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Father Benedict reports in from Chile

Father Benedict writes...

"Why do you come regularly to your Lectio Group?" I asked a group of talented sophomore boys, whom Sergio Pérez had invited me to join for lectio. The boys — José, Sebastian, Victor and Marcelo — each gave me an answer:  "Community," "Friends," "Help from the group," and the last — from Marcelo — "To be able to talk to God".  

Then I asked one more question: "Do you know what Sergio promised this past Monday evening, at the service in our chapel?" No one knew. So I suggested to Sergio that he explain it to them. 

"I promised obedience, conversion of life, and stability in the Manquehue community for one year,"  he said, "with a hope of renewing this promise yearly. This means that I will play an active role in teaching and living the faith here at San Lorenzo — but also in the greater Manquehue Community."  We went on to read the Gospel of the day, and to listen to a teaching by the leader, and then we did the "echos."  

This recent event in my life here at San Lorenzo is a parable of why I am spending 10 weeks in Santiago. Yes, I have been enjoying my time here, both the weekdays and the weekends, but best of all I have found what I was hoping to find: A loving welcome in Christ from a dynamic Catholic community. I'm especialy happy to be at San Lorenzo, where the kids come from not the best neighborhod, but who are full of the love of life.

My time of active participation in the school and in the community will end in the first week of December, at which point I will go to Perú to the EBC Monastery of the Incarnation, outside of Lima. A foundation of Belmont Abbey, the Monastery of the Incarnation is now a successful community with 6 Peruvian monks and one English monk, Prior David Bird OSB.  Alex Echeandia, whom I know from my visit to St. Benet´s last year, was ordained a priest October 28th in Perú.

I hope to bring back to Priory insights from my experience here — of liturgy, prayer, community life, group lectio, and evangelization.  The invitation of Christ is clear:

"I am at the door knocking. if anyone hears and opens to me, I will come in, and the two of us will have supper together."   Apoc. 3:20.

 

“Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.”

Prologue, 1

“This is advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice.”

Prologue, 1

“First of all, every time you begin a good work, you must pray to him most earnestly to bring it to perfection.”

Prologue, 4

“If you desire true and eternal life, keep your tongue free from vicious talk and your lips from all deceit; turn away from evil and do good; let peace be your quest and aim. (Ps 33[34]:13)”

Prologue, 17

“Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the Gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see him who has called us to his kingdom (1 Thess 2:12).”

Prologue, 21

“If we wish to dwell in the tent of this kingdom, we will never arrive unless we run there by doing good deeds.”

Prologue, 22

“What is not possible to us by nature, let us ask the Lord to supply by the help of his grace.”

Prologue, 41

“Therefore, we intend to establish a school for the Lord’s service.”

Prologue, 45

“The good of all concerned, however, may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and to safeguard love.”

Prologue, 47

“The reason why we have said all should be called for counsel is that the Lord often reveals what is better to the younger.”

Chapter 3, 3

“Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else.”

Chapter 4, 20-21

“Never give a hollow greeting of peace or turn away when someone needs your love.” –Chapter 4, 25-26

“Bind yourself to no oath lest it prove false, but speak the truth with heart and tongue.”

Chapter 4, 27-28

“Place your hope in God alone.”

Chapter 4, 41

“Respect the elders and love the young.”

Chapter 4, 70-71

“Pray for your enemies out of love for Christ. “

Chapter 4, 72

“If you have a dispute with someone, make peace with him before the sun goes down.”

Chapter 4, 73

“The first step of humility is unhesitating obedience, which comes naturally to those who cherish Christ above all.”

Chapter 5, 1-2

“Speaking and teaching are the master’s task; the disciple is to be silent and listen.”

Chapter 6, 6

“The first step of humility, then, is that a man keeps the fear of God always before his eyes (PS 35[36]:2) and never forgets it.”

Chapter 7, 10

“Let us consider, then, how we ought to behave in the presence of God and his angels, and let us stand to sing the psalms in such a way that our minds are in harmony with our voices.”

Chapter 19, 6-7

“On arising for the Work of God, they will quietly encourage each other, for the sleepy like to make excuses.”

Chapter 22, 8

“Every age and level of understanding should receive appropriate treatment.”

Chapter 30, 1

“Above all, let him be humble. If goods are not available to meet a request, he will offer a kind word in reply, for it is written: A kind word is better than the best gift (Sir 18:17).”

Chapter 31, 13-14

“Let all the rest serve one another in love.”

Chapter 35, 6

“Indeed, nothing is to be preferred to the Work of God.”

Chapter 43, 3

“Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore, the brothers should have specified periods for manual labor as well as for prayerful reading.”

Chapter 48, 1

“The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent.”

Chapter 49, 1

“All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35).”

Chapter 53, 1

“Proper honor must be shown to all, especially to those who share our faith (Gal 6:10) and to pilgrims.”

Chapter 53, 2

“(B)ecause wherever we may be, we are in the service of the same Lord and doing battle for the same King.”

Chapter 61, 10

They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other (Rom 12:10).”

Chapter 63, 17

“We wish this rule to be read often in the community, so that none of the brothers can offer the excuse of ignorance.”

Chapter 66, 8

“Trusting in God’s help, he must in love obey.”

Chapter 68, 5

Never to do another what you do not want done to yourself (Tob 4:16).”

Chapter 70, 7

“No one is to pursue what he judges better for himself, but instead, what he judges better for someone else.”

Chapter 72, 7

“Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.”

Chapter 72, 11-12

“What page, what passage of the inspired books of the Old and New Testaments is not the truest of guides for human life?”

Chapter 73, 3

“What book of the holy catholic Fathers does not resoundingly summon us along the true way to reach the Creator?”

Chapter 73, 4

 

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