January 13, 2013
January 13, 2013
First off, it is with today’s liturgical celebration that we conclude this year’s Christmas Season. In the Roman rite today’s feast is known as the Baptism of the Lord whereas in the Eastern Church it is known as the Theophany. To read more about the feast visit CatholicCulture.org.
It is also the beginning of Catholic Vocation Awareness Week celebrated by the Catholic Church in the United States providing us with an excellent opportunity to pray for much needed vocations to the ordained ministry and consecrated life and to explore ways we might promote vocation awareness. Helpful hints and suggestions can be found on the Archdiocese of St. Louis web site on their Vocation Awareness Information page.
Anyone even remotely thinking about a vocation to monastic life is invited to visit our Vocation Page and possibly consider joining us for one of our Vocation Discernment Weekend retreats. The weekends offer several conferences on vocation and discernment, and the opportunity of meeting some of the brethren and, on Sunday, joining the community in choir and for dinner.
Finally, today we bring to a close the week long visitation by our Father Immediate, Dom Elias Dietz, Abbot of Gethsemani, our motherhouse. Dom Elias opened the visitation Monday evening and will close it in a chapter meeting this evening before Compline. During the course of the week he met privately with each member of the community and at this morning’s chapter presented his findings in a draft of the visitation report and facilitated a lively and fruitful discussion on the points he raised. According to the Constitutions of the Order each house is to be visited every two years by the Father Immediate or the Abbot General. As the Constitutions state:
The purpose of the regular visitation is to strengthen and supplement the pastoral action of the local abbot, to correct it where necessary, and to motivate the brothers to lead the Cistercian life with a renewed spiritual fervor. This requires the active cooperation of the community. The visitor is faithfully to observe the precepts of law, the spirit of the Charter of Charity and the norms of the General Chapter.
A report of the visitation will be made to the next General Chapter. It is with renewed fervor and encouragement thanks to the visitation that we will try to continue onwards and upwards living our Cistercian vocation and implementing the suggestions made by him.
The state of life which is constituted by the profession of the evangelical counsels, while not entering into the hierarchical structure of the Church, belongs undeniably to her life and holiness.
Christ proposes the evangelical counsels, in their great variety, to every disciple. The perfection of charity, to which all the faithful are called, entails for those who freely follow the call to consecrated life the obligation of practicing chastity in celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom, poverty and obedience. It is the profession of these counsels, within a permanent state of life recognized by the Church, that characterizes the life consecrated to God
Catechism of the Catholic Church
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