This Advent we are issuing a challenge to all our friends: Can you donate 10 $ £ € or 10 units of your currency to our Appeal to purchase a new, permanent, appropriate home for the monastery and restore these medieval buildings, lost to the Church at the French Revolution, to the Christian worship and monastic life for which they were built?
With over 4,000 followers on Facebook and many friends and others who visit our page or website each day, this modest contribution – if made by everyone – will move our Appeal forward substantially and quickly at a time when large amounts are not easy to raise. Please accept this challenge if you can. May God bless and reward you for your help! Please also consider sharing this challenge with your friends. The more people who help, the sooner the praise of Almighty God will resound in the 11th century chapel (pictured below) built for that very purpose.
Donations can be made through any of the ways listed on our website Support Page including to our French Association, our UK Registered Charity or our USA 501c3 Foundation, or through the Facebook fundraiser directly.
We are profoundly grateful to all who have already supported our appeal. We are equally grateful to those who are able to give a little more than 10 units of whatever currency: your generosity will make up for those for whom this would truly be a hardship at this time.
Further information on our appeal, including the appeal brochure, may be found on the news page of our website (scroll down for further details, images, history of the buildings, etc). Potential donors who wish to discuss ways in which they can help are welcome to contact us.
Retribuere dignare Domine, omnibus nobis bona facientibus
propter nomen tuum, vitam aeternam. Amen.
Reward, O Lord, with eternal life all those who do good to us
for the sake of your name. Amen.
Vous trouverez ci-dessous notre lettre aux amis pour le temps de l'avent 2019.
Our Advent 2019 newsletter is published below.
S'il vous plaît rappelez-vous notre appel en cours (voir la brochure d'appel à droite).
Please remember our ongoing appeal (see the appeal brochure to the right).
+ Today it is our privilege to feast and sing the praises of those men and women of the Benedictine order who, having persevered to the end, now enjoy the eternal bliss of heaven—of those canonised and uncanonised monks and nuns and brothers and sisters who have persevered to the end, to the glorious end that is the goal of every baptised person and to which all people are called. Today is, one might say, the feast of monastic perseverance, of that receptivity to God’s grace in our vocation which sustains us daily in striving to live our vocation in our modest and even difficult circumstances with greater charity and fidelity.
We were blessed to sing solemn Lauds in the presence of the many Benedictine relics for which it is our privilege to care. They are a great treasure of our monastery, placing in the midst our life and work the very matter that Almighty God has sanctified by his grace through generous, cooperative perseverance in the monastic vocation. Whilst venerating them, let them teach us to be realistic: they were novices, juniors, superiors, old, middle-aged, young, healthy, ill, anxious, doubting, frightened and worried at times. They became frustrated with themselves when the effort to conquer vice in themselves seemed slow or even impossible. They had to deal with the temptations of any man or woman. The charity they achieved in respect of their at times impossible brethren was not without many failures and the need for forgiveness. They once were where we are now.
We are called to be where they are now. And it is by faithful, generous, patient and loving perseverance that we shall arrive there—faithful always to our vocation, and generous, patient and loving towards ourselves and towards our brethren.
Basil Cardinal Hume OSB used to say that people enter the monastery for one reason but remain in the it for the right reason. His point is sage. We come to the monastery with good motives and to do good, presumably. Then it is not as we expect. The demands of the monastic life are greater than we thought, the brethren are harder to live with than ever we imagined, the superiors are impossible, the circumstances of the monastery change, &c &c.
Our sainted forebears experienced all of this and more, as we know from the Benedictine martyrology to which we attend each day. Yet they persevered. And through their perseverance they became like gold tested and purified by fire (cf. Eccl. 2:5; Is. 1:25). Their perseverance allowed Almighty God to burn away the worldly dross with which they came to the monastery and to form them into something uniquely beautiful unto His glory.
That, my brothers, is the magnificent vocation it is our privilege to have been given. Realising it through daily perseverance is our duty. On this splendid feast let us be encouraged and renewed in our good resolutions by those who have successfully walked this path before us, and let us not fail to ask their intercession in winning the graces each of us need today, and shall need tomorrow and beyond, to follow them to the salvation that awaits those who persevere unto the end. (cf. Mt 24:13) +
+ The section of Chapter 7 (“On Humility”) of the Holy Rule appointed for today is rather blunt: “We must be on our guard, then, against evil desires, for death lies close to the gate of delight; whence Scripture gives this command: Go not after thy lusts.” (cf. Eccl. 18:30). This imperative resonates in the Gospel we have sung at Matins (Mt 18:1-10) and shall do so again at Mass, in which our Lord teaches us that if something causes us to sin we are to severe ourselves from it—or indeed, as St Jerome taught in the third nocturn of Matins, from them if the occasion of sin be a person or a relationship.
Blunt language connotes blunt realities. We cannot compromise with sin or with the devil. We know in ourselves only too well the disastrous effects of so doing. We see those effects in the world from which we have sought sanctuary in the enclosure of the monastery. Even in parts of the Church in our day the disease of cancerous compromise between truth and falsehood, between good and evil, is all too evident.
But the truth, as taught by Christ in the Sacred Liturgy of His Church today, is clear: we must avoid occasions of sin as sin itself. This traditional maxim distils the teaching of the Gospel perfectly: it is better for us to leave behind “our lusts” than cling to them and “be cast into the fires of hell”.
For the fact is that the Christian today, as in any age, is at war: at war with the world, the flesh and the devil. Victory means nothing less than everlasting life in heaven. Loss means everlasting death in hell.
But in this war, in this constant effort to turn from our lusts, we have help. We have the supernatural means of grace, of the Sacrament of Confession, of the sustenance of the Blessed Eucharist, and of the intercession of the Communion of Saints. In particular, in this warfare we have the intercession of Saint Michael whose feast it is our joy to celebrate today.
Turn anew to Saint Michael and ask his intercession. It is not without significance that in recent months a number of bishops have ordered that the devotional prayer to him be prayed once again following Mass in their dioceses—we need his intercession and protection now more than ever. The prayer, expanding on the Alleluia verse of today’s Mass, implores him to “defend us in the day of battle so that we shall not perish on the day of judgement.” Let that prayer be on our lips as often as needs be, for it is surely better for us cry out to the Archangel Michael many times a day if needs be, than to “be cast into the fires of hell”. +
Thinking of a monastic vocation? Please read:
Am I called to be a monk?
Click here to support our JustGiving Lenten Almsgiving Campaign.
Download our appeal brochure and reply form. - Téléchargez notre brochure d'appel et formulaire de réponse.