Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Menology of the month of December

Holy Father's Prayer Intentions For 2011
December 2011

General Intention: Peace among All Peoples.
That all peoples may grow in harmony and peace through mutual understanding and respect.

Missionary Intention: That children and young people may be messengers of the Gospel and that they may be respected and preserved from all violence and exploitation.  

  Memorials of the Community in December

Brother Brendan Kelly 

Brother Brendan Kelly

Born 6 August 1910
Entered Roscrea 22nd May 1932
professed 9th December 1937
Co-founded Nunraw 1946
Died 14 December 1949
Brother Brendan Denis Kelly
6 August 1910 - 14 December 1949

Brother Antony Hopkins 

Brother Antony Patrick Hopkins

born 12 September 1918
entered 12 June 1940
professed 12 April 1946
died 16 December 1985
Community Chronicle
Notes of Eulogy

Father Andrew Hart  

born 10 October 1906
entered 1936
professed 30 October 1941
ordained 25 February 1944
died 17 December 1992
Scottish Catholic Observer
Community Chronicle
SCO Letters
"An Advent Person" - Dom Donald


for the
Month of


Hugh of Chalons-Sur-Marne + 1158
Abbot of Trois Fontaines, he was named cardinal and bishop of Ostia by Pope Eugene III.
Mark de Villalba + 1590
Abbot of Fiterbo, Spain, and reformer general of the Congregation of the Regular Observance.
Robert + 1185
A monk of La Criste in Champagne, he became abbot of Matallana.
Mary Louise Ambrosetli + 1922
A native of Italy, she became the first novice at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Macon, France, and experienced its painful beginnings. Later she became subprioress. She was full of zeal for the Divine Office and for charity, strong in faith and patient in sufferings. She died in Brazil where her original convent had been transferred.
St Galgan  1151-1181
He lived as a hermit near Siena. The abbots of Casamari and Fossanova, returning from France and passing Monte Sepi, where he lived, found him dead. For burial they clothed him in the habit of a Cistercian lay-brother.
Louis de Gonzague Martin  1853-1899
He was received at Our Lady of the Snows at the age of eleven. At twenty-nine he was appointed first superior of the foundation to be made in Syria, a task presenting many difficulties which he bore with equanimity and cheerfulness. Eight years later he was elected third abbot of Staouelli, Algeria.
 A man of great faith, incapable of giving himself by halves, he had an intense love for the Eucharist, the Mother of God and the writings of St Bernard.
Pio Heredia
Prior of Viaceli. During the Spanish Civil War, he and twelve of his monks, arrested on September 8, 1935, were shot and their bodies thrown into the sea.
Thomas Merton, Waters of Siloe, p. 211
Christian + 1244
Abbot of Leckno, Poland, in 1206 he crossed the frontier of Prussia and finding the people were ready to accept the faith, he obtained authorization from Pope Innocent III and began to preach the gospel with such success that he is known as the apostle of the Prussians.
Zosimus Jansen  1836-1915
He was a lay-brother first at St Benedict, Achel, Belgium, and later at the new foundation of St Remy, Rochefort. Of a happy disposition, he was always courteous and obliging to his confreres. He spent most of his free time in church, and lived, as it were, on the thought and love of Mary.
Werric + 1217
Prior of Aulne, Hainaut, Belgium, he was a monk of simplicity, piety, gentleness and peace.
Joanna, Countess of Flanders + 1244
For forty years she wisely and magnanimously governed her people. During her reign, fifteen convents of Cistercian nuns were founded in her domain. As she neared the end of her life, she received the habit of oblate at the convent of Marquette.
Moses Picault de Ligre  1664-1707
Having been converted from an irregular way of life by the death of his mother, he entered La Trappe at the age of forty. Here he was eager to make atonement for his sins, and to grow in the love of Christ. Three years later he died after a brief illness.
Humbert + 1148
Having spent twenty years in the Benedictine abbey of La Chaise-Dieu, he entered Clairvaux. St Bernard, who esteemed him greatly for his charity and compassion, made him prior and then first abbot of Igny. However, against Bernard's wishes, Humbert resigned and returned to Clairvaux.
Gerard of Farfa  12th century
He was sent by his dying abbot of Farfa, a Benedictine abbey in Italy, to St Bernard at Clairvaux. His special virtue was compunction and he had the gift of tears. He lived to be over ninety, seeming daily to grow younger in the ardor of his indefatigable spirit.
Placid Pozzancheri + 1775
Successively abbot of Casamari and president of the Congregation of St Bernard in Italy, bishop of Imeria, bishop of Tivoli. He was also confessor to Pope Benedict XIII.
Seraphim Roger + 1883
Prior of Sept-Fons under three successive abbots  who were required by their office of vicar-general and
their many daughter houses to be absent often from the monastery, he was responsible for maintaining peace and
discipline and fostering the spiritual life in the community, and he discharged this office admirably.
Henry Corff + 1350
A monk of Marienfeld in Westphalia, humble, obedient and thoroughly peace-loving.
Lorenzo Gonzalez + 1591
Abbot of Valbuena and Villaneva, Spain, exceptional for his religious fervor.
Ida of Nivelles  1198-1231
Her father died when she was nine, and her mother three years later. From the age of nine to sixteen she lived with religious women of her town. She then entered the Cistercian convent of Kerkom. Flemish was spoken there, and her ignorance of that language constituted one of Ida's trials, but it also led her to a deep love of silence and prayer, and an appreciation of non-verbal communication. Later when she had become bi-lingual, and the community had transferred to La Ramee in the French-speaking area of Flanders, she was able to render service as an interpreter. She was much loved by her sisters, and when, at twenty, she seemed at the point of death, they stormed heaven for her recovery. She did recover and lived thirteen years more. One of her great virtues was compassion for others; not only did she pray for them, she was also willing to suffer with and for them.
Life, translated by Martinus Crawley; MBS, p. 309
Louis (Thomas) Merton  1915-1968
Born in Prades, France, of an American mother and New Zealander father, both artists, his early life was unsettled, spent in America and England. In 1938, while studying at Columbia University, he became a Catholic. Three years later he entered Gethsemani, as he himself put it: "Heading for the woods with Thoreau in one pocket, John of the Cross in another and holding the Bible open at the Apocalypse," determined to give himself completely to the monastic life. His autobiography, Seven Storey Mountain, was published in 1947 and became a best-seller. From then on he was the most widely known and influential monk in the West, but probably the highest compliment ever paid to him was that of his abbot: "I never had a more humble or obedient monk."[1]
He served as master of scholastics and novices before becoming a hermit. Through the years he never stopped growing, reaching out. He had an almost unlimited capacity for absorbing and assimiliating other traditions: Christian, Zen Buddhist, Sufi. Always torn between the desire for solitude and the need to communicate, he "managed to combine inconsistency and stability in a creative tension that brought a large measure of unity and integration to his life".[2]  He met his death, accidentally and somewhat mysteriously, while attending an East-West monastic conference in Bangkok, Thailand.
CS 27; CS 42; CS 52; CS 74; CS 92; CS 102; CS 103
"Can I tell you that I have found answers to the questions that torment the man of our time? I do not know if I have found the answers. When I first became a monk, yes, I was more sure of 'answers'. But as I grow old in the monastic life and advance further into solitude, I become aware that I have only begun to seek the questions."  The Monastic Journey
"I leave everything in the hands of God and find my solitude in his will, without being theatrical or glowingly pious about it. I am content. But the right kind of contentment is a perfect solitude. When one is more or less content with the 'nothing' that is at hand, one finds in it everything."  Letter to Jean LeClercq 1956
Bl David + 1179
A native of Florence, he became a novice at Clairvaux, but, because of his poor health, he was dismissed. Disconsolate, he remained at the gate until St Bernard re-admitted him, realizing that his courage and faith would compensate for lack of physical strength. Soon after his profession in 1134, he was sent with the monks who were to found Himmerod in Germany. By fervent prayer he obtained strength to assist in the construction of the new monastery. He served God and his brethren with great joy of spirit. Whoever came to him sad, went away happy and with spirits uplifted.
MBS, p. 306
Francois Lotin de Charney + 1716
As a young man he was somewhat frivolous, but, having visited La Trappe a number of times, he was moved to become a monk. He embraced his new life with his innate magnanimity, animating the observances with the spirit of humility, obedience, compunction, piety and a deep devotion to Christ's Passion.
Martin Martin  1856-1908
At the age of twelve he was received as a student or oblate at Our Lady of the Snows. He later made profession as a monk, was appointed to various offices and finally elected abbot. He was most kind and solicitous for his brethren, and his entire regime was imbued with the goodness and mercy of Christ.
Franco of Archennes  13th century
A knight of Brabant, he became a crusader and fought in the Holy Land with his two sons, who were killed in battle. Returning home, he became a monk at Villers, serene, kind and affable.
Jean-Antoine de Somont  1659-1701
Abbot of Tamie. Having visited La Trappe, he reformed his own monastery and joined it to the Strict Observance. In 1682 he was appointed procurator of the Order, and thus was able to aid in the reform of other monasteries and convents.
A monk of Santa Maria dell'Arco, Nieti, Sicily.
14. Nunraw Abbey: Brother Brendan Denis Kelly
6 August 1910 - 14 December 1949
Denis Kelly was Baptised and confirmed in the Parish of Oghil & Kiltormer,
Diocese of Clonfert, Ireland
He began his monastic life at Roscrea Abbey. He was among the founders of Nunraw in 1946. In the following year he was found to be suffering from tuberculosis. He was the first monk to die and to be buried at Nunraw.
Louise-Therese Perrucard de Ballon  1591-1668
Born in Vanchy, Savoy, she was taken to the convent of St Catherine de Semnoz at the age of seven. Professed at sixteen, she soon afterwards made a retreat under the direction of her kinsman, St Francis de Sales, which profoundly changed her life. Since the convent was not amenable to reform, she with four other sisters began a new community at Rumilly, which became the nucleus of the Bernadines of Divine Providence, and at the time of the French Revolution counted twenty-five houses.
Jacques Puiperon + 1674
A member of the Order of Celestines, he entered La Trappe and lived in humility and charity to his brethren. Fourteen months before his death, he contracted tuberculosis, and bore the sufferings this entailed not only with equanimity, but even with joy in the Spirit.
Constant Jouvin  1837-1906
Obliged to care for his father, he had to wait until the latter's death before he could enter Bricquebec as a lay-brother at the age of forty-eight. He was at the service of his brethren in everything and had a special gift for expiating the faults of others by a more generous mortification in union with Christ.
16. Nunraw Abbey:  Br Antony Patrick Hopkins
12 September 1918 - 16 December 1985
Br Anthony suffered a heart attack and died peacefully in his sleep. Patrick
Hopkins was born in Dublin in 1918, where he first experienced life in an
Orphanage. One has only to look round the Church at Nunraw to see marks of his workmanship everywhere. In the course of almost forty years, the call on his skills in woodwork were as constant as the great demands in establishing a new monastery. In practice he could always be called upon for a much wider range of services in the community; assisting in the guesthouse, shopkeeper, cook and in one of the great loves of his life, the liturgy.
Rainald + 1150
A monk of Clairvaux, elected fifth abbot of Citeaux in 1133, he was a man of nobility, decorum and religious fervor. He is said to have collected the statutes and definitions of the first Cistercians into a single volume.
Nunraw Abbey: Father Andrew Hart 10 Oct 1906 – 17 December 1992.
Born in Dumbarton in 1906, Fr. Andrew - Hart joined the Abbey of Mount
Saint Joseph, Roscrae, Ireland, in September 1936. He had received a B.Sc. degree from Glasgow University in 1928, and a Teachers Diploma in 1929
He made Solemn Profession vows on 30 October 1941 and was ordained priest on 25 February 1944. After teaching in the college attached to the Abbey he was named as one of the founders of the Abbey at Nunraw in 1946. He was appointed Novice Master, the role in which he made his best contribution to the community. As a young monk studying theology he was noted as a faithful follower of St  Thomas Aquinas and, with the years, this became more deeply rooted in Sacred Scripture. In his later years this was evident in his sermons and in the  spiritual direction for which he was much in demand. With his strong physique he did not understand illness and although sickness did come his way, he battled on. As someone said, his motto could have been, ‘Bury me in my boots’. Indeed, the Lord called him while still active in the company of the brethren.
Marie Moennat + 1650
She became abbess of Fille Dieu in 1613, and amid great opposition, restored enclosure and abstinence with the help of her brother, Dom William, abbot of Hauterive (September 1).
Les Moniales, p. 105

COMMENT Scripture Bulletin

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: William W. . .
To: Donald. . . 
Sent: Wednesday, 30 November 2011, 6:44
Subject: [Blog]

Scripture Bulletin - Michael Tait's article

Dear Father Donald,
Thank you for presenting the wealth of knowledge in the Bulletin.
I should like to add a comment re Michael Tait's brilliant article on "When was the Church's birthday".... his resume at the top of the final page 63 is delightful!
Reading it with today's feast in mind, I began to wonder if the call of the disciples could be considered as 'another possible' date... "Follow me" is at least a call for assembly!
The tapestry of our faith does not reveal the first thread!.
. . .  in Our Lord,

COMMENT St. Andrew 2

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: edward . . .
To: Donald . . .
Sent: Wednesday, 30 November 2011, 14:45
Subject: Re: Fw: [Dom Donald's Blog]

Saint Andrew 30 November 2011

Dear Father Donald,

Thank you very much for your greetings, and for the link to Meister Eckhart.
I remember being surprised by Hegel's quoting him.
I may have got it wrong, but what comes back to my memory is: "The eye by which we see God is the eye by which God sees us." The equivalence  rings alarm bells but not at full blast!
. . .
. . .
Here we have some real snow.

I am distracted by the prospect of Mario Monti trying to bring things back into order in Italy - and In  Europe. He strikes me as being thoroughly honest. Unfortunately Belusconi prowls around still in the background.

Blessings in Domino,

fr Edward O.P.

COMMENT St. Andrew 1

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: William W.  . . .
To: Fr Donald . . .
Sent: Wednesday, 30 November 2011, 5:58
Subject: Re: [Blog] 

Saint Andrew - reading from Eckhart

Dear Father Donald,
What a treasure you give on this feast for all followers of Christ!
Meister Eckhart's wonderful clarity of thought carries me to the band of disciples walking with Jesus after the call to follow him. Along the narrow path, those positioned in front of Him will have been excitedly reasoning with each other, carried forward in their zeal for the overthrow of their oppressors, misinterpretating the salvation that Jesus was bringing to their land: those beside Him will have been trying to reason with Him, arguing about the way they best judged for Him to bring salvation into the world; and those following quietly behind will have been reasoning within themselves, pondering in their heart the salvation that was promised, listening to Him.
I have read recently that the Cistercian desire for silence is in order to listen.
That has been a delight, thank you!
...  in Our Lord,

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Saint Andrew 30 November 2011

Saint Andrew - Fife

Matthew 4:18-21.

Night Office - Alternative Reading
From a sermon by Meister Eckhart
(Meisler Eckhor),
pages 175-179)
  • God in creating all creatures instructs and enjoins, advises, and commands them, by the very fact that he creates them, to follow him and conform themselves to him, to turn and hasten back to him as the first cause of their entire being.
  • There are some who follow God: these are the perfect. 
  • Others walk close by God, at his side: these are the imperfect.  
  • But there are others who run in front of God, and these are the wicked.
  • These are the sort of people who never have an y thought of God in their actions, who do not care or consider what is good or evil, pleasing to God or displeasing. They throw all that behind them as an old woman might throwaway bad eggs or rotten apples and their sole concern is how to gain honors, wealth, and pleasure. These are the adversaries of God; they are devils, in fact they are the Devil himself, the adversary of God, as the Lord said to Peter: Get thee behind me, Satan. "Behind me," he says, not "before me."
  • There are others who walk close by God, at his side, and these, although they are not wicked, are nevertheless imperfect. For instance, someone may suffer insults, poverty or physical infirmity and have no desire to be rid of this threefold suffering unless God so willed and it were his good pleasure. Nevertheless he would prefer it to be God's will that he should be well rather than ill. These people do not follow God: they wish to lead God rather than be led by him. They would like God to want what they want. Such as these run in step with God and at his side. It is true that they want what God wants, but they would prefer God to want what they want. They do not realize that God has no equal. Wherefore none should walk on equal footing with him and by his side. Inferior things must by their very nature be led by superior and not the reverse.
  • Thirdly, there are others who do not run before God like the wicked, nor accompany him at his side like the imperfect, but follow him. Of these it is said: They left their nets and their father, and followed him. And this is what is expressed here in the words, Follow me. These are they who look at nothing behind them nor at anything standing apart to one side or the other but look only to God who is before and above them. Hence Augustine says: "He is thy best servant, a Lord, who is not so much concerned to hear from you what he himself wants as to want what he hears from you." Of these people it is said: They follow the Lamb wherever he goes.
  • It is remarkable how happy such people are, even in this world. For things always turn out as they wish; they are always
  • joyful, because they rejoice in all things alike. This is the fullness of joy spoken of in John: Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. Augustine, speaking of this joy says: 
  • "There is a joy which is not given to the ungodly, but to those who worship you without thought of reward, 0 Lord. You are yourself their joy, and this is the blessed life: to rejoice unto you, in you and for your sake." 

Scripture Bulletin July 2011

 It may be late but we are grateful to receive this
Scripture Bulletin
Thank you.

Written by Editor   
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 00:00
In the first article of this issue, Michael Tait considers the various New Testament options for the Church’s birthday. Whilst its traditional birthday of Pentecost might well be described appropriately as the Church’s ‘official birthday’ given its public character, the New Testament offers several further possibilities for its ‘actual’ birth. Tait’s conclusion is that any answer to the question depends upon the aspect under which the Church is being viewed. Several ‘birthdays’ may need to be celebrated in order for all aspects to be appreciated.

In his provocative contribution, Henry Wansbrough explores the Acts narrative of Paul’s arrival in Rome, against the backdrop of Luke’s literary artistry and in the light of parallels with contemporary novels. He points to significant difficulties with Luke’s claim in Acts that Paul was a Roman citizen, a key plank for the Rome episode which is presented as the culmination of Paul’s appeal to the emperor. Wansbrough suggests that Paul’s actual visit to Rome may have been rather less glorious, the Acts story being an imaginative reflection of Luke’s overall concerns, not least to represent in narrative form the triumph of Christianity.

In our third article, the ambiguous figure of the Apocalypse’s rider on the white horse (the first of the four horsemen) is examined. Although it has similarities with the later portrayal of Christ riding a white horse, not all may what it appears to be. Is he a Christlike figure, or a figure of the ‘dark side’? This contribution proposes that this ambiguity might be a deliberate strategy of the book. It would then reflect what is one of the Apocalypse’s greatest contributions to the theology of the New Testament: that recognizing evil, naming it for what it is, is a notoriously difficult task, which calls for ‘wisdom’ and divine revelation.

Finally, the Executive Committee of the Catholic Biblical Association has received news of the recent death of Fr Reggie Fuller, founder member and one-time Secretary, at the age of 102. Fr Henry Wansbrough pays tribute to Fr Reggie in a reminiscence which can be read on the ‘CBA News’ section of this website (

Ian Boxall
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Written by Michael Tait   
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 10:51
Michael Tait holds the Licence in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the PhD from the University of Manchester.

As a child, I doubt if I were alone in finding the notion of the Queen’s two birthdays (official and unofficial?/natural and unnatural?) puzzling. Apart from the tantalising questions as to whether she received two sets of presents, two cakes and two parties, the basic difficulty lay in the fundamental oxymoron. It is the same question as that posed by Nicodemus: ‘Can a man be born more than once?’ (cf. Jn 3:4). I was reminded of this conundrum when a postgraduate student friend recently asked me about the birthday of the Church. On reading through his thesis for the umpteenth time, he had just realised that he had referred to the resurrection of Jesus as the birthday of the Church.
171 Kb

Written by Ian Boxall   
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 00:00

Ian Boxall is editor of Scripture Bulletin, and Tutor in New Testament at St Stephen’s House, Oxford
One of the most famous artistic portrayals of Revelation’s vision of the four horsemen, and one which has had a significant impact on the Western Christian imagination, is Albrecht Dürer’s woodcut of the scene, which was published along with his other Apocalypse scenes in 1498, when Dürer was only twenty-seven. Here we are presented with the four horses galloping furiously side by side across the page, ‘as if catapulted’ (in the words of one art historian),  bringing war, disaster, famine and destruction in their wake.
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Written by Henry Wansbrough OSB   
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 10:40
Henry Wansbrough is a monk of Ampleforth. He has been Chairman of the Faculty of Theology at Oxford University, and served on the Pope’s Biblical Commission for eleven years. He is General Editor of The New Jerusalem Bible, and has written a number of books on biblical subjects.

The purpose of this essay is to sketch the possibility that Luke’s purpose in devoting so much attention to the journey of Paul to Rome, with all its drama, is less to complete a biography of Paul than to achieve other objectives of Luke’s writings. In particular it was important to Luke to complete the geographical scheme for Acts, laid out by the Risen Christ in Acts 1:8, of bringing the gospel to the heart of the Roman Empire. Since Luke’s Gospel depicts the spread of salvation from the Jews to the gentiles, it is also appropriate that his two-volume work should end with the formal protestation at the heart of the gentile world that Jewish resistance to the message has forced the messengers to concentrate on the gentile world.
371 Kb

Written by Editor   
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 10:27
137 Kb
CBA News
Bible's Buried Secrets: A personal review