Complex Spirituality

“Complex Spirituality.” Yeah, OK. Well, I had a conversation with someone the other day. Made a tactical error on my part. I told them I’d be glad to listen to anything they had to say. Note: Don’t ever say this, or, if you do, make sure you add some sort of qualifier like “Oh, and I need to leave in about x number of minutes.” After about half an hour or more of listening to the same few points gone over what felt like a dozen times and hearing phrases such as “Do you understand what I’m trying to say?” repeated repeatedly I felt like screaming “Yes! The first time you said it. And the fifth! And the eighth! And … ” And I was raised to be polite so I sat there and smiled through the pain. Both the intellectual pain of hearing a simple subject made complicated in  what I thought the extreme, and the physical pain. The chair I was setting in was making my sciatica unbearable. On the bright side I learned a valuable lesson. I learned to smile, wave, say “Hello!”, and keep walking under certain circumstances.

So what were we talking about? Essentially spiritual formation. And it became rather clear to me that you can complicate anything. Even spirituality. The real kicker being that this can be done with almost NO thought at all involved. Which is, of course, part of the problem.

Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J., of EWTN, said once that there are three things only God knows. #1: How much money the Church has. #2: How many orders of Franciscans there are. And #3: What’s really on a Jesuit’s mind. I like Fr. Mitch. I like the Jesuits. And the Carmelites. And Dominicans. The Franciscans. Most of all I like the Benedictines. We all wear different jerseys but we’re all on the same team. But if we’re all on the same team why so many different jerseys? Simple. There is no “one spirituality fits all”. Why are there, for example, Benedictines AND Jesuits? Because it’s not everyone with a religious calling that needs  to be a Benedictine. And the same is true for all the other religious orders and lay associations and whatever else you can think of along these lines. Why doesn’t everybody read fill-in-the-blank? Because it doesn’t meet everybody’s needs. Why doesn’t everybody pray such-and-such? Because then there wouldn’t be anyone left to pray this-and-that. There are many ways for us to grow spiritually as Catholics. And this can look complicated if we forget to keep in mind that there is no such thing as one size fits all in spiritual development. Fr. Mitch NEEDS to be a Jesuit. That meets his need and it fits. I NEED to be Benedictine for the same reason. If we swapped places? We’d stagnate at best. Stagnation has more to do with death than life in the Spirit.

Oh, yes. The conversation I mentioned earlier. I got the distinct impression that this person espoused a kind of single jersey approach. After all, if it worked for them … They were, lets say, a tad evangelistic in expressing their views. *sigh* If I took their advice? Not only would my own spirituality get lost in the shuffle but I wouldn’t have time to brush my teeth. Needless to say I’ll stick to the path God has given me and pray they do the same. It’s obviously working well for them. I hope.

You will meet well-meaning people on sound spiritual paths that will share their path with you. That’s fine. Maybe they’ll share with you what its like being a Jesuit and you’ll learn that you need to be one too. But what you don’t want to allow is for a well-meaning person to so load you down with redundancies and spiritual exercises meant for some and not for all that your head spins. Even Jesus relaxed from time to time. Once? He even supplied wine for a wedding party He went to. So seek out spiritual direction … with discernment. Work towards spiritual formation and development … with care. And if things start to get complex when they don’t need to? You can always go back to this as the basics …

Mark 12:[28] And there came one of the scribes that had heard them reasoning together, and seeing that he had answered them well, asked him which was the first commandment of all. [29] And Jesus answered him: The first commandment of all is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord thy God is one God. [30] And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment.

[31] And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these. (Douay-Rheims.)

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No kind crosses … Friday, September 13

Carring of the Cross

Carring of the Cross.

A Rosary Meditation … The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery, the Carrying of the Cross. Crosses. They seem to be never-ending, don’t they? I’ve heard tell that there were lots of them in Jesus’ day too. Historically the landscape seems to have been literally filled with them, the crucifixion of criminals and political dissidents being an ongoing Roman tradition. We think of this as being barbaric, but when compared with gas chambers, lethal injection and all the rest, is there really a kind way to kill someone? The fact is, there are no kind crosses. There is no escaping them either. Think of being nailed to one. How do you get away from that? You don’t. But we try, don’t we? Which is normal enough. God doesn’t ask us to be masochistic. But He does ask us to pick ours up, to carry it. Being nailed to it? That’s not our job, its His. It’s enough for us to carry one (or more). We’ll suffer bruised knees when we fall (and we will fall), with battered and torn shoulders from the beams tearing into our flesh. We recognize that these things tend to strengthen us. But there is one simple, straightforward benefit, a reward that comes from carrying any cross that gets overlooked at times. Simply put, we’re doing what He did. And that should be benefit and reward enough.

Today … St. Amatus was a Benedictine abbot and hermit, also called Ame. He was born into a noble family of Grenoble, France, and placed into St. Maurice Abbey as a small child. After becoming a Benedictine monk, Amatus lived as a hermit, going to Luxueil Monastery in 614. St. Eustace, one of his mentors, advised this assignment. While in Luxueil, Amatus converted a Merovingian noble named Romaric. This convert founded a double monastery in 620, and Amatus became its first abbot.

Friday the 13th … Superstitious? Ever watch or read the news? Let me tell you something. All that bad news is often only one thing. A way to get your attention so that you’ll tune in to T.V. news or buy the paper. And they reason “they” want you to tune in or buy is because big ratings and lots of subscribers means one thing. Big money selling advertising. It’s like a superstition. You can make yourself miserable watching out for black cats and tossing salt over your shoulder. You can make yourself miserable buying into commercial hype too. My point? Don’t take on unnecessary crosses offered to you by the world. They’re silly and useless. God knows what He’s doing when He gives you a real one. The rest? Let them be carried by the advertising industry.

Why My Rosary?

Rosary

“My” Rosary. This is personal. I want to share a reason why my Rosary is such a precious thing to me. And this is, admittedly, a tad different.

When I was little I had a mild form of epilepsy. The doctor said I’d outgrow it and I did. The “attacks” were very odd. No one but me knew they were happening. Sound and movement changed for me. Sounds were very loud and at the same time muted as though they were far away and stuffed with cotton, and movement was very, very fast and in slow motion both at the same time. All this went on inside me with my seeing and hearing. And even though I outgrew it there was and is a certain kind of “residue” left over from it. Certain types of movements make me a certain type of dizzy. If I get that kind of dizzy for very long I get nauseous. And that can last for hours or, at its worst, days. An example would be this: Someone holds up a piece of paper, maybe something they are trying to call my attention to because they want me to read it, “Hey, look at this letter from Ed I just got! You’ll want to read this!”, and my eyes fix on it, follow it, I get dizzy, and the rest is nausea. I have to avert my eyes at a time like that. Other things trigger it to, like looking up and down at a stationary thing through mu bifocals (got sick for three days once because of that), but I’ve learned to look away or down so it doesn’t really happen very often.

After I became a Benedictine Oblate I tried praying the Liturgy of the Hours. Guess what turning the pages back and forth did? Right, it made me dizzy. I tried different books, prayer books, but nothing I found seemed to work for me. The books were fine but they either made me dizzy with page turning, back and forth, or they were over simplified and boring, or … Well, anyway, I couldn’t find a book that I could use. And the books were fine, they just didn’t work for me. So I went to my confessor and explained everything to him that I just shared with you. What could I do? I mean, I don’t have to have a book to pray but I do, personally, need some structure. It helps me focus, it helps me share with God what I need to share. But I need a little creative space too. Remember that some of those books got boring? I need to have structure with leeway. So, what to do?

My Rosary. It gives me the necessary structure, discipline, and room to let my mind explore. The Mysteries are infinite in depth because they deal with our Infinite God. So my Divine Office is a string of blessed beads. And it works well for me. It’s why I write a daily Rosary devotion here on my blog. Bottom line, its kind of all I know.

Centuries ago the simple peasants that lived near monasteries saw the lives the monks lived, their prayer life in particular, and wanted that sort of spirituality for themselves. But they couldn’t read. For them, saying 150 Hail Mary‘s on their Rosary beads took the place of the 150 Psalms that the monks prayed. It was their prayer-book, their liturgy. They lived close to the monastery, close to God’s good earth, close to God. I consider myself to be in blessed company. I am happily satisfied with My Rosary. I figure the epilepsy and its aftermath is a blessing in disguise.

YOU are royalty … Saturday, July 27

English: Diana, Princess of Wales, at the Cann...

Royalty deservedly attracts attention.We are not immune.

A Rosary Meditation … The Fifth Glorious Mystery, the Coronation. “He who finds me finds life … ” Proverbs 8:35. Words that could very easily come from the mouth of our Queen Mother, aren’t they? Because, Jesus being King of kings, Mary is of necessity a Queen isn’t she?And every queen has her coronation day. In finding Mary as Queen we do so only because of her relationship with Christ. Which means that if we find her we’ve found Him. There’s no way around it. You can’t have her without Him, and He is primary. She is what she is because of Him. We are what we are because of Him. And one of the things we are? We are children of Mary. Think about this. He is Royalty. This makes her royalty. And all of that makes us royalty too. People watch royalty. Consider how much media attention was dedicated to Princess Diana. We get lots of media attention too, much of it negative. The world doesn’t like our brand of royalty because we reminds it of Him. Lots of royalty gets driven into exile. That’s’ OK. We have our Mother looking out for us, praying for us. And of all people it’s the Queen Mother who has the Kings ear.

Today …

St. Theobald of Marly

St. Theobald of Marly was a Cistercian abbot. The son of Buchard of Montmorency, he was born in Marly Castle, France, and was raised as a knight at the court of King Philip II Augustus of France (r. 1180-1223). Undergoing a personal conversion, he left the court, gave up his worldly ambitions, and entered the Cistercian abbey of Vaux-de-Cernay in 1220. He became prior in 1230 and abbot in 1235. I have always admired the Cistercians. They are Benedictines to the 10th power. Examples like theirs, just like our Queen Mother’s example, gives us a high standard to shoot for.

Prayer Request … Please pray for me, my sciatica is acting up. So far the only thing that’s done any good has been acupuncture, which I may need to step up. At this stage I don’t do pain well. It s something to offer up, true. But honestly I’d just as soon offer up wholesome pleasures for the consolation of Christ as I would discomfort.

Celebrating Benedict

St. Benedict

St. Benedict.

I don’t know about you but one of the things I excel at is complicating stuff. Its one of the reasons I both appreciate and enjoy the Benedictine Order. The simplicity of it helps keep me away from spiritual complications. Simplicity, and balance, are, I think, keys to Benedictine spirituality. So, with simplicity and balance in mind, I’ve been thinking (dangerous in itself) how might I celebrate Benedict? July 11 is our good Saint Benedict‘s feast day. What to do, what to do?

The Benedictine Order, our Rule, the life and example of our spiritual father, Saint Benedict, have been a light in the world, reflecting the Light of Christ to the world, for centuries now. Keeping things simple I’ve decided to do one simple thing. While attempting to live my day in a balanced way I’m going to light a candle, one simple candle, offering it up to Jesus in thanksgiving for our Order. And before, during, and after doing that I’m going to try my best, in living my day as a Roman Catholic, to make Saint Benedict proud that I’m an Oblate.

Keep it balanced, keep it simple, and celebrate Benedict.

Changing things … Tuesday, June 25

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane),...

Christ in Gethsemane. What do WE do in the garden? Putter around at worldly things or talk with God about His world and ours?

A Rosary Meditation … The First Sorrowful Mystery, the Agony in the Garden. “Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation.” Matthew 26:41. Jesus was tempted just like we are. His answer to temptation? Prayer. Remember that He was and is human as well as Divine. If He needed to pray how much more do we? How much time do we spend fussing about politics or the neighbors (is that fussing or gossip?), and how much time do we spend talking sports or movies? It’s OK to talk about “stuff”, certainly, but how much time do we spend on the “stuff” that could and should be spent in prayer? If our lives are so busy that we don’t have time to talk to God what needs changing? Our lives or God? The world prattles on and on about the latest fad diet and what the starlet wore at the opening. The tube is filled with programs like “Hollywood Insider”. And it’s overflowing with “reality” shows as well. The question for us should be, “Am I more interested in what’s inside Hollywood or what’s inside me? What sort of reality am I overflowing with?” And whatever our answer is our response needs to be talking with God about it. Prayer.

Today …

 

 


St. William of Vercelli

St. William of Vercelli, 1085-1142. Born in Vercelli Italy he was brought up as an orphan and became a hermit on Monte Vergine, Italy, after a pilgrimage to Compostella. He attracted so many followers that a monastery was built. By 1119 his followers were united in the Benedictine congregation, as the Hermits of Monte Vergine (Williamites), which he headed. The austerity of his rule led to dissension among his monks and to restore peace he left. He was taken under the protection of Roger I of Naples who built a monastery for him in Salerno. He founded monasteries throughout Naples, and died at the Guglielmo monastery near Nusco, Italy. He is also called William of Monte Vergine. How much prayer do you think it took him to get through all that?

Think … Prayer changes things, this is true. It also changes YOU.

Is crowning excusable? … Friday, June 14

English: A crown of thorns in the stores of Be...

Jesus was crowned with thorns and the crowd was pleased. Why? Because being caught up in the moment they believed the gossip.

A Rosary Meditation … The Third Sorrowful Mystery, the Crowning with Thorns. “An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded.”
Pope John Paul II.

They used a mock trial and manipulated a politician, Pilate, to get what they wanted. On the surface, if a person didn’t dig to deep, the thing almost looked righteous. To a stranger it would have probably looked like a criminal getting what he had coming to him. It’s easy to rationalize and justify. That’s all an excuse is really. A rationalization and a justification, a perverse mental exercise that lets us get away with murder. Or crowning someone who “deserves” it. Jesus did and does deserve a crown, just not this one. How many times do we make excuses so that we can “crown” somebody who doesn’t deserve it? We pass along “useful, needed information”. That’s what the people did with Pilate. They let him know what they thought he needed to know. They just left out certain details. That’s not a lie, is it? Or is it? Well, what ever else it is or isn’t it IS gossip. Lots of innocent people get crowned by gossip. Many of the people in the crowd who were unaware of the facts and could’ve checked but didn’t (its easy to get caught up in the moment), believed the gossip. Gossip poisons the minds of those who don’t know better and, in a way, they get a crowning all their own because the gossip and the gossiper feeds them a poisonous lie. And to them this mock crowning probably seemed justified. Just some criminal getting his just deserts. And when we listen to what the crowd says and give assent to it, who do we crown? Is the crowning, via rationalization and the justification that goes hand in hand with it, excusable? What do we do to ourselves and others? Who gets “crowned” really?

Today …

St. Anastasius XVII

And so … “The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next.  The power of the rosary is beyond description.” – Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

The Personal Oblate

Subiaco Abbey and Academy, where Stanford atte...

Subiaco Abbey and Academy, Subiaco, Arkansas, U.S.A.

The Personal Oblate? Well, that would be me. You too if you are one. And if you’re not you can humor me or, and don’t worry, it’ll be OK if you do this because I do it myself at times, you can always hit the back button. I began this blog, oh, maybe two and a half years or so ago and I continue it for two reasons. The first reason is to encourage fellow Christians. I figure everyone needs encouragement and living in this world can be pretty hard what with crime and pollution and war and politics and I really don’t want to talk about those things right now, I’d rather focus on encouragement and steer clear of depression. The second reason for my blog is simple evangelization. I’ve found something worthwhile, Someone worthwhile, and want to share. A blog is a good way to do that. No one is forced to read it, I don’t send out invitations, and I believe that if you’re here and reading this it’s because God got you here. That’s MY take on it, and, hey, its MY blog. Like I said, there’s always the back button. I just wanted to clarify before going on, because this post is about being a Benedictine Oblate, but I thought to make it clear where I’m coming from so that where I’m going won’t be a surprise to anyone.

 

When I was 18 I considered seriously entering a monastery. I never wanted to be a priest, but I did want to be a brother. Without going into any great detail about the whys and wherefores suffice it to say I did other things instead. But forever after that I always felt drawn to religious life. I considered third orders but for whatever reason just never made a firm decision. At one point I even thought about the diaconate. I think we’re all better off for my not having done that.

 

One of the things that I’ve realized over the years has been the need for balance in my life. Personally I think balance is something everyone needs in their life and I understand that this can entail different things for different people but for me it means an orderly existence with appropriate boundaries. I need structure. I’ve always sought after it and I’ve spent most of my life striving for it. Now all this is just me but one of the things I’ve learned over the years is that I’m not really all that different from anybody else. If I need certain things chances are that others have the same or similar needs. We are, after all, each one of us human.

 

A few years back, still striving for balance and seeking appropriate structure in my life, I was introduced to the Rule of St. Benedict and Benedictine spirituality via the Oblate program at Subiaco Abbey. Oddly enough this is the same monastery I thought about joining when I was 18. Guess what? The Oblate program? It was for me perfect balance and structure. So what I didn’t do early on in life I’m able to do now in a slightly different way but I’m still, by the grace of God, getting it done. I began my novitiate. I think most monasteries run their Oblate programs along pretty much the same lines. At Subiaco Abbey the normal novitiate for an Oblate is one year. Because of my health, and because I honestly didn’t think I’d live long enough to last the novitiate, I asked Abbot Jerome if I could make my Oblation at the next Oblate retreat. That was six months after beginning the novitiate. He gave his permission and at that next retreat I made my Oblation. I never will forget standing there in front of that altar. Approaching the altar has always been an extremely meaningful act for me. It’s not just another piece of furniture that you approach casually. Or at least it isn’t for me. And after this I fooled everybody, myself most of all, and lived.

 

Because I wanted to do this thing with all I could muster, heart and soul, body and mind, I decided to go a step further. And I actually took this step, with my parish priests permission, prior to my Oblation. I wrote out private vows based on the Rule. Stability, fidelity, and obedience. I took them on my knees at the altar of my parish Church, alone with my Jesus. I took them with the personal understanding that these were once and for all. I would not renew them. There would be no need. I intended that they stick and because God loves me they have. I had made up my mind and my heart. And I’ve been nothing but blessed ever since.

 

You don’t have to live at the Abbey to have an Abbot, to live the Rule, to pray and work and give, to make the Monastery your spiritual home. I can’t travel so much any more but when I’ve been able to I have never been so at home as when I set before the Tabernacle at Subiaco Abbey.

 

All the above? Well, bluntly, I’m evangelizing fellow Catholics and attempting to recruit. The Benedictine Order is old, traditional, and a thing of beauty. That God brought me to it is a miracle of love and grace. But it’s not a miracle that I own. It’s a miracle meant to be shared. The Benedictine Order is my home. I am Benedictine. I share my home now with you and tell you openly that if you feel called to a religious life while living in the world and yet not being a part of it the door to my Abbey is open. Welcome home.

The flesh is weak. The point being? … Friday, June 7

English: “Soviet weight-lifter Viktor Mazin du...

Do you think this guy started out this way? Or did he have to work up to it?

 

A Rosary Meditation … The First Sorrowful Mystery, the Agony in the Garden. “The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41. Goes hand in hand with what Paul said, doesn’t it? “For the good which I will, I do not; but the evil which I will not, that I do.” Romans 7:19. We’re always doing things that we ought not do even when we want to do otherwise. Its called concupiscence, or the tendency to sin. We always lean in that direction because of our fallen nature. That doesn’t mean we’re obligated to follow through with temptation, it just means that in this life it will always be there unless God takes it out of the way. Sometimes He does, mostly He doesn’t. Why? Because fighting temptation grows spiritual muscle and if we resist the smaller things we’ll have the training to deal with the bigger ones when they come. All with God’s help of course. Jesus, God in the flesh. Concentrate on the flesh here for just a moment. He knew it was weak, He just said so. He even prayed that the cup, the one filled to the brim with His suffering, might pass Him by. More importantly He prayed for God’s will first and foremost. He had His priorities in the proper order, didn’t He? A role model for us. What did God do? Did He remove the cup? Hardly. But what DID God do? He sent an angle to strengthen Christ. “And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.” Luke 22:43a. Did that make it all better? “And being in an agony, he prayed the longer. ” Luke 22:43b. No, it didn’t. But there was STRENGTH there. The flesh IS weak. The real point is that even though the flesh is weak, God ISN’T.

Today …

St. Robert of Newminster

 

 


St. Robert of Newminster

Robert Of Newminster, Saint, Abbot, (Benedictine) Cistercian, (1100-1159). A priest from North Yorkshire who took the Benedictine habit at Whitby and obtained permission to join some monks of York who were attempting to live according to a new interpretation of the Benedictine rule at Fountains abbey (1132). Fountains soon became Cistercian and one of the centres of the White Monks in N. England. Newminster abbey in Northumberland was founded from it in 1137, and Robert became its first abbot. He is described as gentle and merciful in judgement. Think of Cistercians as VERY strict Benedictines. There is a Cistercian monastery not so very far from me. I’ve never been, I don’t travel so well. But I know someone who went. A lady from church. When she went to Mass at this monastery? There was a separate door for the ladies so as to keep the monks apart from any outside influence. Now THAT’S strict. St. Robert, as an abbot, knew all about the weakness of the flesh, both his own and that of others. But he’s a saint, isn’t he? So weakness doesn’t lend itself to failure, does it? No, weakness, rightly faced, lends itself to God.

Think … Do we lose ground by admitting our weaknesses? “But he giveth greater grace. Wherefore he saith: God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” James 4:6.

MAKE NOISE! … Thursday, May 16

Español: Instalación señales viales en Colombia

Noise, noise, and more noise.

A Rosary Meditation … The Fifth Joyful Mystery, the Finding in the Temple. “Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold, in sorrow thy father and I have been seeking thee.” Luke 2:48. Sound familiar? A modern version of the same thing might go like this: “Boy, why would you treat us this way? We’ve been scared to death and looking all over the place for you!” Obviously Mary and Joseph were normal parents. Well, they were both far above normal, but you know what I mean. If you’re a parent I’m sure you can identify. Parenting hasn’t changed that much in 2,000 years. But for now, instead of the joys and heartaches of raising children, let’s think about that last part. The part about seeking Jesus in sorrow. There are a lot of people in the world needing Jesus. They suffer from all sorts of things. Depression, mental illness, addictions, various diseases of the body, vices (which are diseases of the soul), and more. So in sorrow they look for relief, and looking in the wrong places brings about, not the much sought after relief, but more grief. On the day Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the Temple its a pretty good bet that the Temple was a busy place. It probably stayed that way. At the heart of the Temple was a room that the Jews called Kodesh Kodashim. The Holy of Holies. It contained the Ark of the Covenant and God’s Glory rested there. Think about all those people going and coming at the Temple. They were a witness to the presence of God just by being there. People were looking, needing God back then too. If anyone, a seeking anyone, paid attention they would’ve known that they could find God there. Today spiritual Israel goes to the Temple also. A Temple not made by hands. God’s presence rests in the Holy of Holies still, in the Tabernacle. If seeking, hurting people pay attention they’ll know where to find Him. But you know, lots of times people hurt so bad it blurs their eyesight. Tears can do that. And they can be looking sincerely but get so caught up in the search that they miss finding what, Who, they’re looking for. Not being able to see the forest for the trees works like that. So what’s to do? Well, when the Jews went to the Temple they took lambs, bulls, goats, birds, along with flour, oil and other things for worship purposes. “Hey! Mister! A bag of flour fell off your mule!” “Lady! Your goat ate through the rope and went over there!” “Jeremiah! Jeremiah, where are you?!” And moo, and baah, and tweet and noise, noise, noise! You couldn’t miss it. To help people not miss it today maybe we need to try making noise too. Blog, vote, witness, donate, support, MAKE NOISE! Attract attention. If we do it right seeking people won’t notice us so much as they will Him. And then maybe they’ll find Who they’re looking for.

Today …

St. Adam

 
St. Adam

St. Adam

Hermit and abbot, a native of Fermo, Italy, where he began a severe life of recollection in a cave on the slopes of Mount Vissiano. Attracting many followers, Adam was invited to join the Benedictine Order and entered San Sabine Monastery. Within the monastery he maintained his prayer life and rigorous self-discipline. His example led to his election as abbot. All this took place a little over 800 years ago and people still hear about it. Hey, you’re reading about it right now. And his example did more than lead to his being abbot. He made NOISE!

Pope Benedict XVI said … “In a world where there is so much noise, so much bewilderment, there is a need for silent adoration of Jesus concealed in the Host. Be assiduous in the prayer of adoration and teach it to the faithful. It is a source of comfort and light, particularly to those who are suffering.” You see, even in silent prayer we can make a spiritual noise heard by the suffering around the world.