24 March 2010

Time to put my money where my mouth is (or at least where my fingers are)

In previous posts I have talked about such topics as "Detachment" and "Obedience". Well now I get to practice both!

We Cistercians have a visitation from our Father Immediate or his delegate once every couple of years. This year was our year for it. As a postulant I did not get an opportunity to read the Visitation Card, but one of the things it apparently "suggested" is that I "refrain" from blogging during my novitiate.

Well the novitiate begins tomorrow. And so, for a while, my blogging ends.

I hope you continue to pray for me as I continue on My Journey. If at all possible, I will try to coax a professed member of the community to make the occasional posting on vocation discernment.

There might be the possibility of slight technical glitch tomorrow in which pictures of me after my clothing get posted. Don't you just hate when the computers foul-up like that.

God's Blessing and Peace to you all!
Please keep me in your prayers.

17 March 2010


I start my pre-novitiate retreat tonight. I will be on retreat until The Feast of the Annunciation. Then I will receive my habit. Please pray for me.

God Bless!!


16 March 2010

Hereford Cathedral

Everybody should go to Hereford Cathedral. It is beautiful. It is the home to the 13th Century Mappa Mundi (Map of the World) and the Chain Library. And it holds an even greater treasure. Hospitality. Not just the "Have a nice day" stuff, but genuine hospitality. The staff there want to make sure you enjoy your visit.

AND ENTERANCE IS FREE!!! With begrudging understanding, most big Anglican churches have an entrance fee when a worship service is not going on. Not at Hereford. God Bless them.

If you have the opportunity, attend the Choral Evensong. One can even sit in the quire (choir) and follow along with the choristers.

The city of Hereford is beautiful, as well. It truly is worth a visit.

Mediaeval Madonna and Child

Interior shot of the Norman Arcade

The Cathedral Church of St. Mary the Virgin and St. Ethelbert the King is situated near the banks of the River Wye.

Belmont Abbey

On Saturday the novitiate went to Hereford. Our first stop was to beautiful Belmont Abbey. Benedictine hospitality was up to its normal high standards. We also received a grand tour which lead us to the top of the church tower and throughout the monastery. If you believe that you are called to the monastic life, but you would like active apostolates, too, Belmont Abbey is definitely worth a look.
Belmont has just restored their Pipe Organ. Our Br. Rafael got to try it out for a while.
The restored reredos

Stained Glass windows of St. Wilfred and (our) St. Bernard
The Abbey of St. Michael and All the Angels.

14 March 2010

Fellow bloggers beware

Lately I have been getting comments from either China or Taiwan: sometimes in English, sometimes in Chinese. There are hypertext links to "adult" web-sites on these comments.

So,my fellow bloggers. If you get unusual post, make sure there are no links to other websites.

For the rest of you. Later today, I hope to post details and pics of Belmont Abbey and Hereford Cathedral.

God Bless!

12 March 2010

Good News

I received some very good news today. My request to become a novice has been accepted by the Abbot's council. Please God I will be clothed on The Feast of the Annunciation, 25 March, 2010.

Thank you, everyone, for your prayers. Please keep praying for me.

God's Blessing and Peace to you all!

04 March 2010

Grace of the Present Moment

Today at Mount St.Bernard we had our first truly Bona Fide sunrise during Lauds. As we turned to the east to sing the Sub Tuum the windows were golden and the statue of the Madonna and Child was silhouetted. It was quite beautiful. Right after Lauds we meet briefly for Chapter and then we have roughly a half-hour until Mass.

So I went out for a brief stroll after Chapter. The Sun was bright, the sky was clear and very blue. It was a bit chilly and there was a light frosty dew on the lawn. The flowers are beginning to poke their shoots above the soil and there are velvety buds on the trees.

This lovely scene gave me pause for thought. I am quite focused on my upcoming "clothing". God Willing it is 21 days away, not that I'm counting (right!) The thought of being clothed, of canonically becoming part of the community, of having a role in the community besides manual labour and washing up after dinner every other week, occupies a lot of my time. Even prayer time.

One of the priest here warned me that I should be looking for the grace of the present moment because there is always another thing to look forward to. After clothing, there is simple profession two years later. Then solemn profession three years after that. Then maybe ordination to the diaconate, the priesthood, etc. etc.

Trying to be aware of the grace that God gives us every day, is not as fun as looking forward to milestones, but it is still quite important. I find it easiest, if that is the right way to phrase it, after I receive Holy Communion. For me that is always a quiet and often intense time for me. So I invite you to look for the grace of the present moment too.

May God's grace and peace be with you always.