Showing posts with label Night Office Readings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Night Office Readings. Show all posts

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Fr. Aelred Graham OSB and Thomas Merton

Aelred Graham        Thomas Merton
 Night Office Readings,
Monastic Lectionary of the Divine Office, 
Thursday 05/11/2015
_ Second Reading   From Zen Catholicism by Aelred Graham

An ethical code imposed from without can lead to a merely legalistic system of morality, an adherence to the letter of the law at the expense of its spirit. These possibilities were well understood by the Hebrew prophets. The greatest of them foresaw a time when people would no longer be obeying God's law as in compliance to directives from above; that law would not even have to be told them by others; it would be known by people looking into their own hearts. A time is coming, the Lord says, when I mean to ratify a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah ... I will implant my law in their inmost thoughts, engrave it in their hearts ... There will be no need for neighbour to teach neighbour, or brother to teach brother, the knowledge of the Lord.

The message of the New Testament points to a fulfilment of this promise. There is no encouragement to an antinomian irresponsibility; what is indicated is an "exteriorization" of God's law, with particular reference to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you shall know him, because he shall abide with you and shall be in you. The world - that is to say, the separative self, the conscious ego, entangled in its craving to preserve a spurious identity in opposition to God - cannot know the spirit within. But as soon as we yield to the continual pressure of God's grace, urging us to be ourselves, we can realize his self-manifestation. And those who love me shall be loved by my Father; and I will love them and manifest myself to them ... Those who love me will keep my word; and we will come to them and make our abode with them. The Spirit's presence declares itself by the Spirit's fruits, not merely by dictating action. The Holy Spirit affects conduct at its source: modifying character by such qualities as love, peace, joy, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faith­fulness, meekness, self-control. These being present, an external law would be superfluous.
    Responsory;    Rom 8:5-6.2
Those who live on the level of their lower nature have their outlook formed by it, and that spells death; but + those who live on the level
of the spirit have a spiritual outlook, and that is life and peace.
V. In Christ Jesus the life-giving law of the Spirit has freed you from the law of sin and death. + Those who live ...

Graham, Aelred (1907-1984) Born in Liverpool, he was educated at Saint Edward's College in that city, and entered Ampleforth Abbey in 1930. He was professed the following year, and ordained priest in 1938 after his studies at Oxford where he took the degree S.T.L. at Blackfriars. On his return to Ampleforth he taught dogmatic theology. In 1938 his first book, The Love of God appeared, and he also wrote articles for learned reviews. In 1951 he was appointed prior of Portsmouth Priory in Rhode Island, U.5.A. He is the author of The Christ of Catholicism, The Final Victory, Catholicism and the World Today, Christian Thought and Action, and Zen Catholicism. During a three month visit to Japan in 1967, he interviewed notable Buddhists in an a attempt to understand their religion. This resulted in another book called: Conversation: Christian and Buddhist.


GRAHAM, AELRED, DOM, O.S.B., 1907-1984



Series NumberSeries NameTotal Records
1Correspondence between Merton and Dom Aelred Graham.30
2Correspondence from Dom Aelred and Fr. Louis file kept by Dom James Fox (added Aug. 2014)7
3Articles and Statements from Dom Aelred and Fr. Louis file kept by Dom James Fox (added Aug. 2014)11


Series#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPubNotes
Series 1 #1.
«All Series«
1953/01/15transcript from MertonThis is just a note to thank you for the article you wrote about me in the Atlantic.[copy from published letters] «detailed view»
Series 1 #2.
«All Series«
1953/02/05HLS[x]  from Graham, Aelred / to Robert GirouxMany thanks for "The Sign of Jonas" which I am reading through with interest. It seems to confirm«detailed view»
Series 1 #3.
«All Series«
1953/02/14TLS[x] to MertonHaving just finished reading your "SIGN OF JONAS" (in my view by far the most attractive of all your[see Section 2 for original] «detailed view»
Series 1 #4.
«All Series«
1953/03/03TLS[x] to Fox, JamesA letter from a mutual friend of ours -- William J. McCormack, Jr., an alumnus of Portsmouth Priory[see Series 2 for orignal letter] «detailed view»
Series 1 #5.
«All Series«
1963/04/17HLS to MertonYour very kind and [...indecipherable...] message has just reached me. Only the other day I was«detailed view»
Series 1 #6.
«All Series«
1963/04/24transcript from MertonAs a matter of fact I went ahead and wrote a review. I liked the book so much and found so much[copy from published letters] «detailed view»
Series 1 #7.
«All Series«
1963/04/26TLS to MertonWhat a magnanimous person you are! Thank you indeed for your letter, with its stream of intuitions,«detailed view»
Series 1 #8.
«All Series«
1963/08/24TLS to MertonThank you for your kind letter of August 21. Seeing that he is so warmly commended by you I shall«detailed view»
Series 1 #9.
«All Series«
1963/09/10TAL[c] from MertonThanks for your very good letter. I do not know whether Fr John of the Cross will get there,«detailed view»
Series 1 #10.
«All Series«
1963/10/03TLS to MertonAs I have just written to Father Thurston N. Davis, S.J. of AMERICA, from time to time we bring out«detailed view» 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Rabanus Maurus: No One Learns Anything through Speech unless the Mind is Anointed with the Spirit

The mind has the wealth of thoughts.
Sent from my iPad. 

Sancta Maria Abbey: (Website)     Blogspot :, Doneword :    |,   Emails:,

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Donald ....
Sent: Tuesday, 27 October 2015, 7:34
Subject: Night Office

Monday, Nov 7 2011 

(On Jeremiah 36)
In the Gospel he who is Truth himself says to his disciples:
When you stand before kings and princes, do not think how you are to speak, or what you are to say; what you are to say will be given you at the time, for it is not you who will be speaking but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
We must realise that the grace of the Holy Spirit is necessary not only for those who teach but also for those who are taught.
Unless the Spirit is present in the heart of the listener, the teacher is wasting his breath.
Unless there is a teacher within us, the teacher without works in a vacuum.
In Church we all hear the same voice speaking, but all do not understand it in the same way.
Since there is no difference in what is said, why is there a difference in our understanding of it, unless there is an interior teacher giving certain people special instruction through their understanding of words of admonition addressed to all?
Concerning this grace of the Holy Spirit, John says: His anointing will teach you everything.
No one learns anything through speech, therefore, unless the mind is anointed with the Spirit.
Because King Jehoiachim and his servants were not inwardly illumined by the grace of the Holy Spirit who inspired the Prophet, their bodily ears could hear the words of God, but the ears of the heart were deaf to them.
It is this interior listening which our Lord demands in the Gospel when he says: Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.
One has to marvel at the blindness of the human mind and the wickedness of the hardened heart.
Those whom salutary admonitions should have filled with compunction and sorrow for their sins were at pains to burn the scroll containing the words of the Lord.
They also took every opportunity to insult the Prophet whom they ought to have honoured for his inspired teaching and admonitions.
And why did they do this? Was it not because there was in them the sort of wicked spirit that always resists grace?
Yet human pride is impotent when it sets itself to resist divine sovereignty.
An earthly King gave orders for the Prophet and his scribe to be arrested and sent to prison;
the King of heaven shielded his blameless saints from human malice so that they came to no harm.
Rabanus Maurus (c.780-856): Commentary on Jeremiah, 13 (PL 111:1073-75); from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Tuesday of Week 30 in Ordinary Time, Year 1

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The Angels by Anscar Vonier


Anscar Vonier 2nd Abbot at Buckfast
     Night Office Readings,


29 September 2015
Gospel Mass John 1:47-51

Alternative Reading
From The Angels by Anscar Vonier (pages 84-89)

It is evident by all the laws of spiritual life that angelic beings must be, in one way or another, a great element in the consti­tution of man's eternal happiness. The bliss of the elect will be essentially this - to possess all truth, to be in contact with all reality, to see all beauty. To see the angels, to behold them, must of necessity constitute a source of happiness greater than anything which the visible world could afford; in fact, it is the supreme created source of happiness; God himself, clearly seen in the beatific vision, being the uncreated source of happiness. To be with the angels, to see them in their glory, is a most legitimate desire in the heart of man, and the saints of God have often given utterance to such a longing. We must always keep alive within us that essentially Catholic principle· of life, that the possession of the supreme Goodness, God himself, never destroys the appetite for created goodness, but, on the contrary, enhances it; to see God face to face produces in the minds of the elect a new capacity to see him in his creatures, and where is he seen to greater advantage than in the world of angels, which mirrors back, with an almost infinite power of radiation, the glory of the invisible God? Moreover, through the communion of supernatural grace man is allied to the angels by the bond of charity, he is not a foreigner but he is a fellow-citizen. There will be this truest exchange of love between man and the heavenly spirits: man, besides beholding the angels in their glory, will hold intercourse with them as citizens of the same kingdom, as the children of the same Father. This intercourse with the heavenly spirits will be the last thing in created love; greater love than that there could not be except man's communion with God himself.

There is, however, something deeper than this association with the angels in vision and love. It is Catholic tradition that the elect of the human race are destined to take the place of the fallen spirits, to fill up the gap made by the apostasies of the rebellious angels. This tradition profoundly modifies man's relationship to the angels; it puts him on a footing of equality with those mighty beings which is the most astonishing of all spiritual exaltations.

That there will be more than mere association of men and angels in the glory of eternity is clear from our Lord's words in speaking of the elect at the resurrection: Neither can they die anymore: for they are equal to the angels and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. This equality is entirely based on grace. Human nature will always remain what it is, vastly inferior to the angelic nature; but such is the power of grace that the inequality of nature is bridged over, and an elect from the human race may truly become, in all literalness of language, the equal of the highest angel.

Then again there are those human beings who will be absolutely superior by the very laws of their predestination to every angelic order; the blessed Mother of God is certainly one such creature.

The all-pervading principle is this: that grace is greater than nature, greater even than the highest spirit nature, and its scope is vaster than the vastest world.

On September 29th we honor the three archangels mentioned by name in Scripture, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Michael is mentioned in Daniel and Revelation ...

The Angels

The Angels

by Dom Anscar Vonier. OSB

Availability: In stock




First published in 1928, this book will satisfy that multitude of questions you have always had about angels and leave you with a happy closeness to those angelic friends of God and man. Subjects covered: Nature, life, sanctity of angels, guardian angels, evil spirits, and ....

Quick Overview

First published in 1928, this book will satisfy that multitude of questions you have always had about angels and leave you with a happy closeness to those angelic friends of God and man. Subjects covered: Nature, life, sanctity of angels, guardian angels, evil spirits, and more..

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

23 September 2015. Isaiah "The maiden is with child, and she shall give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel".

The Night Office today, First Reading, was read from Isaiah, below.
In fact the Memorial today was on Saint Padre Pio, see later.

Second Reading        From The Infancy Narratives by Jean Danielou
Jean Danielou SJ 


First Reading
Isaiah 7:1-17
Responsory     Is 7:13; 2 Sm 7:8.16
Listen, House of David: The Lord of his own accord will give you a sign: + The maiden is with child, and she shall give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel.
V. Say to my servant David: Your family and your kingdom shall be established forever in my sight; your throne shall endure for all time. + The maiden ...

Second Reading
From The Infancy Narratives by Jean Danielou

One of the most characteristic preoccupations of Matthew is to show the events of Jesus' life as the fulfilment of Old Testa­ment prophecies. That is what he is doing when he quotes the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 that a virgin will conceive and bear a son, after explaining: All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet.

Now if we look at the text from Isaiah, we find that the prophecy, addressed to a king descended from David, Ahaz, begins: Hear, then, O house of David, and its purpose is to foretell the birth of a descendant of David who will be a "sign." There­fore, the prophecy essentially supports the basic statement contained in the episode, namely that Jesus is of the house of David. Indeed, that is its principal purpose. But furthermore, the prophecy contains one verse that links it extremely well with a major element in the story - the verse which says that the child to come will be the son of a woman whom the Hebrew text designates by a word that could mean "virgin," and which the Greek text deliberately translates so. That is why it is that verse that Matthew quotes. But he uses it as a reference to the prophecy as a whole. 
The text makes this quite clear in saying that it is all this, all the events in question, and therefore, first and foremost, the filiation to David, that took place to fulfill the prophecy. The connection between the almah, virgin theme and the virgin birth is only secondary. It does not base faith in the virgin birth on the fact that it is the fulfilment of a prophecy: on the contrary, it provides a Christian exegesis of the prophecy in the light of the virgin birth. This was something specially characteristic of the targumin of the Judeo-Christians, who, because of their legitimate certainty that Christ was the fulfilment of the Old Testament, felt it their right to project onto the Old Testament the affirmations of the New.

This has some very important consequences. Whereas all too many exegetes like to see the infancy narratives as myths presented in the guise of history, our analysis leads us to precisely the opposite conclusion. The essential things in our text are the historical statements, first among them the fact of Jesus' being adopted by Joseph despite the virgin birth. And it is these statements that are so rich in theological consequences, for they make it clear that Jesus is both Son of God and Son of David.

Responsory     Mt 1:20-23
Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived through the Holy Spirit. + She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
V. All this happened to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord though the prophet: A virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he shall be called Emmanuel, which means God is with us. + She wil bear ...