Saturday, August 05, 2006


This week we are having our canonical visitation. This means three (3) abbots joining our little priory. One is Abbot Philip Lawrence, our regular Abbot from Christ in the Desert. Abbot Visitor Anselm Atkinson and Abbot Cuthbert Brogan also are here to interview the community and offer suggestions, possibly corrections, to our monastic life and observance. I have been aniticpating this event for some time. I find the idea of a Visitation to be in the main uplifting: an opportunity for fraternal sharing about the values we profess. I love the chapters in Jean LeClerq's The Love of Learning and the Desire for God where he discusses monks visiting other monasteries, bringing news, sharing ideas and so on.

Sometimes these events are viewed warily. The Holy See recently completed a long visitation of all American seminaries. The way this was reported, even by sympathetic Catholics, reinforced the notion that Rome was levelling the boom on deviant practices in the American Church. As I wrote above, there will no doubt be corrections. But I also suspect that the great majority of whatever report is issued will be fraternal encouragement and not paternalistic hand-slapping. And this won't be posturing on the Vatican's part. I could be wrong. We just finished hearing Second Corinthians at Vigils (what a beautiful and underrated epistle!) and Paul of course promises to visit Corinth a third time. One gets the impression that his visits had tense moments to say the least. And yet look what good came of it: one of Paul's most mystical writings.

Please keep us in your prayers.
God's blessings to you all.

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If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
and the Rule of the Gospel so that I become a scandal to you, The Church, then
may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.

Origen of Alexandria
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