jump to navigation

Awesome article/video on traditional Benedictine monastery January 7, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, manhood, religious, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.

Here is a surprisingly fair and balanced take on the Traditional Our Lady of Guadalupe Benedictine monastery of Silver City, NM.   I will state straight up that this monastery is affiliated with the SSPX, but don’t let that fact turn you away from some inspiring photos in the video below, nor from the elements of traditional Catholic monastic life these monks embody. I pray for their complete unity with the Church.  Thanks to reader Dismas for the link!

The Benedictine order of the Catholic Church dates to the sixth century and St. Benedict, whose 73-chapter “Rule” serves as a spiritual and moral guide for the monks who follow it. According to the Our Lady of Guadalupe website, it is a “compact practical code of living” rooted in “equilibrium and balance of moderation.”

While some monasteries run schools or parishes, others commit to a life of simplicity and contemplation, and a01_jd_25dec_monks5Our Lady of Guadalupe adheres to the latter.

As old-fashioned as they might be – Brother Bernard likes to say, “We’re very sixth century” – they don’t reject all the trappings of modernity: They use electricity and washing machines; they maintain a website; they have a telephone in a little gift shop that sells medallions of St. Benedict, books and handmade paper; and they carry a communal cellphone when they travel. They roast coffee to raise funds to keep their monastery self-sustaining.

“Things we can do by hand, we do,” Brother Bernard said. “We’re not against technology when it is used for the right reasons.”

“We found this secluded place, an environment from which the young monks could learn,” Father Cyprian said. “The forest, mountains, creation, the beauty of the music and the language: These are elements that teach the monks to connect with the monastic fathers of antiquity. What we do here is exactly what has always been done, with no change. The monastic life was revolutionary in its ideal because the monastic fathers who grouped themselves together launched this very unique way of life where all the means to serve God and serve the church are first and everything else is secondary.”

Prayers for all

a01_jd_25dec_monks2On the eve of Christmas, the monks begin the prayers usually said before dawn at 9 p.m., leading up to a midnight Mass.

They see their ascetic life – including their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience – as an emulation of Jesus’ early life before he began preaching, said Brother Bernard, and they consider Jesus’ birth in a manger as a symbol of how God reveals himself to the humble.

Like many families on this day, they will celebrate with a feast. And, as always, they will mark the day with many hours of prayer.

The monks, despite their seclusion, say their prayers are not for themselves alone but are for the world.

One recent weekday morning, Maria Juarez brought her two sons to the monastery’s Latin Mass, sung in Gregorian chant – a Mass that “brings you to tears,” she said.

“I’m grateful for the monastery,” she said afterward. “I think for me to have come to know the faith, someone had to have prayed for me. I feel they are praying for us, for the world.”

Boy do I know that feeling.  God bless that woman, I know exactly how she feels. My coming into the Faith took me by total surprise.  It just sort of happened, not because of any willed intent on my part, but because of the prayers of others.  It’s amazing that I forget that at times…..which reminds me how much I am constantly in need of Grace!

When I say pray for me, I do mean it!

I hope you enjoyed this little article.



1. Lorra - January 7, 2014

“When I say pray for me, I do mean it!”
So do I. I always hope that people take to heart my request for prayers as much as I take to heart their own request for prayers.

Father Cyprian is a wonderful monk. I met him several times when we used to attend Mass at the SSPX.

tantamergo - January 7, 2014

I can’t believe I forgot to mention, I love to see them sport the tonsure!

2. St Maravillas21 - January 7, 2014

Unfortunately, as long as Pope Francis and others are trying to wreck the church, they won’t be joining us anytime soon. I know many who are bailing on the church to join the SSPX due to what is going on. Very sad situation.

Lorra - January 7, 2014

We went to their chapel on Christmas and New Year’s Day. It is not hard to understand why they would choose to go there, especially in my spiritually bankrupt diocese.

Lorra - January 7, 2014

By the way, I love St. Maravillas and have read her biography several times. In fact, I think I will get it out and read it again.

tantamergo - January 7, 2014

I would be very gratified to see some hard numbers, if any, on this phenomenon. I have been told that the current pontiff is providing many recruits for the SSPX and even sede vacantists. But is this really true, or just a perception?

Please know, I’m not rebuking or challenging you in any way. But it is becoming increasingly important to know if people are really leaving, or if this is just sort of something in the air, so to speak.

Lorra - January 7, 2014

If i go and stand in the middle of the downtown area in our city, within a thirty mile radius, I will encounter five traditional chapels – three sedevacantist and two SSPX.

The fact that all of these chapels do a “good business” and have been in existence for decades, tells someone all they need to know about my diocese. Yet, when a former bishop was asked about the availability of the Latin Mass in our diocese, he said there wasn’t “much of a call for it” in the area. Of course not! Everyone who would want it is gone to one of the illicit chapels.

I’ll try to make some inquiries and see what I can find out for you. I, too, have heard that people are leaving more and more, especially for the SSPX (which is definitely the safer of the two places).

Scott W - January 7, 2014

Just my two cents: there is some attrition from the more conservative/traditional crowd. Two young men who blog (one on Patheos, the other from the Ascending Mt. Carmel blog) recently left for the E. Orthodox. The papal resignation and new direction out of the Vatican were undoubtedly contributing factors. Each was looking for something solid, predictable and sure, and they think the E. Orthodox are a better bet. Sad.

The couple who precede me at the adoration chapel shocked me the other day when they asked me who I thought the REAL pope was: Benedict or Francis. They are a conservative Novus Ordo couple who once mildly rebuked me when I expressed my strong preference for the old mass. They are good, solid people who go to daily mass and say the Liturgy of the Hours–the backbone of any parish. They may have been led astray by the false Maria Divine Mercy “prophetess”…

LaGallina - January 8, 2014

1. Welcome back. It’s feast or famine around here lately:)

2. Have you ever posted your conversion story? If so, can you link to it? If not, will you write it up for us? Conversion stories were a huge part of my “conversion of heart.”

3. I’ve said this before, but if I had an SSPX chapel in my area, I would join if there were no other options. It is getting increasingly difficult for me to understand why it’s better to be “faithful” and to see the tepid garbage that goes on at my N.O. Mass than to go to an SSPX chapel that teaches the Catholic Faith that my grandparents learned. Especially when I realize my children are being formed by this nonsense.

4. A year ago I was pretty much your average “neo-Catholic.” But I started getting tired of my “faithful” sources not criticizing the German bishops last year when they said contraception was ok in some cases. My faithful neo-pals said, “Well, if the bishops say it’s ok then I guess it’s ok, I think.” (That was Relevant Radio and the Narional Carholic Register.) Than Pope Francis came along and completely terrified me. Then I started taking a closer look at Church tradition and the old Mass, Catholic scripture translations, the changed prayers, the changed mass, etc. etc.. Does God really want me to sit in that parish where my kids have actually learned in CCD that Piere de Chardin is a hero? Where EVERY homily is about the Good Samaritan who wouldn’t walk away from immigrants and people with a different “orientation,” as my priest said. The obnoxious anti-Catholic jokes told by our back-up priest at the end of his homily. I could go on and on. Sometimes I sit and cry during mass. Then I feel guilty for having a “bad attitude!”

Marguerite Crain - January 8, 2014

LaGallina, I can relate…the novus ordo parish I attended was not as bad as some I’ve heard of and seen. I went to Mass feeling upset and sometimes angry at the no kneeling for “communion,” the ex ministers who smiled to “make nice” the clapping, the insipid attempts at humor, the prima dona choir given primacy of place up front, and the “we have this bread to offer, the work of human hands…” God rejected Cain’s offering of the work of human hands…and He still does…He desires the Body and Blood of His Son in the unbloody Sacrifice..on Calvary.
In 2010, I was led back to the Roman Catholic Church…unchanged, undiluted, untainted, and One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ. I have not crossed the threshold of a Novus ordo Vat. 2 church since, and I never intend to…

I attend the only Mass of the Ages in Alabama, provided by the C.M.R.I Bishop Pivarunus… We have Mass every Sunday, maybe 2 Saturdays, and Holydays…as well as all of the other unchanged Sacraments. I do not think we have had a valid Pope since 1958, Pius XII. Since Advent of 2010, I have not regretted my decision. I pray all those who were raised Catholic prior to 1958…return to the True Faith. Guilt is not felt when you pursue the Truth…God bless.

Lorra - January 8, 2014

Marguerite, I hope you come back and read this. I was born before 1958. Haven’t you ever thought that if the CMRI are wrong, you might lose your soul?

tantamergo - January 8, 2014

To me, the sede vacantist position is fatally flawed. If there has been no valid Pope for 55 years, for the first extended period in the entire history of the Church and no efforts underway to elect a valid one (what, no pope Michael of Kansas?), then Christ’s promise to His Church about never leaving us is false and the entire edifice of the Faith crumbles. It is an exceedingly dangerous position to adopt.

That doesn’t mean many of their criticisms are not correct, and there is much to be scandalized about. But I see sede vacantism as an intellectual and theological black hole.

And I don’t plan on there being much sede vacantist discussion on this blog.

3. Scott W - January 7, 2014

Back in May I met one of their monks–a young asian man–in the Oakland airport (he was home visiting family). I saw him sitting by himself in full benedictine garb, reading a pocket Bible. I approached him with my little daughter, and we had a wonderful conversation. It was such a treat to meet a humble monk whose eyes shine with God’s grace.

Oddly enough, there is another OLG monastery in NM. It grew out of the charismatic movement and is actually co-ed. Mother Angelica had the founder on her show decades ago.

4. Elizabeth - January 8, 2014

Thanks for the video and article. My only experience with the monks has been through their online Gift Shop. I discovered it a couple of years ago. Wow, whoever chooses the items to sell has similar tastes to my own. Not only an impressive array of spiritual reading, but gorgeous fountain pens, fine papers, ink, etc., on and on. Lovely stuff and very reasonable shipping charges.

The monk I spoke with on the phone when I was placing an order for Christmas this year was so charming and sweet. I told him that one of the items was coffee beans for my fallen-away anti-Catholic sister. He then asked me what her name was. Weeks later, she’s reported that she loves the coffee…..I’m thinking the beans brought prayers and a special blessing!

5. Ben Warren - January 8, 2014

I admit that I’m not an expert on the history of the SSPX. As I understand it, they do not take communion with the Pope. End of story. Their error is very grave, and the worst thing we can do is be soft on it. At the very least, take the issue seriously. Engage them vigorously, but don’t mention them to others unless it is necessary.

In hundreds of dioceses, those wanting the Latin Mass are hampered because of the SSPX. “You want the Latin Mass? You incline to schism!” is not fair, but is nevertheless not going away any time soon. In Africa, the most pious continent, the people lose their dignity in the eyes of the world without the Latin Mass. Evils rage in the Church without the piety, vigor, and money the Lefebvrists et. al would bring.

One thing about Vatican II. The documents are so sloppily written that they can probably be ignored by orthodox bishops. Anyone who has read Aristotle’s definition of definition might well say the same.

Don’t join the SSPX. Engage them, but don’t join them, even for Mass or Confession.

Lorra - January 8, 2014

Ben, the CDF is more lenient than you on the attendance at Mass at an SSPX chapel – it is permitted. Confession, on the other hand, is another issue, but I honestly don’t see how Our Lord, during these days of crisis with no discernible light at the end of the tunnel, would not honor it.

Correct me, please, if I am wrong in how I am thinking.

6. Jim - January 8, 2014

After seeing this: “FREIBURG, Germany, January 7, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The president of the German bishops’ conference says the conference will press forward with their plan to begin distributing Communion to Catholics who have ‘remarried’ outside the Church after a divorce, despite the judgment of Archbishop Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” I have to shake my head at the tactics used against FFI and SSPX compared to the LWRC and other progressive elements.

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: