Celebrating and Learning from Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos – Memorial 5 October
TOP 10 Practical Guide to Holiness
1. Go to Mass with deepest devotion. 2. Spend a half hour to reflect upon your main failing & make resolutions to avoid it. 3. Do daily spiritual reading for at least 15 minutes, if a half hour is not possible. 4. Say the rosary every day. 5. Also daily, if at all possible, visit the Blessed Sacrament and toward evening, meditate on the Passion of Christ for a half hour. 6. Conclude the day with evening prayer & an examination of conscience over all the faults & sins of the day. 7. Every month make a review of the month in confession. 8. Choose a special patron every month & imitate that patron in some special virtue. 9. Precede every great feast with a novena, that is, nine days of devotion. 10. Try to begin & end every activity with a “Hail Mary.”
ANNOUNCING a Novena to St John Paul – Day One – 13 October
Leading up to the feast day of Saint John Paul the Great on 22 October, I invite you to join me in prayer to ask for his powerful intercession as well as learn something new about him each day.
Over nine days from 13 October, I will post a prayer to St John Paul, as well as a fact about him, a short Reflection by a great heart and mind about a great heart and mind and a quote that is perhaps less well known. Thus, we will join our prayers together to pray for all of our intentions and ask John Paul II to intercede for us.
Thought for the Day – 6 October – The Memorial of St Bruno (c 1030-1101)
Into Great Silence with Saint Bruno the Carthusian
THE KEY ELEMENT of Carthusian spirituality is SOLITUDE, which is required for a total and absolute dedication to God alone. As his name implies, the “monachos” devotes himself to one purpose only: God. He makes himself completely available for God, in a life of prayer and penance. He renounces social contacts, travelling, newspapers, radio and television, telephone, ad lib conversations, correspondence, even spiritual, instrumental music, writing and intellectual work, as much as is feasible within the limits of psychological balance and Christian charity, all this to be alone with God.
Solitude implies SILENCE. Silence is the other key element of Carthusian spirituality. Silence is not lived in any absolute way in the charterhouse. Carthusians speak with their brothers and their superiors when they need to, they speak whenever material life, work or their soul require it. The text that follows explains that the silence of solitude is lived in the charterhouse as an inner requirement in order to be able to hear and to listen to God alone and to let Him utter a Word in our soul, a Word that transcends all human discourse.
Silence in the Statutes:
What benefits What divine exultation The solitude and silence of the desert Hold in store for those who love it! (Saint Bruno to Raoul)
Saint Bruno wrote his letters with all the warmth in his heart and they are filled with indirect indications of what the Lord had given him to see and to know. This is especially true of the impassioned praise of the benefits of silence he sends to Raoul: “only those who have experienced them can know”. And immediately he goes on to show how much he himself knows about it. Saint Bruno was a man of silence. He knew its secret. The Carthusian Statutes contain many references to the beauty of silence and to its sacredness in our life.
Keeping silent is not a spontaneous or natural attitude. It demands a decision and a purpose. To enter into silence, we must want it and we must know why we want it. If we intend to become men of silence, we must assume responsibility for our quest.
Here is what silence truly is: to let the Lord utter within us a word which is equal to Himself. It reaches us, we don’t know which way it followed, we cannot discern its traits with any precision, the very Word of God comes and resonates in our heart.
This is why we can never be content with only the silence of the lips. It would “be merely pharisaic, were it not the outward expression of that purity of heart, to which alone is it promised to see God. To attain this, great abnegation is required, especially of the natural curiosity that men feel about human affairs. We should not allow our minds to wander through the world in search of news and gossip; on the contrary, our part is to remain hidden in the shelter of the Lord’s presence” (St 6.4). It is indeed so easy to just remain in cell, while the mind is roaming all over the world. Who has not experienced this? We are still not in silence, even if our lips are closed and our hands rest on our lap. “On the contrary, our part is to remain hidden in the shelter of the Lord’s presence” (St. 6.2) Recollection does not require only a rigourous control over our imagination: we must quiet down all our tumultuous and undisciplined faculties of knowledge and of speech.
Silence is wrought by God but it is more than this, as we have said: it is the Word of God. The example of Mary at the feet of the Lord is a light unto us : “let Martha bear with her sister, as she follows in the steps of Christ, in stillness knows that he is God” (St 3.9) Mary has truly entered silence : beyond the words uttered by Jesus, she truly perceives that He Himself is the Eternal Son. Her efforts were not in vain : “She purifies her spirit, prays in the depths of her soul, seeks to hear what God may speak within her” (St 3.9).
(Translated from: « Le Silence selon les Statuts », Paroles de Chartreux, A.A.V.C., Correrie de la Grande Chartreuse, pp. 73-82)
Finally, there is the head-scratcher that is an epic three-hour documentary: 2006’s Into Great Silence is either the best insight into the Carthusian daily life (and a kick-start for vocations) or the ultimate sell-out (it took the producers 18 years before obtaining permission to film inside La Grande Chartreuse). So after nearly 1,000 years of complete secrecy, anyone can now see inside the Motherhouse founded by St Bruno himself.
Still, the Carthusians survive. What more can be said about an Order whose salient features are silence and solitude and who await our Lord’s second coming in prayerful penance? St. Bruno can be proud of his achievement—but he would never be accused of pride.
St Bruno pray for us, that we too may learn to hear the Word in the silence of our hearts!
One Minute Reflection – 6 October – The Memorial of St Bruno (c 1030-1101)
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not but ears open to obedience you gave me……..Psalm 139:7
REFLECTION – “By your work you show what you love and what you know.
When you observe true obedience with prudence and enthusiasm, it is clear, that you pick the most delightful and nourishing fruit of Divine Scripture.”…St Bruno
PRAYER – Lord God, You called St Bruno to serve You in a life of solitude. Amidst this world’s changes, help us, by his prayers, to set out hearts always on You. Heavenly Father, let me realise that You guide our lives through Your Providence, Your Word and Sacraments. Help me to be obedient to the rules for my state in life and so be obedient to Your will for me. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. St Bruno, Pray for us. Amen
Saint of the Day – 6 October – St Bruno (c 1030-1101) – Priest, Confessor, Hermit, Monk, Mystic, Founder, Philosopher, Theologian, Teacher, Advisor, Writer (c 1030 at Cologne, Germany – 1101 at Torre, Calabria, Italy of natural causes). His body was buried in the church of Saint Stephen at Torre. He was Beatified in 1514 by Pope Leo X and Canonised on 17 February 1623 by Pope Gregory XV. Patronages – Germany, Calabria, monastic fraternities, Carthusians, trade marks, Ruthenia, possessed people. Attributes – Skull that he holds and contemplates, with a book and a cross, Carthusian habit. St Bruno was the founder of the Carthusian Order, he personally founded the order’s first two communities. He was a celebrated teacher at Reims and a close advisor of his former pupil, Pope Urban II.
St Bruno was born at Cologne about the year 1030. According to tradition, he belonged to the family of Hartenfaust, or Hardebüst, one of the principal families of the city. Little is known of his early years, except that he studied theology in the present-day French city of Reims before returning to his native land.
His education completed, Bruno returned to Cologne, where he was most likely ordained a priest around 1055 and provided with a canonry at St Cunibert’s. In 1056 Bishop Gervais recalled him to Reims, where the following year he found himself head of the episcopal school, which at the time included the direction of the schools and the oversight of all the educational establishments of the diocese. For eighteen years, from 1057 to 1075, he maintained the prestige which the school of Reims attained under its former masters, Remi of Auxerre, and others. Bruno led the school for nearly two decades, acquiring an excellent reputation as a philosopher and theologian. Among his students were Eudes of Châtillon, afterwards Pope Urban II, Rangier, Cardinal and Bishop of Reggio, Robert, Bishop of Langres and a large number of prelates and abbots.
On the verge of being made bishop himself, Bruno instead followed a vow he had made to renounce secular concerns and withdrew, along with two of his friends, Raoul and Fulcius, also canons of Reims. Following a vision he received of a secluded hermitage where he could spend his life becoming closer to God, he retired to a mountain near Chartreuse in Dauphiny. The area was desolate and mountainous and received few visitors. Under Saint Bruno’s leadership, the first house of the Carthusian Order was established, complete with an oratory and individual cells for the brothers. They Order generally followed the rule of Saint Benedict, although they had no official written rule. Brothers embraced a life of poverty, manual work, prayer, and spent their days transcribing manuscripts. Rather than complete solitude, however, Saint Bruno felt that the rigours of the solitary life needed occasional companionship and so solitary meditation with occasional brotherly congregation became the structure of their lives. They built an oratory with small individual cells at a distance from each other where they lived isolated and in poverty, entirely occupied in prayer and study, for these men had a reputation for learning and were frequently honoured by the visits of St Hugh who became like one of themselves.
At the time, Bruno’s pupil, Eudes of Châtillon, had become pope as Urban II (1088). Resolved to continue the work of reform commenced by Gregory VII and being obliged to struggle against Antipope Clement III and Emperor Henry IV, he was in dire need of competent and devoted allies and called his former master to Rome in 1090.
It is difficult to assign the place which Bruno occupied in Rome, or his influence in contemporary events, because it remained entirely hidden and confidential. Lodged in the Lateran with the pope himself, privy to his most private councils, he worked as an advisor but wisely kept in the background, apart from the fiercely partisan rivalries in Rome and within the curia.
Clearly drawn back to his quiet and contemplative life, Pope Urban released Saint Bruno from his service, allowing him to resume his eremitical state… although first offered him the archbishopric of Reggio. aint Bruno declined the honou, promptly founding another hermitage: aint Mary’s at La Torre (in Calabria). e remained there, until his death, writing commentaries on Holy Scripture and leading his brothers in their pursuit of piety.
The place for his new retreat, chosen in 1091 by Bruno and some followers who had joined him, was in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Squillace, in a small forested high valley, where the band constructed a little wooden chapel and cabins . His patron there was Roger I of Sicily, Count of Sicily and Calabria and uncle of the Duke of Apulia, who granted them the lands they occupied and a close friendship developed. Bruno went to the Guiscard court at Mileto to visit the count in his sickness (1098 and 1101) and to baptise his son, Roger (1097), the future King of Sicily. But more often Roger went into retreat with his friends, where he erected a simple house for himself. Through his generosity, the monastery of St Stephen was built in 1095, near the original hermitage dedicated to the Virgin.
At the turn of the new century, the friends of St. Bruno died one after the other: Urban II in 1099; Landuin, the prior of the Grande Chartreuse, his first companion, in 1100; Count Roger in 1101. Bruno followed on 6 October 1101 in Serra San Bruno.
After his death, the Carthusians of Calabria, following a frequent custom of the Middle Ages, dispatched a roll-bearer, a servant of the community laden with a long roll of parchment, hung round his neck, who travelled through Italy, France, Germany,and England, stopping to announce the death of Bruno and in return, the churches, communities, or chapters inscribed upon his roll, in prose or verse, the expression of their regrets, with promises of prayers. Many of these rolls have been preserved but few are so extensive or so full of praise as that about St Bruno. A hundred and seventy-eight witnesses, of whom many had known the deceased, celebrated the extent of his knowledge and the fruitfulness of his instruction. Strangers to him were above all struck by his great knowledge and talents. But his disciples praised his three chief virtues — his great spirit of prayer, extreme mortification and devotion to the Blessed Virgin.
Both the churches built by him in the desert were dedicated to the Blessed Virgin: Our Lady of Casalibus in Dauphiné and Our Lady Della Torre in Calabria; faithful to his inspirations, the Carthusian Statutes proclaim the Mother of God the first and chief patron of all the houses of the order, whoever may be their particular patron.
Bruno was buried in the little cemetery of the hermitage of Santa Maria. In 1513, his bones were discovered with the epitaph “Haec sunt ossa magistri Brunonis” (these are the bones of the master Bruno) over them. Since the Carthusian Order maintains a strict observance of humility, Saint Bruno was never formally canonised with a ceremony.
A writer as well as founder of his order, Saint Bruno composed commentaries on the Psalms and on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle. Two letters of his also remain, his profession of faith, and a short elegy on contempt for the world which shows that he cultivated poetry. St Bruno’s Commentaries reveal that he knew a little Hebrew and Greek; he was familiar with the Church Fathers, especially Augustine of Hippo and Ambrose. “His style,” said Dom Rivet, “is concise, clear, nervous and simple, and his Latin as good as could be expected of that century: it would be difficult to find a composition of this kind at once more solid and more luminous, more concise and more clear.”
St Bruno (Optional Memorial) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9RZ7UU0MIc
Bl Marie Rose Durocher (Optional Memorial)
Bl Adalbero of Lambach
St Alberta of Agen
Bl Artaldo of Belley
St Aurea of Boves
St Faith of Agen
St Francis Trung Von Tran
Bl François Hunot
Bl Isidore of Saint Joseph
St John Xenos
Bl Juan de Prunera
St Magnus of Orderzo
St Mary Frances of the Five Wounds of Christ
St Renato of Sorrento
St Romanus of Auxerre
St Sagar of Laodicea
Martyrs of Capua – 4 saints: A group of martyrs who were either killed in Capua, Italy, or that’s where their relics were first enshrined. We now know nothing but their names – Aemilius, Castus, Marcellus and Saturninus.
Martyrs of Kyoto – 52 beati: Fifty-two Japanese lay people, some single, some married, some parents, some children, who were martyred together during one of the government sponsored persecutions of Christians.
• Blessed Agatha of Kyoto • Blessed Anna Kajiya • Blessed Antonius Domi • Blessed Benedictus of Kyoto • Blessed Catharina Hashimoto • Blessed Cosmas of Kyoto • Blessed Didacus Tsuzu • Blessed Emmanuel Kosaburo • Blessed Franciscus Hashimoto • Blessed Franciscus of Kyoto • Blessed Franciscus Shizaburo • Blessed Gabriel of Kyoto • Blessed Hieronimus Soroku • Blessed Ioachim Ogawa • Blessed Ioannes Hashimoto Tahyoe • Blessed Ioannes Kyusaku • Blessed Ioannes Sakurai • Blessed Leo Kyusuke • Blessed Linus Rihyoe • Blessed Lucia of Kyoto • Blessed Lucia Soroku • Blessed Lucia Toemon • Blessed Ludovica Hashimoto • Blessed Ludovicus Matagoro • Blessed Magdalena Kyusaku • Blessed Magdalena of Kyoto • Blessed Mancius Kyujiro • Blessed Maria Chujo • Blessed Maria Koshima Shinshiro • Blessed Maria of Kyoto • Blessed Maria of Kyoto • Blessed Maria of Kyoto • Blessed Maria of Kyoto • Blessed Martha Kyusuke • Blessed Martha of Kyoto • Blessed Martha of Kyoto • Blessed Mencia of Kyoto • Blessed Monica of Kyoto • Blessed Monica of Kyoto • Blessed Monica of Kyoto • Blessed Petrus Hashimoto • Blessed Regina Kyusaku • Blessed Rufina of Kyoto • Blessed Sixtus of Kyoto • Blessed Thecla Hashimoto • Blessed Thomas Hashimoto • Blessed Thomas Ikegami • Blessed Thomas Kajiya Yoemon • Blessed Thomas Kian • Blessed Thomas Koshima Shinshiro • Blessed Thomas Toemon • Blessed Ursula Sakurai •
They were martyred on 6 October 1619 in Kyoto (Miyako), Japan and Beatified on 24 November 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI.
Martyrs of Trier: Commemorates the large number of martyrs who died in Trier, Germany in the persecutions of Diocletian. 287 in Trier, Germany.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War
• Blessed Josep Lluis Raga Nadal
• Blessed Plàcid Fàbrega Julià