New Blog

I have started a new blog, in case anyone is interested, dealing more with personal issues and ideas but continuing some of the themes from this blog:

The Domestic Hermit

So pop-in and comment.

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Novo Millennio Ineunte

“I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). This assurance, dear brothers and sisters, has accompanied the Church for two thousand years, and has now been renewed in our hearts by the celebration of the Jubilee. From it we must gain new impetus in Christian living, making it the force which inspires our journey of faith. Conscious of the Risen Lord’s presence among us, we ask ourselves today the same question put to Peter in Jerusalem immediately after his Pentecost speech: “What must we do?” (Acts 2:37).

We put the question with trusting optimism, but without underestimating the problems we face. We are certainly not seduced by the naive expectation that, faced with the great challenges of our time, we shall find some magic formula. No, we shall not be saved by a formula but by a Person, and the assurance which he gives us: I am with you!

It is not therefore a matter of inventing a “new programme”. The programme already exists: it is the plan found in the Gospel and in the living Tradition, it is the same as ever. Ultimately, it has its centre in Christ himself, who is to be known, loved and imitated, so that in him we may live the life of the Trinity, and with him transform history until its fulfilment in the heavenly Jerusalem. This is a programme which does not change with shifts of times and cultures, even though it takes account of time and culture for the sake of true dialogue and effective communication. This programme for all times is our programme for the Third Millennium.

Source: Novo Millennio Ineunte, 29

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A new start!

I have deleted the posts for the last three or so years together with the comments.

So this is either new start or a resurrection! The old is gone.

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How To Be Alone

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The paradox of identity

Last night I read Thomas Merton’s describtion of his first visit to Our Lady of Gethsemani to the children. He went for Easter 1941 just after he had moved to St Bonaventure University. Reflecting upon the monks of the Abbey, Merton writes in The Seven Storey Mountain:

But what was the answer to this paradox? Simply that the monk in hiding himself from the world becomes not less himself, not less of a person, but more of a person, more truly and perfectly himself: for his personality and individuality are perfected in their true order, the spiritual, interior order, of union with God, the principle of all perfection. Omnis gloria ejus filiae regis ab intus.

The logic of worldly success rests on a fallacy: the strange error that our perfection depends on the thoughts and opinions and applause of other men! A weird life it is, indeed, to be living always in somebody else’s imagination, as if that were the only place in which one could at last become real!

In two paragraphs Merton puts before us the paradox of our world and the paradox of our own identity. Our identity is not tied up in what other people think of us or what other people say we are. It is in the abandoning of self to God that we find who we truly are.

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Some more Merton

Hence there must be something more in the Christian life and apostolate, than merely persuading Christian to adhere to the same doctrinal propositions, to obey the same laws, and frequent the same sacraments. If we are content with merely exterior practice of our religion we will tend to make Christianity another of the mass-movements that cover the face of the earth. Then the Christian, rather than a free man, humbled by the consciousness of his responsibility, tends to become another frantic who allows himself the worst excesses and excuses them easily on the ground that he is ‘defending the faith,’ or fighting for the Church.

Disputed Questions

Our faith in God is much more than a collection of statements I put my name to. While theology and dogma is extremely important, it is not what defines one to be a Christian: it is a living personal relationship with Jesus in his Church. Of course that relationship must be ordered, as against being chaotic, so the Church’s dogmatic definitions set the bonds of relationship but do no define it. Jesus wants all of me, all of the time!

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Prayer for Self Knowledge

Lord Jesus, let me know myself and know You, and desire nothing save only You.
Let me hate myself and love You.
Let me do everything for the sake of You.
Let me humble myself and exalt You.
Let me think of nothing except You.
Let me die to myself and live in You.
Let me accept whatever happens as from You.
Let me banish self and follow You, and ever desire to follow You.
Let me fly from myself and take refuge in You,
That I may deserve to be defended by You.
Let me fear for myself.
Let me fear You, and let me be among those who are chosen by You.
Let me distrust myself and put my trust in You.
Let me be willing to obey for the sake of You.
Let me cling to nothing save only to You,
And let me be poor because of You.
Look upon me, that I may love You.
Call me that I may see You, and for ever enjoy You. Amen.

St Augustine of Hippo

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