalm verses; with nine strophic hymns. Chants shown in four-line notation, five-line notation, and lineless neumes of the St. Gall school.
Sung Gospels for Major Solemnities in Multiple Voices
Anthony Ruff OSB
Proclaim the gospel in song for Christmas, Easter, Epiphany, Pentecost, solemnities, and other special feast days with these settings written for two- or three-part voices, adapted for the English language from settings found in medieval manuscripts. These settings are ideal to make the gospel the high point of the Liturgy of the Word.
Forging the Male Spirit: The Spiritual Lives of American College Men
William C. Schipper OSB, W. Merle Longwood, and Philip Leroy Culbertson
Young men undergo significant changes during their years in college. They wrestle with "big questions," which are essentially spiritual questions, as they ponder who they are, what they believe, what kind of persons they want to become, and how they might shape the world into something they can feel comfortable being themselves in. Those who participate in men's groups realize that their involvement can nurture their inner lives as they explore these questions and connect to transcendent values and a vision of a larger whole. This book includes historical and sociological perspectives on men and spirituality and an expanded case study of how one campus pioneered in the development of men's spirituality groups, which became a model for other campuses. It includes quantitative empirical research that explores college men's openness to spirituality and their interest in men's groups. The book's most extensive discussion is based on a qualitative analysis of thirty-six interviews with male college students, focusing on their understanding of the relationship between their masculinity and their spirituality, and how spirituality groups provided a venue in which they could begin to engage what it means to be spiritual and what it means to be a man.
A Virtuous Church: Catholic Theology, Ethics, and Liturgy for the 21st Century
R. Kevin Seasoltz OSB
Today's multicultural and multi-traditioned world greatly influences the life of the Catholic Church. Fr. Seasoltz explores the impact of such trends as globalization, the migration of peoples, the ecological crisis, and the geographical shift in Christianity from the North to the South. He maintains that even in a world strikingly different from that of biblical times, a key to church renewal lies in the moral teachings of Jesus.
Topics examined include the development of "virtue morality" and its practice today; tensions between local churches and the universal church; and the celebration of the liturgy and the sacraments. Throughout, the focus is on the positive: that is, what can be gained from a renewed emphasis on Christian virtues?
Brings together three theological themes: ecclesiology, ethics, and liturgy.
Dilatato Corde. Vol. 1, January-December 2011
William Skudlarek OSB and Monastic Interreligious Dialogue
"Dilatato Corde is an online publication housed on the [Monastic Interreligious Dialogue's] webstie...At the end of each year a selection of testimonies, reflections, reports, and studies from that volume are published as a book. This is the first of the series"--Book cover.
Wrestling with God
Kilian McDonnell OSB
The Bible is full of persons who wrestle with God. As they stumble in their lives, they love and adore their Lord. They also scheme, lie, cheat, steal, quarrel, and fornicate. Abraham, the faith model for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, tells Sarah to lie; Sarah scolds God for ignoring her; Amnon rapes his sister; Judas recognizes Jesus' unconditional love for him; Mary thinks that by distancing himself from her, Jesus hammered a spike into her breast; Peter's wife crawls into their bed and snuggles up; Jesus' relatives think he is crazy. In a word, as seekers of God the biblical characters mirror our lives. Like Jacob we limp away from the wrestling match.
The Attentive Voice: Reflections on the Meaning and Practice of Interreligious Dialogue
William Skudlarek OSB
For three and a half decades, Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (MID) has been bringing individuals from faiths with a monastic tradition—Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism—to discuss the deeper rhythms and structures of their traditions: the practices, disciplines, and struggles and joys of a vocation.
In these essays, gathered from twenty-five years of the MID Bulletin, the authors describe the ways dialogue with other religious traditions has enhanced their spiritual life, explain why interreligious relations have become such an important element of modern Catholic life, and reflect on the meaning of interreligious dialogue vis-à-vis the Catholic Church’s teaching on revelation and salvation in and through Jesus Christ. In so doing, they show that interreligious dialogue is an engaging, enlightening, and spiritually enriching way to respond to religious plurality.
Witness to the Fullness of Light: The Vision and Relevance of the Benedictine Monk Swami Abhishiktananda
William Skudlarek OSB and Bettina Baumer
Swami Abhishiktananda (Henri Le Saux OSB) was a French Benedictine monk who went to India in 1948 and devoted his life to becoming a bridge between East and West, between Hinduism and Christianity. To mark the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of this great pioneer of interreligious dialogue, Monastic Interreligious Dialogue sponsored a symposium in January 2010 at Shantivanam, the ashram he and Abbé Jules Monchanin founded in 1950. This volume charts the influence that Abhishiktananda had on Christianity in India, on other spiritual seekers engaging with Hinduism and Christianity, and the continuing importance of his work today.
Marcel Breuer and a Committee of Twelve Plan a Church: A Monastic Memoir
Hilary Thimmesh OSB
Internationally renowned architect I. M. Pei commented that if Marcel Breuer's church for Saint John's Abbey had been built in New York instead of the north woods of Minnesota it would be world famous. Hamilton Smith, Breuer's longtime associate, wrote that the completed church was that rare thing, an architectural design fully realized, and he regarded it as Breuer's finest achievement. The junior member of the twelve-monk planning committee recounts in warm and frequently humorous detail how its members related to the Hungarian-born Bauhaus-trained architect who had no background in church architecture but shared their belief in the enduring quality of simple materials sympathetically used. How the strong architect-client relationship survived the strain of disagreement at a critical moment in completion of the church is the narrative high point in this informal record of four years in which the reader sees a masterpiece of modern church architecture take shape.
Celibacy in the Ancient World: Its Ideal and Practice in Pre-Hellenistic Israel, Mesopotamia, and Greece
Dale Launderville OSB
Celibacy is a commitment to remain unmarried and to renounce sexual relations, for a limited period or for a lifetime. Such a commitment places an individual outside human society in its usual form, and thus questions arise: What significance does such an individual, and such a choice, have for the human family and community as a whole? Is celibacy possible? Is there a socially constructive role for celibacy?
These questions guide Dale Launderville, OSB, in his study of celibacy in the ancient cultures of Israel, Mesopotamia, and Greece prior to Hellenism and the rise of Christianity. Launderville focuses especially on literary witnesses, because those enduring texts have helped to shape modern attitudes and can aid us in understanding the factors that may call forth the practice of celibacy in our own time. Readers will discover how celibacy fits within a context of relationships, and what kinds of relationships thus support a healthy and varied society, one aware of and oriented to its cosmic destiny.
God's Harp String : The Life and Legacy of the Benedictine Monk Swami Abhishiktananda
William Skudlarek OSB
In 1948, the French Benedictine monk Henri Le Saux (1910-1973) visited India for the first time and began a twenty-five year long quest to fathom the depths of Vedanta and the Upanishads. Abhishiktananda ("Bliss of the Anointed One"), as Le Saux renamed himself, sought to retain his abiding Christian faith while personally immersing himself in Hindu spirituality. He also encountered some of the extraordinary sages of the Indian subcontinent, such as Sri Ramana Maharshi and Gnanananda.
These articles about Abhishiktananda, gathered on the one hundred anniversary of his birth, provide not only personal recollections of this remarkable man, but examine the legacy of the life and work of one of the first practitioners of Hindu-Christian dialogue.
The Collegeville Prayer of the Faithful : General Intercessions for Years A, B, C
Michael Kwatera OSB
"Let us bring our prayers to the Lord." Each week when the community comes together for Mass, we gather to listen to the Word, to partake of the Eucharist, and to pray. The Prayer of the Faithful is marked by the same needs from week to week, but it is always an opportunity to approach God collectively in a way that reflects the richness of our particular celebration. This series of prayers by Father Michael Kwatera is rooted in the present moment: the liturgical season, lectionary readings, and the needs of the church. He draws on the readings, as well as the significance of feasts and of other celebrations. He is also attuned to the many ways we approach God, in language that is clear and attentive to the oral quality of the prayer. "To place prayerful words on human lips and in human hearts is a most sacred work," writes Father Kwatera in the introduction. The fruit of this work is a set of texts that invites the community to draw near to God each week in prayer. The Collegeville Prayer of the Faithful—a convenient compilation of the previously published volumes, with additional feasts added—includes a CD-ROM of intercessions that can be easily adapted for parish use. Each prayer is provided in a Word file that allows users to easily personalize the intercessions for their own parish.
God Drops and Loses Things
Kilian McDonnell OSB
Out of a lifetime of familiarity with the great biblical narratives, Kilian McDonnell draws a portrait of the biblical God charged with vitality, at once prodigal in mercy and ruthless, thunderous, and painfully silent. It is dangerous to love this God, who exacts of "the God-mad Abraham" a faithfulness beyond sanity: "If God makes a covenant in blood with you, why are you surprised to see your flesh upon the altar?" Despite our longing, such apparent capriciousness can be reconciled only in the mysterium tremendum invisible to human eyes; for Father Kilian, such is "fire's absolute autonomy that scolds me / for putting dirty sandals on glowing cinders, / but invites me to approach barefoot." Equally compelling is the character of Jesus Christ as a true son of God hungry for human contact, who likes hanging out with a fallible humankind and often happens to drop by at mealtime. The children of God who people these poems have God's own murderous prodigality in their genes. They are jealous, weak, and proud. They compete, lie, steal, cheat, betray, repent, and despair; and God loves them. Conscious of their dignity as children of God, they are quick to take exception. Father Kilian says of the poems themselves, "I am contending with God." In God Drops and Loses Things, his third collection, the poems are by turns edgy, affectionate, gentle, deeply moving, and always compassionate.
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