Junior Monks and Nuns Gather for Seminar at Snowmass
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 10:11

For two weeks, monks and nuns who have made temporary vows gathered at St. Benedict's Monastery in Snowmass, CO, to learn about Christology in the Early Fathers with Fr. Simeon Leiva and about Cistercian Chant from Fr. Emmanuel Morinelli, both monks of St. Joseph''s Abbey, Spencer, MA.

They share 5 common points for Christ and Chant:

  1. Therapy (“self-knowledge”):  Both the person of Christ and music are sources of healing, especially when pursued with daily perseverance in a monastic setting. Sacred music can help the soul come into harmony with the praise of God inherent in creation, and to discover Christ as the personal Healer of all human ills.
  2. Transformation (conversatio morum):  Both liturgy (to which music is essential) and lectio (of which Christ is the underlying subject) are transformative monastic occupations.  Over time they profoundly change the person devoted to them.
  3. Unity:  Music in general fosters communion with harmonies that are beyond the individual person. Monastic chant in particular encourages una voce execution; it excludes singularity of self-expression. Similarly, the goal of asceticism in the following of Christ is unification, of the faculties of the person and of that person with God in Christ, resulting in unification with all one’s brothers and sisters.
  4. “Only the lover sings”: St. Augustine affirms that the love born of deep faith urges a person to sing that love, that, in a sense, all singing springs from love of something that urges celebration and proclamation to the world beyond the individual.  Our conformity with Christ is what plants such love in our hearts, and therefore communicates the need to sing.  Like love and faith, music bursts the bonds of individual isolation and becomes proclamation in harmony and beauty of form.  The patristic style “sings” because the Fathers did theology on their knees.
  5. Role of Beauty: Sensitivity to the beautiful anywhere (nature, art, people, study) awakens and develops the deepest instincts for God. Both sacred music and sacred theology are at the threshold of mysticism. They are “baptized” arts, one using the senses and the other reason as vehicles for the experience of God.  God is the great reconciler, the universal harmonizer of divisions and conflicts—in the individual, the Church, the cosmos.  For some Fathers, Christ was the true Orpheus, playing the lyre of his love and truth to all creation.  This results in the universal gathering around him, as center, of all creatures, in joy, peace, unity and rapt contemplation.
Novice Directors Meet at Genesee May 7 - 14
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 13:53

When anyone is newly come for the reformation of her life,
let her not be granted an easy entrance;
but, as the Apostle says,
"Test the spirits to see whether they are from God."
If the newcomer, therefore, perseveres in her knocking,
and if it is seen after four or five days
that she bears patiently the harsh treatment offered her
and the difficulty of admission,
and that she persists in her petition,
then let entrance be granted her,
and let her stay in the guest house for a few days.

After that let her live in the novitiate,
where the novices study, eat and sleep.
A senior shall be assigned to them who is skilled in winning souls,
to watch over them with the utmost care.
Let her examine whether the novice is truly seeking God,
and whether she is zealous
for the Work of God, for obedience and for trials.
Let the novice be told all the hard and rugged ways
by which the journey to God is made.

Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 09:03

Alleluia! The Lord is risen indeed!

Triduum 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 08:57

We adore you, O Christ, for by your cross and resurrection, you have redeemed the world

Triduum 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 08:57

We adore you, O Christ, for by your cross and resurrection, you have redeemed the world

Spring comes to Mepkin Abbey
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 14:30
Gabriel on the Annunciation
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 10:16

On the feast of the Annunciation, Br. Gabriel Lumpkin made his solemn profession at St. Benedict's Abbey in Snowmass, CO.


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