Feast on From the Holy Rule - The Benedictine Fellowship of Saint

Newsletter of the Community of Our Lady and Saint Laurence, Affiliates of the Benedictine Fellowship of St. Laurence
From the Heights:
Monastic Musings from the Mountains
Ash Wednesday 2014
Fast from… Feast on
— excerpted from a work of William Arthur Ward, d. 1994
Volume II, Issue 2
Fast from judging others;
Feast on the Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences;
Feast on the unity of life.
Fast from apparent darkness;
Feast on the reality of light.
Fast from thoughts of illness;
Feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute;
Feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent;
Feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger;
Feast on patience.
Fast from complaining;
Feast on appreciation.
In this Issue:
Fast from negatives;
Feast on affirmatives.
Fast from…
Feast on...
Fast from unrelenting pressures;
Feast on unceasing prayer.
From the Holy Rule
Fast from hostility;
Feast on non-resistance.
Applying Saint Benedict to Lent in the
Fast from bitterness;
Feast on forgiveness.
News and Events
Fast from self-concern;
Feast on compassion for others.
Come away… and
Fast from discouragements;
Feast on hope.
From the Holy Rule
Although a Monk's life ought at all times to resemble a continual Lent, yet because few have
such virtue, we exhort all in these days of Lent to
live in all purity, and during this holy season to
wash away all the negligences of other times.
This we shall worthily accomplish if we refrain
Fast from facts that depress;
Feast on verities that uplift.
Fast from lethargy;
Feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from thoughts that weaken;
Feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from idle gossip;
Feast on purposeful silence.
  
Page 2
From the Heights: Monastic Musings from the Mountains
Applying St Benedict to Lent “in the World”
It would be all too easy to excuse
oneself from what St Benedict
says in the portion of the Holy
Rule that has been included in
this issue. After all, he speaks of
monks and, for the most part,
those who read this article will
not be monks or nuns. But this
would be to short-change ourselves spiritually, for his wise
precepts include several points
that are of great value for lay
persons and clergy, too:
Ascetic struggle is not intended exclusively for during
All Orthodox Christians are
called to keep, in union with
each other, the “little lents”
of Wednesdays and Fridays.
Even well-intentioned persons
benefit from a specific season
that emphasizes repentance in
a more intense manner.
Lent calls for more intense
efforts, both positive (adding
something) and negative
(deducting something), in addition to our usual disciplines.
The goal of our asceticism is
to remove anything that could
distract us from spiritual joy
and desire for the Paschal
Our chosen discipline should
have the blessing of our confessor or spiritual father, who
is responsible for making sure
it is reasonable and springs
from proper motivation.
Pride and self-satisfaction are a
serious danger to one who undertakes spiritual disciplines
without guidance, or without a
clear sense of the synergy of
God’s grace and our efforts
working in tandem, or who
thinks that the kingdom of
heaven is a matter of food and
drink (cf. Rom 14:17).
One often hears that “giving up
something for Lent” is “not Orthodox.” However, St Benedict’s Rule
makes it plain that it would be
more accurate to say that this custom is “not Eastern Orthodox.”
Since it is universally acknowledged that St Benedict and his
Rule are fully Orthodox, his advice
is, in fact, eminently suitable for
“Western Orthodox.”
From the Holy Rule, con’t
from all defects, and apply ourselves to tearful prayer, to reading, to compunction of heart, and abstinence. In these days, therefore, let us add something over and above to our wonted task, such as
private prayers, and abstinence from meat and drink; let every one offer to God, of his own free
will, with joy of the Holy Ghost, something above the measure appointed him; that is to say, let
him withhold from his body something in the way of food, drink, sleep, talk, laughter, and with
spiritual joy and desire, await the holy feast of Easter. Nevertheless, let each one acquaint the Abbot with what he offers, and do it at his desire and with his consent; because whatever is done
without the permission of the spiritual Father, shall be imputed to presumption and vain glory,
and merit no reward. All things, therefore, must be done with the approbation of the Abbot.
Four Pascha/Easter Cards:
[email protected]
($1.69 each)
Myrrhbearing Women—Russian
Church of the Resurrection—Photo
Page 3
Volume II, Issue 2
News and Events
Feb. 22 — In conjunction with Matins and Mass at St Mark’s Parish, Denver, for the Feast of the Chair of St Peter at Antioch, the transfer of Stability and Obedience by Monk Giovanni was formally accepted by Prior
Theodore; may he be saved in the Angelic estate! On the same day, transfers of oblation was accepted for Fr. Lester Bundy, Obl.SB, and Subdeacon Ignatius Marti, Obl.SB, and the following were Invested as
Novice Oblates: Stephen Greenlee, Steven Coates, Huw Raphael
Richardson, and Christopher Weirich. Many years! Sometime in
March, Joseph Vanden Brink and Sandra Tillman will be Invested
as Novice Oblates by their parish priest, to whom this has been delegated
by Prior Theodore.
Fr Theodore will be preaching at St Augustine’s Parish, Denver, for Ash
Wednesday (7 pm), Palm Sunday (10 am), and Maundy Thursday (TBA).
The first annual retreat for Oblates of St Benedict has been tentatively
scheduled for August 5 — 8, 2014, in order to lead into the Second Annual Pilgrimage to Saint Laurence Center for the Benedictine Fellowship
of Saint Benedict. More information will be available in late April.
Icon wall
in the Refectory,
St Herman’s Lodge
“As always,
visiting us are
not charged a fee;
His Grace Bishop JOHN, Vicar Bishop for the Western Rite of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, has accepted our
invitation to be the Speaker and Preacher for the August 8 — 10, 2014
Second Annual Pilgrimage! More information will be available soon.
donations are
Come away to a quiet place … and rest awhile” (Mk6:31)
As spring approaches and the
weather in the mountains improves, it is a great time to consider scheduling an individual
or group retreat at our beautiful
St. Laurence Retreat Center.
We can accommodate overnight,
multi-day, or single day events,
and our reasonable group rates
offer optional discounts, depending on the kind of assistance required from our staff.
Our facilities and 600 acres of
mountain terrain are ideal for
individual retreats, intimate
gatherings, or large groups of up
to approximately 39 people.
As always, individuals visiting us
are not charged a fee; donations
are always welcome!
— Monk Theodore,
Guest Master
Tallahassee Creek,
February, 2014
Seeking and
Serving God in the
Way of St. Benedict
Place address label here.
Visit us on the Web:
4076 Cabin Creek Rd. (CR 21-A)
Canon City, CO 81212
The Benedictine Fellowship of Saint Laurence is an independent, non-profit corporation
established for religious and charitable purposes. All donations are tax deductible.
The Fellowship was founded to promote monastic life and spiritual renewal and worship according to the traditions of Orthodox Catholic Christianity, under the inspiration of the Rule of Saint
Benedict. In order to further this ministry, the Fellowship operates a retreat center where people
can seek renewal through combining worship, contemplation, and work.
The Community of Our Lady and Saint Laurence is an unofficial community of monastics,
following the ancient Rule of St. Benedict, worshipping according to the Orthodox Western Rite
approved by the Holy Synods of Moscow and Antioch. We live and work at the Retreat Center operated by the Fellowship in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. While we are, individually, affiliated
with the Antiochian Orthodox Western Rite Vicariate, as an organization we are not, at present, a
canonically erected monastic community of any Orthodox Jurisdiction. We endeavor to support
ourselves with regard to food, medical care, transportation, and personal needs through our work
for the Fellowship and through other crafts or services, and through donations from the faithful.
From the Heights: Community of Our Lady and Saint Laurence