February 08, 2008


Benedictine sisters score needed funds during Super Bowl

Phoenix (Catholic News Service), February 7, 2008
While the NFL and advertisers used Super Bowl XLII as a chance to further their enterprises and increase profits, some Benedictine sisters in Phoenix used the big game as an opportunity to further the work of the Catholic Church in spreading the Gospel.
By turning their Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery and Retreat Center into an affordable hotel for football fans, the sisters raised much-needed funds for expansion, increased awareness of and promoted religious life, and established vocation and retreat contacts.
"Really, we did it as a fundraiser," said Sister Linda Campbell, prioress of the monastery.
Sister Linda, a season-ticket holder for the Arizona Cardinals, knew football fans would appreciate the 3.5-mile drive from the Phoenix monastery to the Super Bowl's playing field at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
The sisters opened their 10 retreat rooms— that feature twin beds, a shared bathroom and no TV or phone— to 20 fans, who filled the rooms.
The football fans— who included a blend of New England Patriots and New York Giants fans— got a decent deal on a room and the sisters raised $10,000.
Their income stemmed from lodging fees and raffle tickets for a large, flat-screen TV to be given away Feb. 24.

Painkillers can relocate your breasts and then remove them.

One of the monks had surgery for his backpain earlier this week.

He's recuperating in bed here in the monastery.

Yesterday I took Holy Communion to him.

Afterwards I asked if he wanted me to bring him anything else or to do anything else for him.

He declined, but began to talk of his recovery regime: extra pillows all over the bed, daily walks with the assistance of a walker, painkiller pills.

I asked what the surgeons did to him, but from what he told me I concluded he was in a drug-induced altered state of mind.

"A discectomy and a mastectomy."

I said, "That can't be."

"The doctor did a discectomy and a mastectomy."

"But, Brother, a mastectomy is the cutting out of breast tissue."

"Well, the doctor said he performed a discectomy and a mastectomy on my back."

"I think you've got the wrong word. I'll check with you tomorrow about what time you would like me to bring Holy Communion to you."

He called my room about an hour later.

"The doctor did a discectomy and a LAMINECTOMY."

February 07, 2008

The Pope's rebel space cannon....

... something I found today in doing a news.google on "Pope Benedict."
Click HERE for it.

What does Saint Benedict teach his monks about Lent?

Chapter 49 of the Rule of Saint Benedict:

Although the monk’s life
the whole year round
should be an observance of Lent,
yet because few have this virtue,
therefore we urge one and all
to keep their lives in total purity
in those days of Lent,
and in these holy days
to atone for what was neglected
at other seasons.
This will be worthily done
if we abstain from all vice,
if we work at prayer with tears,
at reading and compunction of heart,
and at abstinence.
In these days therefore
let us increase somewhat our ordinary round of service:
prayers on one’s own,
abstinence from foods and drink,
so that each one of his own will may offer to God
with the joy of the Holy Spirit
something over and above
the norm required of him.
That is, let him withhold from his body,
some food,
some drink,
some sleep,
some chat,
some ribaldry,
and with the joy of spiritual desire
wait for holy Easter.
But this very thing however
which each is offering,
he shall suggest to his abbot
and do it
with his prayer and goodwill,
because what is done without the permission of the spiritual father
will be lodged to the account
of presumption and vain glory, not of reward.
All things therefore are to be done with the abbot’s goodwill.

What it’s like to tell the Pope, “... man, you are dust....”

Cardinal Tells of His Experience of Giving Ashes to Two Popes

[From Zenit.org, Vatican City, February 6]

The cardinal who administered ashes to Benedict XVI today says the exhortations that accompany the rite are not easy to say to a Pope.

Cardinal Jozef Tomko, cardinal-priest of the Basilica of Santa Sabina where the Bishop of Rome celebrated this evening's Ash Wednesday Mass, has been the prelate who administers ashes to the Pontiff for the last 12 years. He receives this task because he was assigned the cardinal titular church where the Pontiff traditionally celebrates Mass for the beginning of Lent.

Like all Catholics, the Holy Father receives the ashes while the one administering them proclaims one of the two traditional exhortations: "Repent and believe in the Gospel" or "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return."

Both formulae are difficult to say to a Pope, Cardinal Tomko told L'Osservatore Romano. Referring to the first formula, the cardinal said the Holy Father "would have every right to say this to me and to everyone else. How can I remind the Pope of this?"

And it was particularly difficult to say the second "as John Paul II got older [...] It was like reminding him again what he not only knew, but felt in his body," the cardinal said.

"The choice has always been difficult. At times I have used one formula, at times the other. It is a very personal aspect, but also very significant because in whatever case," Cardinal Tomko added, "I must opt for a formula that is neither from the Pope nor from me: They are the words of God before which we should all bow our heads."

Ashes, like dust, "are a very eloquent sign of weakness, of sin and of the mortality of man," and to receive them one recognizes his limitation, the cardinal affirmed. Wealth, knowledge, glory, power, titles and dignities, he said, "do nothing for us."

The time of Lent "is directed toward the resurrection, and also our hope, which is not limited to this life, nor detained by our limits," Cardinal Tomko said, "but rather is based on eternal life that is assured for us by Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection."

And it is Jesus, affirmed the cardinal, who "asks three things of us in this intense time of the liturgical year."

He said Christ asks for almsgiving, "an expression of a more attentive generosity [...] of our love and respect for the needs of our neighbor and those who suffer"; prayer, "which flows from the heart more than from the lips"; and fasting, "sometimes of the body, although today it can imply many modern forms of renunciation."

February 05, 2008

Monasteries and Voting

"How do members of monastic communities (either nuns, friars or monks) cast their votes on elections in the US? Perhaps through an absentee ballot?"

In my monastery we have permission to go down to the voting stations. However, I personally vote by a permanent absentee mail-in ballot.

February 04, 2008

The blog of "Catholics United for the Faith"

Click HERE for it.

I have received additional jobs in the monastery, so, as you may have noticed, my blogging has slowed.