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An Introduction to Christian Mysticism

"Initiation into the Monastic Tradition, 3"

Thomas Merton; Edited by Patrick F. O'Connell

In these conferences dating to 1961, Thomas Merton provides for his audience of young monks an overview of major themes and figures in the Christian mystical tradition as an integral part of their religious inheritance and a crucial part of their spiritual formation. From Fathers of the Church such as St Athanasius and St Gregory of Nyssa, through such important medieval theologians as St Bonaventure, Hadewijch and Meister Eckhart, to the great Spanish Carmelites St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross, Merton traces such key topics as the integration of theology and spirituality; the importance of "natural contemplation"—recognizing the divine presence in creation; the centrality of apophatic or "dark" contemplation; and the role of spiritual direction in forming mature and balanced contemplatives.

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The Syriac Fathers on Prayer and the Spiritual Life

Translated, with an introduction, by Sebastian Brock

From the semitic-aramaic spirituality of the early Church to the hellenized theological vision of later centuries, the syrian tradition offers modern Christians an intensity, insights, and an immediacy rare in the West.

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Praying The Word

An Introduction to Lectio Divina

Enzo Bianchi; Translated by James W. Zona

Scripture brings the Word of God to us when we read and welcome it in faith as the Word which comes from God and leads to God. Scripture is the means by which we live in God. The ancient monastic (and patristic) way of reading Scripture involves reflection (meditation) and prayer. It is listening to the Word, allowing the Word to become active in our lives. It is, in the words of Saint Jerome, 'opening our sails to the Holy Spirit without knowing on what shores we will land.'

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I Am the Way

Stages of Prayer in Saint Bernard

Maureen McCabe, OCSO

As founding abbot of Clairvaux, Bernard's giftedness and good judgment made him an often-sought resource by both church and secular powers, and in that capacity, he was sometimes delightful and sometimes dismaying to those who encountered him.But when it comes to prayer, says Maureen F. McCabe, OCSO, Bernard can only delight. Anyone who gives him a chance will discover teachings full of unction and spiritual discernment. He draws us to continual prayer through an unshakable confidence in the One who believes in our capacity to love without limits, no matter what state we're in or stage we're at. He stirs us to continual gratitude for and reflection upon the mercies of the Lord, especially in his passion. Bernard, says Mother Maureen, is truly a father—father of the church and father of souls. In I Am the Way, she endeavors above all to allow Bernard's voice to be heard in all its resonance and penetration.Mother Maureen F. McCabe, OCSO, entered Mount Saint Mary's Abbey in Wrentham, Massachusetts, in 1972, after having taught high school theology and done graduate study in Scripture. She served as novice director in the community for seventeen years and in 2008 was elected abbess. She is the author of Inside the Psalms: Reflections for Novices also from Cistercian Publications.

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Many Mansions

An Introduction to the Development and Diversity of Medieval Theology

David N. Bell; Illustrations selected and commented on by Terryl N. Kinder

An overview of how religious thinking developed in the thousand years between the end of the Roman Empire and the Reformation, Many Mansions goes beyond other textbooks by looking at developments in both the Latin West and the Greek East. In addition to providing an introduction for readers with no background in theology or history, Bell points out the reasons behind the growing divergence between the two great halves of Christendom.

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Nil Sorsky

The Authentic Writings

Translated, with an Introduction, by David Goldfrank.

Nil Sorsky (1433/34-1508), founder of the Sora Hermitage and initiator of ‘scete’ life in among Russian Christians, is closely identified with the Orthodox contemplative prayer known as hesychasm, ‘stillness.’ In these translations, Nil’s own voice speaks across five hundred years to modern readers. The introduction and notes accurately place him within the Russian monastic tradition and identify the Slavic sources on which he drew. This introduction to the life and works of pre-modern Russia’s outstanding teacher and writer allows English readers to share in celebrations of the 500th anniversary of Nil’s death, to be marked in Russia by a symposium in the cloister of first his tonsure, by special seminars, and learned conferences. David Goldfrank, a specialist in Russian studies, is Professor of History at Georgetown University. His previous translation and study of fifteenth-century Russian monasticism, The Monastic Rule of Iosif Volotsky, was first published in 1983 and revised and reissued in 2000.

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Monastic Observances

"Initiation into the Monastic Tradition, 5"

Thomas Merton; Edited by Patrick F. O'Connell

In this set of novitiate conferences from the late 1950s, Thomas Merton provides a vivid and detailed introduction to the traditional pattern and practices of the monastic day during the period immediately preceding the momentous changes that would be introduced in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. Combining practical instruction with spiritual and theological reflection, this fifth volume of Merton's teaching notes brings the reader into the choir and chapter room, scriptorium and cloisters of the Abbey of Gethsemani, and provides insight into the ecclesial, contemplative, paschal, and Trinitarian dimensions of Cistercian life. Patrick F. O'Connell is professor in the departments of English and theology at Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania. A founding member and former president of the International Thomas Merton Society, he edits The Merton Seasonal and is coauthor (with William H. Shannon and Christine M. Bochen) of The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia. He has edited four previous volumes of Thomas Merton's monastic conferences for the Monastic Wisdom series: Cassian and the Fathers; Pre-Benedictine Monasticism; An Introduction to Christian Mysticism; and The Rule of Saint Benedict.

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At Home With Saint Benedict

Monastery Talks

Mark A. Scott, OCSO; Foreword by Macrina Wiederkehr

At Home with Saint Benedict is a selection of the author's conferences on Saint Benedict's Rule for Monasteries delivered to the monks of Assumption Abbey of Ava, Missouri, when he was abbot there. The author's intention was simply to share with his brother monks what Saint Benedict through his sixth-century Rule might have to offer monks of the early twenty-first century. It is hoped that these conferences, published here, will now speak to men and women outside the monastic cloister. This book is a door to the chapter room of Assumption Abbey. Readers are invited to open the door, sit down with the monks and their abbot, and feel at home with Saint Benedict. Mark A. Scott, OCSO, is a monk of the Trappist-Cistercian Abbey of New Clairvaux, Vina, California, which he entered in 1978. From 2000 to 2008 he served as appointed superior and then abbot of Assumption Abbey, Ava, Missouri.

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Homilies on the Gospels

Hildegard of Bingen; translated by Beverly Mayne Kienzle

Hildegard of Bingen (1098—1179) describes the virtue of Fortitude teaching the other virtues in the fire of the Holy Spirit. Like Fortitude, Hildegard was enkindled by the Holy Spirit and edified many with her teaching. Hildegard of Bingen's Homilies on the Gospels are here translated for the first time from Latin into English. Hildegard's sisters recorded and preserved her informal preaching in this collection of homilies on twenty-seven gospel pericopes. As teacher and superior to her sisters, Hildegard probably spoke to them in the chapter house, with the scriptural text either before her or recited from memory, according to Benedictine liturgical practice. The Homilies on the Gospels prove essential for comprehending the coherent theological vision that Hildegard constructs throughout her works, including the themes of salvation history, the drama of the individual soul, the struggle of virtues against vices, and the life-giving and animating force of greenness (uiriditas). Moreover, the Homilies on the Gospels establish Hildegard as the only known female systematic exegete of the Middle Ages. Beverly Mayne Kienzle, John H. Morison Professor of the Practice in Latin and Romance Languages, Harvard Divinity School, has published several books on medieval sermons and preaching, including Hildegard of Bingen and Her Gospel Homilies (2009); Hildegard of Bingen, Expositiones euangeliorum, coedited with Carolyn Muessig (2007); and The Sermon: Typologie des sources du moyen Âge occidental, fasc. 81—83 (2000).

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Monastic Observances

"Initiation into the Monastic Tradition, 5"

Thomas Merton; Edited by Patrick F. O'Connell

In this set of novitiate conferences from the late 1950s, Thomas Merton provides a vivid and detailed introduction to the traditional pattern and practices of the monastic day during the period immediately preceding the momentous changes that would be introduced in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. Combining practical instruction with spiritual and theological reflection, this fifth volume of Merton's teaching notes brings the reader into the choir and chapter room, scriptorium and cloisters of the Abbey of Gethsemani, and provides insight into the ecclesial, contemplative, paschal, and Trinitarian dimensions of Cistercian life. Patrick F. O'Connell is professor in the departments of English and theology at Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania. A founding member and former president of the International Thomas Merton Society, he edits The Merton Seasonal and is coauthor (with William H. Shannon and Christine M. Bochen) of The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia. He has edited four previous volumes of Thomas Merton's monastic conferences for the Monastic Wisdom series: Cassian and the Fathers; Pre-Benedictine Monasticism; An Introduction to Christian Mysticism; and The Rule of Saint Benedict.

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Tuning In To Grace

The Quest for God

André Louf OCSO; Translated by John Vriend

Conversion is a lifelong process, requiring us to put away idols, surrender the false self and allow the real self to emerge by accepting weakness, owning up to our sins and failings, and working to overcome them. Grace is experienced in prayer, in reading, in solitude and in spiritual companionship, in life's good experiences and in times of trial. Attuning ourselves to God's grace and responding to it in body, mind, and soul is the work of a lifetime.

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From Advent to Pentecost

Carthusian Novice Conferences

A Carthusian

The author writes with warmth, with learning, with passion and with humor. The reader can enter into something of the accumulated wisdom of an Order whose members 'have carried out the same little series of exercises since the eleventh century'. Each season has its special appeal for Carthusians - as the Conferences on Mary and on John the Baptist in the Advent and Christmas seasons show. The great Sunday Gospels of Lent - the Transfiguration, the Samaritan woman at the well, the raising of Lazarus - are expounded; the Passion of Christ is the subject of meditations that are profoundly and sometimes startlingly direct in their candour. Yet perhaps the most remarkable part of this unusual book the author's capacity to speak at length and to the point about the Resurrection and the coming of the Spirit. Here, where Christian teachers and preachers have so often been either hesitant or dogmatically remote, we have someone who clearly participates in the mysteries of which he speaks. It is a priceless gift to us all.

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Poor Therefore Rich

Carthusian Novice Conferences

A Carthusian

Followers of the way of Jesus Christ through two millennia have engaged in the joyful yet life—costing struggle of responding to the challenge of being transformed into his likeness. This further volume of Carthusian Novice Conferences offers the father—master's words of instruction on poverty to the men who have been drawn to the Carthusian form of the Christian way. As with all of us, 'poverty' operates on many levels, and one of the most remarkable qualities of these talks is that they range over the economic history as well as the more traditionally spiritual teaching of the Carthusian Order in its own struggle to seek Christ in simplicity and silence. Like all Christians, the Carthusians find Jesus the great Exemplar of the poverty that is desirable and yet 'costs not less than everything'; and once again we are reminded, with characteristic directness, of the source and fount of the desirable poverty - the total mutual self-giving of the Persons of the Holy Trinity.

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Saint Bernard's Three Course Banquet

"Humility, Charity, and Contemplation in the De Gradibus"

Bernard Bonowitz, OCSO

Saint Bernard's famous work, The Steps of Humility and Pride (in Latin, De gradibus humilitatis et superbiae), is a short book consisting of a mere fifty-seven paragraphs. In it, the Abbot of Clairvaux unpacks the doctrine of the very crucial chapter 7 of Saint Benedict's sixth-century Rule for Monks, which explores the dynamic "steps" or "degrees" of both humility and pride. This chapter by Benedict could well be considered the spiritual basis of all Benedictine existence. In Saint Bernard's Three-Course Banquet, Dom Bernard Bonowitz makes the teaching of both Bernard and Benedict accessible to modern readers in a set of conferences originally conceived for and delivered to a group of Cistercian "juniors," that is, monks and nuns who had completed their novitiate but had not yet made their solemn vows. With Dom Bernard as a guide, many more readers can be sure of drinking at the purest sources of the monastic tradition, which at that depth becomes one with the Gospel itself. A convert from Judaism with a degree in Classics from Columbia University, Bernard Bonowitz was a Jesuit for nine years before entering St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts. Immediately upon professing vows, his abbot named him master of novices, a position he held for ten years and that gave him ample opportunity to share considerable gifts of mind and heart while initiating newcomers into monastic life, at the levels of both classroom teaching and spiritual direction. In 1996 he was elected superior of the monastery of Novo Mundo in Brazil, which he soon shepherded into a true monastic springtime. In 2008, he became abbot of Novo Mundo, now a community attracting an impressive number of young men anxious to follow the way of Cistercian discipleship.

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Inside the School of Charity

Lessons from the Monastery

Trisha Day

In 2003 Trisha Day spent three months living inside the enclosure of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey, a community of twenty Cistercian nuns. Although she had long been a monastic associate, she was startled by the unexpected challenges and insights that emerged as the weeks went by, and began a process of profound reflection on her experience. Now, drawing on her journals and reflections, and on her own experience as a professional woman, wife, daughter, and mother, she delves into the questions of how the centuries-old wisdom of monastic life can challenge, inspire, and guide those living outside the monastery. Organized around topics such as prayer, community, and the vows, each of Day's reflections begins with memories of her monastic experience, and then presents a perceptive and often humorous critique of the contrasting values of our present culture. For each topic she chronicles with honesty and humility her subsequent struggles to apply back home the alternative approaches learned from the sisters she lived with, and offers a wealth of practical suggestions. Filled with stories from her own life and fascinating details of daily life in the monastery, her book is sure to strike a spark with all those seeking to live in a fully human and Christ-centered way. Trisha Day lives with her husband, Dennis, near Madison Wisconsin. They were married in 1967 and are the parents of two sons. Together with Dennis, she helped found the Associates of the Iowa Cistercians, a group of lay men and women who meet monthly at New Melleray or Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbeys to learn how to incorporate Cistercian spirituality into their lives outside the monastery. Since retiring from the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service, she has helped plan and facilitate numerous retreats and programs for laypeople.

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Showing 16 to 30 (of 60 products)