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From the Tools of Good Works to the Heart of Humility

A Commentary on Chapters 4-7 of Benedict's Rule

Aquinata Böckmann, OSB; Translated by Marianne Burkhard, OSB, and Andrea Westkamp, OSB; Edited by Marianne Burkhard, OSB

In a new volume of her exegetical commentary, Sr. Aquinata Böckmann explores chapters 4-7 of the Rule of St. Benedict. They contain Benedict's instruction of how to learn and live the spiritual art of monastic life that is focused on Christ. In her close reading of the text and its sources she pursues questions such as the following: How do general Christian rules help us to live in community? How does obedience lead us closer to Christ? How does silence build community? How does humility deepen our love for Christ and those around us? Never losing sight of the reality of monastic life, Sr. Aquinata weaves together Benedict's wisdom and today's challenges to show the crucial spiritual elements of his Rule.Aquinata Böckmann, OSB, PhD, is a member of the Benedictine Missionary Sisters of Tutzing, Germany. She has taught in Rome since 1973 at the Pontifical Institute for Spirituality and Moral Theology Regina Mundi and as the first woman professor at Sant' Anselmo. She is the author of Perspectives on the Rule of Saint Benedict, Around the Monastic Table, and A Listening Community, all published by Liturgical Press.

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A Not-So-Unexciting Life

Essays on Benedictine History and Spirituality in Honor of Michael Casey, OCSO

Edited by Carmel Posa, SGS

This volume, written by eighteen monks, nuns, and lay scholars from seven countries and four continents, aims to recognize the contribution that Michael Casey has made to Cistercian and Benedictine life over the past forty years. Acclaimed as one of the most significant writers in the Benedictine and Cistercian tradition, Casey has published over one hundred articles and reviews in various journals, written more than eighteen books, and edited many more books and journals. He is a world-renowned retreat master, lecturer, and formator.Contributors include: Carmel Posa, SGS; David Tomlins, OCSO; Helen Lombard, SGS; Manuela Scheiba, OSB; David Barry, OSB; Mary Collins, OSB; Brendan Thomas, OSB; Elias Dietz, OCSO; Constant J. Mews; Bernardo Bonowitz, OCSO; Terrence Kardong, OSB; Elizabeth Freeman; Austin Cooper, OMI; Katharine Massam; Margaret Malone, SGS; Bernhard A. Eckerstorfer, OSB; Columba Stewart, OSB; Francisco Rafael de Pascual, OCSO; and Bishop Graeme RutherfordCarmel Posa, SGS, has been a Sister of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St. Benedict since 1989. She earned her master's degree from Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota, in 1996 and was awarded a doctorate from the Melbourne College of Divinity in 2009. She has been a senior lecturer in theology at Notre Dame University, Australia, and is a founding dean of the New Norcia Institute for Benedictine Studies and co-editor of Tjurunga: An Australasian Benedictine Review.

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From the Tools of Good Works to the Heart of Humility

From the Tools of Good Works to the Heart of Humility

A Commentary on Chapters 4-7 of Benedict's Rule

Aquinata Böckmann, OSB; Translated by Marianne Burkhard, OSB, and Andrea Westkamp, OSB; Edited by Marianne Burkhard, OSB

In a new volume of her exegetical commentary, Sr. Aquinata Böckmann explores chapters 4-7 of the Rule of St. Benedict. They contain Benedict's instruction of how to learn and live the spiritual art of monastic life that is focused on Christ. In her close reading of the text and its sources she pursues questions such as the following: How do general Christian rules help us to live in community? How does obedience lead us closer to Christ? How does silence build community? How does humility deepen our love for Christ and those around us? Never losing sight of the reality of monastic life, Sr. Aquinata weaves together Benedict's wisdom and today's challenges to show the crucial spiritual elements of his Rule.Aquinata Böckmann, OSB, PhD, is a member of the Benedictine Missionary Sisters of Tutzing, Germany. She has taught in Rome since 1973 at the Pontifical Institute for Spirituality and Moral Theology Regina Mundi and as the first woman professor at Sant' Anselmo. She is the author of Perspectives on the Rule of Saint Benedict, Around the Monastic Table, and A Listening Community, all published by Liturgical Press.

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Wisdom: The Good Life

Wisdom: The Good Life

Wisdom Literature and the Rule of Benedict

Irene Nowell; Foreword by Abbot John Klassen, OSB

We all want to live well, but how can we put that desire into action? With thoughtful reflection on the biblical wisdom writers and the Rule of Benedict, Irene Nowell shows us how we too can live the good life. Each chapter includes reflection questions and meditative prayers, guiding us on a renewed journey toward wisdom and encouraging us to embody this wisdom more in our daily lives.Irene Nowell, OSB, is a Benedictine of Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas, where she has lived for almost sixty years. An accomplished theologian and biblical scholar, Nowell is a past president of the Catholic Biblical Association and the author of Numbers (of the New Collegeville Bible Commentary); Sing a New Song: The Psalms in the Sunday Lectionary; Women in the Old Testament; and Pleading, Cursing, Praising; all published by Liturgical Press. She is also a member of the editorial board of Give Us This Day (Liturgical Press).

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The Rule of Benedict

An Invitation to the Christian Life

Georg Holzherr, OSB; Translated by Mark Thamert, OSB

In his introduction to this commentary on the Rule of Benedict, Abbot Georg Holzherr offers this analogy: "The Rule is comparable to an old heavy red wine that is enjoyed in small sips. . . . Head and heart, soul and mind should taste the words of the Rule, just as the eye enjoys the color of the wine while tongue, nose, and mouth take in the delightful gift of God each in their own way." In this new translation, based on the completely revised seventh edition of Die Benediktsregel, Holzherr has created a profoundly rich commentary using up-to-date research methods and the latest translations of ancient monastic texts. At the same time, this commentary is meant not only for experts in the field of ancient monasticism but also for all lay and monastic readers interested in delving into the teachings and spirituality of Saint Benedict and his spiritual predecessors in the East and in the West.This edition also features a completely revised and expanded introduction and commentary. New research in the field of early monasticism is offered, including new insights into the monastic life of women. Finally, the updated bibliography and a detailed index are valuable tools for anyone wanting to explore the extraordinary world of Saint Benedict.Georg Holzherr, OSB, entered monastic life at the Abbey of Einsiedeln in Switzerland in 1949. Upon completing studies in Einsiedeln and Rome, he received the Dr. jur. can. and began teaching at the Theologische Schule Einsiedeln in 1957. He was elected abbot of Einsiedeln Abbey in 1969. Holzherr is recognized as one of today's leading experts on the Rule of Saint Benedict and its sources, spirituality, and applicability to everyday life.Mark Thamert, OSB, was a monk of Saint John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota. Since receiving his PhD in Germanic languages and literatures from Princeton University in 1985, Thamert taught all levels of German in the Language and Cultures Department at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University. Fr. Mark died at the age of 66 in April, 2017, after a courageous battle with cancer.

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Monastic Sermons

Bernard of Clairvaux; Translated by Daniel Griggs; Introduction by Michael Casey, OSCO

Saint Bernard was born in 1090 near Dijon, France. He joined the fifteen-year-old monastery of Cîteaux in 1113. In 1115 he became the founding abbot ofClairvaux Abbey, whence his name, Bernard of Clairvaux. Saint Bernard was a gifted and prolific writer of theological treatises, scriptural commentaries, letters, and many sermons. The sermons in the collection published here, styled Sermones de diversis (sermons about various topics), lack the specific point of departure that characterizes his other sermons. That is, whereas the sermons on the Song of Songs are a verse-by-verse commentary on that biblical book and his Sermons for the Year follow the liturgical calendar, this collection of sermons deals with his various pastoral concerns. Since Scripture is always Bernard's point of departure and inspiration, the sermons often read like a Scripture study, but what comes through equally is the voice of an understanding spiritual father who is a masterful student of Scripture, biblical language, and the needs of his monks.Daniel Griggs has an MA in medieval studies and a PhD in Byzantine theology, both from the University of Leeds. He teaches Latin at Butte College near Chico, California, and translates medieval texts from Greek and Latin. He is currently translating Aelred of Rievaulx's sermons from the Reading collection, from Gaetano Raciti's critical edition in Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis 2C.

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Monastic Practices

Revised Edition

Charles Cummings, OCSO

For three decades, Monastic Practices has been a valued resource for English-speaking aspirants to monastic life. In this revised edition, updated and expanded, Charles Cummings, OCSO, explores the common practices of the monastic life in order to rediscover them as viable means of leading persons to a deeper encounter with God. How do monks and nuns occupy themselves throughout the day? Have they modernized their lifestyle or is it still cluttered with medieval customs? Could any of the monastic practices be of use to those outside the monastery? A certain wisdom is necessary to know how to use such practices and how to give oneself to them until they lead one to God.After long monastic experience, Cummings shows us how the ordinary things we do constitute our path to God. In the art of living life, he argues, we are always beginners, searching for God through our concrete circumstances and actions.Charles Cummings, OCSO, is a Trappist-Cistercian monk and priest of Holy Trinity Abbey, Huntsville, Utah. He grew up in northern Minnesota and joined the monastery in 1960. He has a master's degree in formative spirituality and has been engaged in writing, editing, teaching, counseling, chaplain ministry, and monastic interreligious dialogue for most of his monastic life.

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In the School of Contemplation

André Louf

Dom André Louf (+2010) was abbot of the Trappist-Cistercian monastery of Mont-des-Cats in northern France from 1963 to 1997. This book brings together talks given to a variety of audiences in which he shared his spiritual experience from both his life of prayer and his life in community.Each chapter offers inspiring insights on the spiritual experience, the priority of love, and other areas of our Christian life: community life, obedience, prayer, psalms, the liturgy, and more.In this book we enter "a school of contemplation" wherein the monastic experience enlightens our lives and service to the world and the Church.André Louf, OCSO, served as abbot of the Cistercian Abbey of Mont-des-Cats for thirty-five years until his retirement in 1997. His previous books in English include The Cistercian Way, Tuning in to Grace, Mercy in Weakness, Grace Can Do More, and The Way of Humility, all published by Cistercian Publications.

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Monastic Practices

Revised Edition

Charles Cummings, OCSO

For three decades, Monastic Practices has been a valued resource for English-speaking aspirants to monastic life. In this revised edition, updated and expanded, Charles Cummings, OCSO, explores the common practices of the monastic life in order to rediscover them as viable means of leading persons to a deeper encounter with God. How do monks and nuns occupy themselves throughout the day? Have they modernized their lifestyle or is it still cluttered with medieval customs? Could any of the monastic practices be of use to those outside the monastery? A certain wisdom is necessary to know how to use such practices and how to give oneself to them until they lead one to God.After long monastic experience, Cummings shows us how the ordinary things we do constitute our path to God. In the art of living life, he argues, we are always beginners, searching for God through our concrete circumstances and actions.Charles Cummings, OCSO, is a Trappist-Cistercian monk and priest of Holy Trinity Abbey, Huntsville, Utah. He grew up in northern Minnesota and joined the monastery in 1960. He has a master's degree in formative spirituality and has been engaged in writing, editing, teaching, counseling, chaplain ministry, and monastic interreligious dialogue for most of his monastic life.

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Price: $19.95

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Monastic Practices

Monastic Practices

Revised Edition

Charles Cummings, OCSO

For three decades, Monastic Practices has been a valued resource for English-speaking aspirants to monastic life. In this revised edition, updated and expanded, Charles Cummings, OCSO, explores the common practices of the monastic life in order to rediscover them as viable means of leading persons to a deeper encounter with God. How do monks and nuns occupy themselves throughout the day? Have they modernized their lifestyle or is it still cluttered with medieval customs? Could any of the monastic practices be of use to those outside the monastery? A certain wisdom is necessary to know how to use such practices and how to give oneself to them until they lead one to God.After long monastic experience, Cummings shows us how the ordinary things we do constitute our path to God. In the art of living life, he argues, we are always beginners, searching for God through our concrete circumstances and actions.Charles Cummings, OCSO, is a Trappist-Cistercian monk and priest of Holy Trinity Abbey, Huntsville, Utah. He grew up in northern Minnesota and joined the monastery in 1960. He has a master's degree in formative spirituality and has been engaged in writing, editing, teaching, counseling, chaplain ministry, and monastic interreligious dialogue for most of his monastic life.

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Monastic Sermons

Monastic Sermons

Bernard of Clairvaux; Translated by Daniel Griggs; Introduction by Michael Casey, OSCO

Saint Bernard was born in 1090 near Dijon, France. He joined the fifteen-year-old monastery of Cîteaux in 1113. In 1115 he became the founding abbot ofClairvaux Abbey, whence his name, Bernard of Clairvaux. Saint Bernard was a gifted and prolific writer of theological treatises, scriptural commentaries, letters, and many sermons. The sermons in the collection published here, styled Sermones de diversis (sermons about various topics), lack the specific point of departure that characterizes his other sermons. That is, whereas the sermons on the Song of Songs are a verse-by-verse commentary on that biblical book and his Sermons for the Year follow the liturgical calendar, this collection of sermons deals with his various pastoral concerns. Since Scripture is always Bernard's point of departure and inspiration, the sermons often read like a Scripture study, but what comes through equally is the voice of an understanding spiritual father who is a masterful student of Scripture, biblical language, and the needs of his monks.Daniel Griggs has an MA in medieval studies and a PhD in Byzantine theology, both from the University of Leeds. He teaches Latin at Butte College near Chico, California, and translates medieval texts from Greek and Latin. He is currently translating Aelred of Rievaulx's sermons from the Reading collection, from Gaetano Raciti's critical edition in Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis 2C.

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Wisdom: The Good Life

Wisdom Literature and the Rule of Benedict

Irene Nowell; Foreword by Abbot John Klassen, OSB

We all want to live well, but how can we put that desire into action? With thoughtful reflection on the biblical wisdom writers and the Rule of Benedict, Irene Nowell shows us how we too can live the good life. Each chapter includes reflection questions and meditative prayers, guiding us on a renewed journey toward wisdom and encouraging us to embody this wisdom more in our daily lives.Irene Nowell, OSB, is a Benedictine of Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas, where she has lived for almost sixty years. An accomplished theologian and biblical scholar, Nowell is a past president of the Catholic Biblical Association and the author of Numbers (of the New Collegeville Bible Commentary); Sing a New Song: The Psalms in the Sunday Lectionary; Women in the Old Testament; and Pleading, Cursing, Praising; all published by Liturgical Press. She is also a member of the editorial board of Give Us This Day (Liturgical Press).

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Unity of Spirit

Studies on William Of Saint-Thierry in Honor of E. Rozanne Elder

Edited by F. Tyler Sergent, Aage Rydstrøm-Poulsen, and Marsha L. DuttonForeword by Bernard McGinn; Afterword by John R. Sommerfeldt

William of Saint-Thierry (ca. 1080–1148) became abbot of the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Thierry in about 1119, holding that office for about sixteen years and writing a large number of works, some for the guidance of the monks of his abbey and others as theological treatises. But during that same time, after meeting Bernard, abbot of the Cistercian abbey of Clairvaux, he longed to become a Cistercian. He finally satisfied that dream in 1135, when he became a monk at Signy. His final work was the first of the five books that constitute the Vita Prima Sancti Bernardi.The nine chapters in this book explore William's thought as represented in his twenty works, ranging from his earliest theological writing through his contribution to the Vita Prima Sancti Bernardi. The contributors to this volume have moved scholarship on William in new directions, ranging from a comparative analysis of Bernard's and William's thought through a study of William's Christology, an analysis of individual works, a new translation of one of William's little-known works, an examination of sixteenth-century images drawn from the Vita Prima, a study of William's rhetorical skills, and a recognition of William's new take on the phrase unitas spiritus. Dr. E. Rozanne Elder's expertise as a scholar of the works of William of Saint-Thierry, combined with her decades of distinguished service as a professor of history, director of the Institute of Cistercian Studies and then of the Center for Cistercian and Monastic Studies, all at Western Michigan University, and as editorial director of Cistercian Publications for thirty-five years, has made her the best known of Cistercian scholars today. She is the one primarily responsible for moving Cistercian studies into the mainstream of medieval history and thought. As the gracious and indefatigable host of the annual Conference of Cistercian Studies that takes place each May as part of the International Medieval Studies Congress, she has created a community of scholars and friends.

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The Taste of Silence

The Taste of Silence

How I Came to Be at Home with Myself

Bieke Vandekerckhove; Translated by Rudolf Van Puymbroeck

At the youthful age of nineteen Bieke Vandekerckhove was diagnosed with ALS (a degenerative neurological disease, aka Lou Gehrig's disease). Unexpectedly, three years later her disease went into remission and, even though partially paralyzed, she lived with ALS for more than twenty years. In twenty-seven short chapters, written at various points in her life, the author shares her search for meaning and strength. Much to her own surprise, she found both in the stillness of contemplation, in the richness of silence. The practice of Benedictine spirituality and Zen meditation became, as she says, the two lungs through which she breathes. Along the way of her painful but illuminating journey, she shares insights learned from artists of all stripes, whether poets, painters, sculptors, or moviemakers, and from great contemplatives and thinkers. The result is a work that offers a deep trove of spiritual wisdom for every reader, whether afflicted with debilitating illness or in perfect health. This book won the Best Spiritual Book 2011 award in the author's home country of Belgium.Bieke Vandekerckhove (born 1969) lived in Kuurne, Belgium. In 1988, when she was a psychology major at the University of Leuven, she was diagnosed with ALS and became paralyzed from the pelvis up. With round-the-clock help from husband Bart Verhulst and various assistants, she led an active life of teaching, counseling, and writing for, among others, Volzin and Tertio. Until recently she regularly conducted Zen meetings and retreats at the Benedictine Sint-Andries Abbey in Zevenkerken, Belgium. In 2014 Bieke Vandekerckhove received formal transmission as Zen Master (Ch'an Ssu) in the Chinese Ch'an tradition from internationally known Zen Master Prof. Ton Lathouwers, himself the Dharma-Successor of Ch'an Master Teh Cheng, longtime head of the Guang Hua Ch'an School in China. On the occasion, she received the name Xia Fan Zhi Guang, meaning "Light of Kenosis." Bieke passed away in her home, early in the evening on September 7, 2015.

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The Nature of Saint John's

A Guide to the Landscape and Spirituality of Saint John's Abbey Arboretum

Saint John's University Press

This is the first comprehensive field guide to the natural and human history of the Saint John's Abbey Arboretum of central Minnesota. Its 2,500 acres of forest, prairie, savanna, and lakes have been carefully stewarded by Benedictine monks for more than a century and a half. It is Minnesota's largest arboretum and includes one of the state's finest forests of native oak, the state's first reforesting project, and its oldest planted pines. The guidebook features detailed topographical maps and descriptions of the Abbey Arboretum's hiking trails, descriptions of 120 native species of vegetation and wildlife, profiles of pioneer Benedictine stewards, and meditations and prayers for spiritual renewal, a "lectio on nature." It's an ideal pocket-guide companion for hikers or for those who simply wish to hold the Arboretum in their hands. The Saint John's Abbey Arboretum celebrates and preserves the beauty and richness of God's creation, fostering the Benedictine tradition of environmental respect, spiritual renewal, and education.

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