more on monasticism

Aug 12, 2011

Some of you have asked about the life of monks in a monastery. You might find the youtube clip below interesting. There is some good history here as well as a thorough overview of the purpose of monastic life. 

There are several things you will notice. Clear Creek Monastery was founded in 1999 in the USA, with some of the American monks who had joined the Benedictine Abbey of Fontgonbault in France. This monastery, Fontgombault was founded from the monastery of Solesmes. The abbot of Solesmes Abbey, Prosper Gueranger was a significant figure in the Liturgical Movement that paved the way for the Liturgy Document of Vatican II (Sacrosanctum Concilium).

I note in the wikipedia link that it was 175 years ago this Monday (Feast of the Assumption) that Gueranger (a diocesan priest), formally began his work to restore the Benedictine Order in France.

Put simply, (and at risk of being simplistic), Gueranger saw the key problem in the French Church as being Catholic’s worship of the state and their king, diluting (replacing even) their worship of God and respect for the unity of the Church led by the pope. You will get a sense of this in the wikipedia piece.

The Second clip below has a Christchurch connection. Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk whose father taught at Christs College. His grandparents, and some other relatives, are buried in Waimairi Cemetery.

 

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