Friday, 30 November 2012

St. Therese Act of offering to Merciful Love

Saturday, 01 December 2012

Saturday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time


----- Forwarded Message -----   
From: DGO ...
Sent: Friday, 30 November 2012, 17:03
Subject: The Daily Gospel 
See commentary below or click here
Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus : "To stand before the Son of Man" 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21:34-36.
Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise
like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.
Commentary of the day : 

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897), Carmelite, Doctor of the Church
Act of offering to Merciful Love (©Institute of Carmelite studies) 

"To stand before the Son of Man"
O My God! Most Blessed Trinity, I desire to love you and make you loved, to work for the glory of Holy Church by saving souls... I desire to accomplish your will perfectly and to reach the degree of glory you have prepared for me in your kingdom. I desire, in a word, to be a saint, but I feel my helplessness and I beg You, O my God! to be yourself my sanctity!

Since you loved me so much as to give me your only Son as my Savior and my Spouse, the infinite treasures of his merits are mine. I offer them to you with gladness, begging you to look upon me only in the Face of Jesus and in his heart burning with love...

I thank you, O my God! for all the graces you have granted me, especially the grace of making me pass through the crucible of suffering. It is with joy I shall contemplate you on the Last Day carrying the scepter of your cross. Since you deigned to give me a share in this very precious cross, I hope in heaven to resemble you and to see shining in my glorified body the sacred stigmata of Your Passion...

After earth's exile, I hope to go and enjoy you in the Fatherland, but I do not want to lay up merits for heaven. I want to work for your love alone with the one purpose of pleasing you, consoling your Sacred Heart, and saving souls who will love You eternally. In the evening of this life, I shall appear before you with empty hands, for I do not ask you, Lord, to count my works. All our justice is stained in your eyes. I wish, then, to be clothed in Your own justice and to receive from your love the eternal possession of yourself. I want no other throne. no other crown but you, my beloved! Time is nothing in your eyes, and a single day is like a thousand years (Ps 90[89],4). You can, then, in one instant prepare me to appear before you.

Offering to merciful love

... On June 9, 1895, during a mass celebrating the feast of the Holy Trinity, Thérèse had a sudden inspiration that she must offer herself as a sacrificial victim to merciful love. At this time some nuns offered themselves as a victim to God's justice. In her cell she drew up an 'Act of Oblation' for herself and for Céline, and on June 11, the two of them knelt before the miraculous Virgin and Thérèse read the document she had written and signed. In the evening of this life, I shall appear before You with empty hands, for I do not ask you lord to count my works.. According to biographer Ida Gorres the document echoed the happiness she had felt when Father Alexis Prou, the Franciscan preacher, had assured her that her faults did not cause God sorrow. In the Oblation she wrote, "If through weakness I should chance to fall, may a glance from Your Eyes straightway cleanse my soul, and consume all my imperfections-as fire transforms all things into itself."

Thérèse of Lisieux

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Blosius, Ven. A book of spiritual instruction = Institutio spiritualis"

The horizon at six o'clock tonight.
Jupiter and full Moon
National Schools Observatory

COMMENT:   The Commentary, on the Gospel, by St. Augustine was most encouraging. 

The Commentary, Meditation of MAGNIFICAT, is very different. 'Redemption Near at Hand'
It is from Ludovic Blosius. 
The Text is from
It makes an interesting study of the publishing dates.
The Apocalypse and the Gospel balance things, "No earth overwhelms that we are "invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb."

Thursday, 29 November 2012  

Thursday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time   

Saint Luke 21:20-28V. 27-28. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand

Commentary of the day : 

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church 
Discourses on the Psalms, Ps 95[96], §14  
"Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand"
“Then all the trees of the forest shall leap for joy before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to rule the earth” (Ps 96[95],12-13).    

of "A book of spiritual instruction = Institutio spiritualis"


Ludovicus Blosius (1506-1565), Benedictine monk and writer
National Portrait Gallery
Translated from the Latin 
by Bertrand A. Wilberforce
of tlie Order of Saint Dominic

Nihil Obstat
Archiepiscopus Westmonast.
Die Junii 20, 1899


Preparation for a holy Death, to be followed by eternal

1. Mortification of concupiscence and resignation of our  own will form the best preparation for death.
 . . .
3. A certain friend of God was once asked what he  would do if he had lived for a long time in grievous sins.  He replied : "If I had done all prescribed to me by  a prudent and wise confessor, and had given up my sins  as I ought, I should wish never again to think of them,  nor to stain my heart with the remembrance of them;  but I would strive from that time to live so piously that  God might forget all my sins. For when we neither  desire nor commit sin, but turn clean away from it, then  God also forgets it. *

[Instruction 137 ]
" Yea, even if I had lived for the space of forty years  in sins, and now the hour of my death had come, if I had  sincerely confessed my sins, if I could, with perfect love, from the depth of my heart, even for the space of  one 'Hail Mary,' turn myself to God and betake myself  to Him, in order that I might turn utterly away from sin  and entirely to God, then I might go from this world as  a pure and innocent man. But if, on the other hand,  I had committed only one sin, and I went hence in  sorrow, contrition and grief of heart, then, indeed, I  should die as a penitent sinner."

On the other hand, many people who have not the  true fear of God are miserably deceived by flattering  themselves with the idea of God's immense mercy, while  at the same time they do not correct their evil life. Such  men think little of daily venial offences; yea, even  grievous sins do not much trouble them. They say to  themselves : " Directly we have sighed a little and  groaned over our iniquities, the inexhaustible mercy of  God will forgive them all, and we shall go hence by  a happy death."

 * This advice is meant to guide the timid and scrupulous,  who after confession, ought to abstain from an anxious remembrance of particular sins, especially of blasphemy, impurity  and such like, which, once confessed, are far better forgotten,  on account of the danger of despair and of relapse, and also to  avoid trouble of mind and depression. But this does not  exclude the penitent disposition of mind and humility for past  sin in general. *' My sin is ever before me " (Ps. 1, 5).

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Vine and Wine (Benedict xvi) beside The Father's Vineyard (von Balthasar)

Jesus of Nazareth Vol 1.
POPE BENEOICT XVI  ... Vine and Wine pp. 258-261
out being bound to its present servants, This threat-promise applies not only to the . . .. . 
The image of the vine is abandoned and replaced by the image of God's living building. The Cross is not an end, but a new beginning. The song of the vineyard does not end with the killing of the son. le opens the prospect that God will do something new. The affinity with John 2, which speaks of the destruction of the Temple and its reconstruction, is impossible to overlook. God does not fail; we may be unfaithful, but he is always faithful (cf. 2 Tim 2:13). He finds new and greater ways for his love. The indirect Christology of the early parables is transcended here into a fully open Christological statement.

["I am the true vine," the Lord says (Jn 15:1)].
The parable of the vine in Jesus' Farewell Discourses continues the whole history of biblical thought and language on the subject of the vine and discloses its ultimate depth. "I am the true vine," the Lord says (Jn 15:1). The word true is the first important thing to notice about this saying. Barren makes the excellent observation that "fragments of meaning, obscurely hinted at by other vines, are gamered up and made explicit by him. He is the true vine" (Gospel) p. 473). But the really important thing about this saying is the opening: "I am." The Son identifies himself with the vine; he himself has become the vine. He has let himself be planted in the earth. He has entered into the vine: The mystery of the Incarnation, which John spoke of in the prologue (0 his Gospel, is taken up again here in a surprising new way. The vine is no longer merely a creature that God looks upon with love, but that he can still uproot and reject. In me Son, he himself has become the vine; he has forever identified himself, his very being, with the vine.

This vine can never again be uprooted or handed over (0 be plundered. It belongs once and for all (0 God; through the Son God himself lives in it. The promise has become irrevocable, the unity indestructible. God has taken this great new step within history, and this constitutes the deepest content of the parable. Incarnation, death, and Resurrection come to be seen in their full breadth: "For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we preached among you ... was not Yes and No; but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him" (2 Cor I:l9f), as Saint Paul puts it. 

The idea that through Christ the vine has become the Son himself is a new one, and yet the ground for it has been prepared in biblical tradition. Psalm 80:18 closely associates the "Son of Man" with the vine. Conversely: Although the Son has now himself become the vine, this is precisely his method for remaining one with his own, with all the scattered children of God whom he has come to gather (cf Jn 11:52). The vine is a Christological title that as such embodies a whole ecclesiology. The vine signifies Jesus' inseparable oneness with his own, who through him and with him are all "vine;' and whose calling is to "remain" in the vine. John does not make use of the Pauline image of the "Body of Christ:' But the parable of the vine expresses substantially the same idea: the fact that Jesus is inseparable from his own, and that they are one with him and in him. In this sense, the discourse about the vine indicates the irrevocability of the gift God has given, never to take it back again. In becoming incarnate, God has bound himself At the same time, though, the discourse speaks of the demands that this gift places upon us in ever new ways.

Balthasar ‘I am the vine; it is I who achieve’ COMMENTS

There has to be a Link: "Vine and Wine" by Benedict xvi, 'Jesus of Nazareth 1, pp.248-263.

The gates of heaven are wide open. 'Heaven is Myself. And it is I who am in you. Do you thoroughly grasp this? (HE AND i)

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Donald ...
To: William J ...m>
Sent: Friday, 16 November 2012, 16:56
Subject: Happy home after great monastery safari

Hi, William,
In this loving morning, you must have thoroughly relished the moments by train and the whole journey.
Thank you for your visit with us...
Reading:- I took the book from you last evening and took the first random of ‘The Father’s Vineyard, Heart of the World,’ over and over ...
The one paragraph , pp.76/77,was more than enough and I am still pondering.
The key, ‘am the vine; iis I who achieve’,  gives me the bearings BUT from on the inter twining are not easily unthreaded.
Is your tutorial of clarifying possible?
Always a presence joy.
Paragraph  BY SENTENCE:

Why do you rush on to deed and achievement?
am the vine; iis I who achieve.
What is your deed if it is not to ripen?
Let my sap rise up within you that you may hang heavy and golden.
Then will the chaotic dream of deeds dreamt by the shoots in the springtime, then will the leaves' proud summer craze, then will all earth's work become ripe within your little taut spheres.
You can bear in yourselves the meaning of the earth, but onlthrougme.
And . when in the bowers of heaven this wine is served up at the Lamb's marriage-feast, then the whole world will be borne within it-as spirit.
Then one will be able to taste on which hillside and in what year of salvation it grew, will be able to savor in it the whole landscape of its origin, and not the least of your joys will be lost.
But everything about it has invisibly turned within, and the dividing borderlines being and being are dissolved in the unifying tide, and all bubbling eagerness has ceased fermenting, and all sadness has resurrected into brightness.   

From: William ..
To: Donald ...
Sent: Saturday, 17 November 2012, 16:51
Subject: Happy home after great monastery safari

Dear Father Donald,
Thank you... I did so enjoy our evening discussions, ...  and delighted in immersion in Balthasar's glorious meditation on the Heart of the World! ...
You are setting me a very great challenge to comment 'outwardly' (as opposed interiorily) upon the subtly moving waters of the mind of Balthasar... imagine a river hidden in an estuary: it is below the surface that the hidden course of the river runs, but its course can only known by the movement of the waters or glimpsed at low tide, swallowed up as it is as the tide swells the estuary....
In the passage you define, I believe his initial thought is of our receptivity to grace: to savour, to cherish the life-giving sap rising within us, as fruit thusenabled to respond to the warmth of sunlight. Only through this life-giving sap's confluence with our own life-desire will the 'taut' buds of potentiality be enlivened. How tender are the buds and blossoms of our springtime that express the 'meaning of earth's' potency - individually, but not independently of the sap that brings them to life; and each bud, in its growing perfection will one day be combined to fill the 'bowers' of heaven with the wine, 'as spirit', each grape being known and valued, taking regard for its origin (its life circumstance) - its region, its 'hillside', its 'year', describing within itself where planted and with what oppportunity for growth, each flavour unique. No flavour will be lost in this admixture, indeed the very combination of the varying grapes of 'the whole world' together, in fermentation 'dissolving' all sadness at the degree of ripening, difference of growth potential and opportunity, will be 'resurrected'  into the most perfect wine for the 'Lamb's marriage feast'. His final thought, for me, is of the salvation of all who respond regardless of their different 'landscape of origin' to that sunlight that invites receptivity. So great a harvest has he conceived! how greatly to be celebrated!
I will next delight in ordering the book - and the further one you showed me (I need, hunger for that deep confluence of thoughts). Then I shall put Google through its paces in the hunt for the 'Imitation' in such an edition as your own gem!
Thank you, most truly, for everything that you have given and shared with me through your kindness and your friendship. It was wonderful for me to be with you again!
With my love in Our Lord,
Whdo yorush on to deed and achievement?
am the vine; iis I who achieve.
What is youdeed iit is not to ripen? ....

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Fr. Raymond

On the Night Office this morning, the Abbot, read the Gospel of the Solemnity of Christ the King, the words resounded, "Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world." (John 18 33b-37).
Later, we will listen to the Homily of the Mass by Fr. Raymond.
. . .

---- Forwarded Message -----
From: Raymond . . .
Sent: Sunday, 25 November 2012, 10:10
Subject: Kingship of Christ

Kingship of Christ

  • Jesus is for us, principally, the Son of God incarnate.  But Scripture and tradition give us three other great titles for him:  we call him PRIEST and we call him PROPHET and we call him KING.......Priest, Prophet and King.
  • Two of these titles are specifically religious: Priest and Prophet.
  • The Priest offers to God, on behalf of his fellow men, their prayers and their sacrifices.
  • The Prophet offers to men the word that comes to them from God.
  • But the third title is, in itself, a purely human term.  It prescinds from religion altogether.   A man is a king among his people even if neither he nor his people believe in God.
  • So, to understand best what is meant by the Kingship of Christ we have first to forget, for a moment, the fact that he is God.  Indeed, we might say that, of itself, his Divinity makes it impossible for us to consider him as merely our King.
  • When Jesus said to Pilate: “Yes indeed I am a King, but my Kingdom is not of this world”,  he had to say that because it was the only description of his Kingdom that would allay Pilate’s fears of political trouble.  But for us, the Kingdom of Christ is indeed also very much “of this world”.  Because it is not as God that he is our King.   God is “God” and can never be a mere “King” except by a figure of speech.  It is only by his incarnation that Christ is really our King.  It is only because he is one of us and we are his brothers and sisters that he can live among us and truly call himself our King.
  • In the Old Testament times there was something prophetic in Israel’s plea for a king from among themselves to lead them like other nations.  Yet God wasn’t pleased by it although they didn’t mean to reject him as their God.  It was just that they wanted a visible tangible King on earth.  They were not to realise yet that the Messiah to come would be at once their God and their visible tangible King on earth.
  • Feast of Christ the King painting
  •   By his incarnation, by his stepping down into his creation, Christ is not only king of his people he is King of the whole universe, King of all creation, men and angels.  All were created through and by him and FOR him.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Christ the King OP Link on occasion

SundayesourceTTT  The Sunday Preacher’s Resource brings together various texts related to the lectionary readings for each sunday of the three year cycle, such as patristic and contemporary commentaries, exegetical notes, and recent magisterial usage. PDFs are available for most Sundays. To see more preaching resources, click here.

Sunday Preacher's Resource
The Order of Preachers

Last Sunday in Ordinary Time,
the Solemnity of Christ the King, Cycle B 

November 22, 2009 
Scripture Readings 
First : Daniel 7:13-14 
Second : Revelation 1:5-8 
Gospel:  John 18:33b-37  
Prepared by:  Fr. Stephen Dominic Hayes, OP 
1.  Subject Matter
• The fundamental message of John's Gospel emphasizes that Jesus' kingdom is not of this 
world; that is, not all of this universe of time and space, extent and duration, that is, 
something belonged to a world of limits and changeability.  Rather, is kingdom is founded in 
his Sonship with his Father; something belonging to the life of the eternal Trinity, and 
therefore is founded on personal relationship, knowledge, and love.  Jesus Kingship in its 
proper not to a physical realm, but to the world of shared life which is that of the uncreated 
Trinity, and those elect creatures who are admitted to the Kingdom of the Father through the 
2.  Exegetical Notes 
• In the first reading, the prophet Daniel is granted a vision of the end of days and of universal 
judgment.  Chapter 9 describes in bestial figures four empires;  in terms of the time of 
editorship of the cup and of Daniel, this would be  interpreted as that of Babylon, Media, 
Persia, and the Greek Macedonian and Selucid empires, who are judged and destroyed by 
the justice of God.  This vision is succeeded by the advent of the "Son of Man", a figure 
representing the kingdom of God's holy ones “on the clouds of heaven: (that is, from God.’ 
His reign, being celestial and divine, is radically different from that of the earthly powers who 
have been judged.  In an original literary form, this human figure is symbolical of the superior 
form of the heavenly kingdom, contrasted with the bestial kingdoms of the earth.  In late 
Jewish apocalyptic thought thought, however, the notion of kingdom tends to be merged with 
that of the king himself.   This image, interpreted by the Church to Jesus in the second 
reading, is used repeatedly by the Lord himself in his application of the notion of the Kingdom 
of God being conjoined to that of Christ's own person and our relationship to him, a pattern 
we see again and again in both the Synoptics and the Johannine material.  
• The second reading shows the early Church applying the prophecy of Daniel directly to the 
Lord Jesus Christ.  It is he who is to receive universal dominion and power, precisely 
because of the blood he shed upon the cross.  In him will be fulfilled all the messianic 
prophecies of the Scriptures; and the judgment he ushers in puts into condemnation not only those who condemned them in life (“ those who pierced him”) but also “all the nations” in the 
sense of those who irredeemably choose a life apart  from that of the people of God forming 
now in personal relationship to God's Son and King, Jesus Christ. The symbolic language of 
beginning and end (derived from Greek, not Hebrew usage) finds application to Christ as 
beginning and end, cause and purpose for all that is. ( Interestingly enough, the ancient 
Hebrew form of the alphabet called Ketav Ivri or  Paleo-Hebrew, based on Phoenician 
forms, has as its first letter the  silent letter Aleph and as its last letter Tav, which in this 
early form has the shape of a cross.  This is the mark made on the foreheads of God is 
faithful ones in the book of Ezekiel (9:4).
• The Gospel of this Sunday, in Cycle B, focuses on the Lord's conversation with Pilate.  In this 
moment, the earthly representative of Leviathan confronts the messenger of God's grace - 
and the only-begotten and eternal Son of the Father, and engagement which reveals the 
absolute difference between an earthly understanding of power and dominion, and that 
desire for communion which flows from the heart of  God. The conversation is set in the 
context of Pilate's acting as the judicial representative of the Roman Empire in hearing the 
Jewish leadership's complaint that Jesus is setting himself up as King against Caesar;- the  
only way in which the Roman authority would take seriously the claims against the Lord.  In 
this moment, paradoxically, he who would act as an  earthly judge finds himself before a 
Word of judgment from God Most High. 
• In vv.34-35, Jesus asked Pilate how he has come to formulate the charge against him; was it 
his idea were someone else's that Jesus is "King of the Jews"? This question enables is 
Pilate the chance to take a personal stance with regard to Jesus and his mission instead of 
being merely the current conduit for the world's rage against the Son of God made man.  
Pilot responds by vehemently denying any interest in Jewish religious concerns. 
• At verse 36, the Lord is able to state the source of his authority, is lack of interest in the 
power games that the worldly delight in playing, and shows the absolute lack of political 
connection of his kingship to the affairs which are the whole life of Pilate and the Emperor 
whom he serves.  When Pilate persists in asking whether or not Jesus is a King, the Lord 
responds by emphasize that the essence of his kingly and messianic mission is as a witness 
to the truth, that which is the truth of God Most High, and the kingdom for he will make 
testimony by his own martyrdom ; a kingdom which will be founded upon his Blood, in a way 
familiar to Pilate and imperfectly foreshadowed in the city of Rome's own foundation on the 
blood of Romulus' murdered brother Remus.  It is this truth, identical with Jesus own person, 
which Pilate will treat with contempt in the Gospel’s next Line  “What is Truth?”  The Lord has 
already given that answer in John 14:6: Ego sum via et veritas et vita.  The kingdom of God 
breaks in the personal relationship of Jesus Christ with those whom he calls to be his 
followers.  As the Lord has pointed out, these do not fight to establish an earthly kingdom for 
him, this is a kingdom not of this world, with its  limited powers and internecine combats 
concerning the limits of borders and possession of passing wealth, but has asked its heart 
the rule of God over souls willing to enter into a relationship with the Son who possesses all 
dominion in heaven and on earth.  Christ’s is a lordship of hearts, not of earthly rule. 
3.  References to the Catechism of the Catholic Church• CCC 680:   Christ the Lord already reigns through the Church, but all the things of this world 
are not yet subjected to him.  The triumph of Christ's kingdom will not come about without 
one last assault by the powers of evil.  

Nový Dvůr Abbey OCSO (Nový Dvůr means literally "the New Yard")

Novy Dvur OCSO - 99

File:Klášter Nový Dvůr - okres Karlovy Vary - Karlovarský kraj - Česká republika.jpg
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia   
Nový Dvůr Monastery
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Monastery of Nový Dvůr
The Monastery of Nový Dvůr is the only monastery of the Trappist Order in the Czech Republic, located near Toužim in the Karlovy Vary Region, close to the Premonstratensian monastery of Teplá.
The monastery originated from a dilapidated Baroque farm (Nový Dvůr means literally "the New Yard"), that was partially reconstructed and mostly replaced by a modern construction according to a project of British architect John Pawson. It was established in August 2002 as a daughter house of the Sept-Fons AbbeyFrance. In September 2004 the monastery church was dedicated to Our Lady.[1]
As of 2009, the monastery is a home of about twenty monks, who manufacture several products: face cream "Crème Réparatrice" with an extract of corn sprouts, linden and orange tree with ECOCERT certification; four sorts of mustard (two are produced via organic farming), which are sold next to Czech Republic also in France, Germany, Austria and Hungary. The recipes of both products were created by monks in Nový Dvůr and the other products of Nový Dvůr such as jam, coffee and dietary supplements originate from their home monastery Sept-Fons Abbey in France.[1]

 ----- Forwarded Message -----

From: Klášter Nový Dvůr <>
Sent: Friday, 23 November 2012, 12:34
Subject: News from the Abbey of Nový Dvůr

News from the Abbey of Nový Dvůr
A few weeks before Christmas 2012
Dear Friends,

Christmas can be the time of widening our horizons, instead of closing them in as we usually do. There is the story of a Russian Christian, who complained that the number of believers had greatly diminished. Someone asked him, “How many are there?” The other person responded – with a small number – and his interlocutor said, “That’s enough!” How many monks and Christians are we? During the course of the last century, the world changed. Christendom, from which missionaries went to carry the Good News, disappeared. From now on, we are in the midst of the mission land. The two Cities, Christian and non-Christian, are entangled, one with the other. It is a new situation that requires new attitudes and a new faithfulness. Today, like yesterday, Christians and monks serve the Lord through those who live around them. And since the world is small, since it is enough to just get in an airplane to catch up to the path of the sun, who are those who are the closest to us? All of humanity. When we pray, the Lord leans over everyone. Without this conviction of faith, would there really be young people to commit themselves to the monastic life today?

This Christmas and the New Year, you will not receive a calendar. The newsletter that celebrated the tenth anniversary of the foundation of Novy Dvur will have to take its place. We do not let events such as this one break the banal rhythm and the ordinary rhythm of our lives. For that very banality can hide a precious fidelity. Isn’t it pretty much the same among our families? That said, let us try to gather some special events. First of all, the construction work.

At Novy Dvur, the construction on the workshop buildings is progressing normally. Since the number and the volume of our monastic products are increasing, these new areas will be welcome, theoretically in spring 2014 . And so it is time to start thinking about the construction of the Stella Matutina chapel, which we have been talking about for such a long time. It will be an easily accessible place where our visitors will be able to pray during the day.

At Sept-Fons, we have been talking for a long time about restoring the common areas (washroom, cloister, dormitory). If God wills it… Let us avoid making any estimates of the date of the beginning of the works, however necessary they may be. As you know, Sept-Fons also helps other monastic communities.

Recently, I had the chance, for a few days, to share the daily life of one of these communities that possessed nothing that it should have been able to legitimately claim: neither liberty of movement, nor comfort, nor sufficient resources, nor any of the necessary means of giving a solid formation to its young members, nor personalities powerful enough to confront this exceptional situation, nor out-of-the ordinary virtues! And yet, in that community, which is to all appearances very poor, the brothers pray, develop, persevere, and welcome younger members who join. The work of divine grace is perceptible. Upon my return, a brother asked me: “Did this visit change the way you look at Novy Dvur?” – “Yes,” I said, “I understand better the role of grace; I am less afraid of my own shortcomings and the shortcomings of the brothers.”

We will finish this letter with an anecdote. Last spring, one of our brothers whose family came to visit told me, in the evening, what he had heard: a comet was going to smash into planet Earth and destroy it. There wasn’t anybody who wasn’t talking about it… The end of the world would be set for this autumn! I had a good laugh. A brother of Sept-Fons, to whom I told that tale over the telephone, said to me, “What luck!” Autumn has passed, with neither comet nor end of the world on the horizon… Should we say “alas”? Some competent friends, professionals in several domains, help our community with their advice. One of them, in Prague, organised a symposium in Japan last October on the subject: Putting an end to catastrophism. No one from our ranks participated, obviously. But I promised myself to offer to our two cellarers, that of Sept-Fons and that of Novy Dvur, the results of that meeting: The world is not going as badly as we might think!

With these optimistic reflections, I wish you a joyful Christmas and a Happy New Year 2013.

P.S. To avoid overloading my e-mail mailbox, please do not acknowledge receipt of this message. However, please do not hesitate to forward it to your friends.

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