A joyfully Franciscan view of Catholic life, inspired by St. Clare (Santa Chiara) of Assisi!

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Chiara Offreduccio (St. Clare) was born in 1194. It is said that when her mother had Chiara in her womb, an angel appeared to her and said, "your child will be a light that will illuminate the world!" Hence, her mother named the child Chiara, which means "light. As G.K. Chesterton put it, St. Clare was a romantic figure just like Juliet was. However, instead of running away from her family in order to be with an earthly man, Clare gave up everything and ran away from her family for the love of her Savior!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Benedictine Blessings: St. Cecelia's Abbey, UK

According to a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem, the Benedictine nun "has this one work to do- Let All God's glory through." Upon looking at the website of St. Cecelia's Abbey on the Isle of Wight, UK, these nuns are doing a wonderful job at fulfilling the words of that poem!

St. Cecelia's Abbey was founded in 1882 from an abbey in Liege, Belguim. In the 1920s, the priory became an abbey...usually that distinction comes about through a community's tenure and size. Today, the community is affiliated with the well-known Congregation of the French Abbey of Solesmes. Also, St. Cecelia's was one of the two abbeys that inspired author Rumer Godden to write In This House of Brede, her famous novel of Benedictine contemplative nuns.

Of all the website's of abbeys that I've seen, I'd say that the St. Cecelia's website is the best. That assesment is based upon the profound description of contemplative life, the vivid "virtual tour" of the abbey, and sound bytes of the nuns' beautiful Gregorian chant. The only thing that it lacks is a vocation page, but I'm sure that anyone interested could simply contact the Lady Abbess.

Below is a beautiful quote from the web site:

The aim of our cloistered life is to foster that purity of heart that opens upon the whole of creation and the entire human family in an embrace of love. If they have withdrawn from frequent contact from mankind, it is not because they are seeking themselves or their own comfort, but because they are intent on sharing to a more universal degree of fatigue, misery, and hopes of all makind.

Wow, if I was an English girl, any boyfriend of mine would be out of luck!


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