Μεγάλη Σαράντα μέρες Greek (Great 40 Days) Μεγάλη Νηστεία Greek (Great Fast) Μεγάλη Τεσσαρακοστή. Magnus ibi quadraginta diebus - PDF

March 1, Volume 2, No. 2 Magnus ibi quadraginta diebus Latin (Great 40 days) Quadragesima Latin (40) Origin and Etymology of Lent Middle English lente springtime, Lent, from Old English lencten;

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March 1, Volume 2, No. 2 Magnus ibi quadraginta diebus Latin (Great 40 days) Quadragesima Latin (40) Origin and Etymology of Lent Middle English lente springtime, Lent, from Old English lencten; akin to Old High German lenzin spring. First Known Use: 13th century Μεγάλη Σαράντα μέρες Greek (Great 40 Days) Μεγάλη Νηστεία Greek (Great Fast) Μεγάλη Τεσσαρακοστή Greek (Great Triodion Season) Newsletter of the Community of the Gospel, a monastic community in the Episcopal Church, USA Editor s Note Lent We need contributors. Please consider doing an article, a letter to the editor, photographs and /or art! The Bell Tower is the newsletter of the Community of the Gospel, PO Box 133, Waupaca, WI to me,i will keep them totally confidential as concerning authorship. Or next issue will center on Pentecost. Our next deadline is for the Pentecost issue on May 15, Would love to start an editorial page. We need your letters to the editor. If you send Brother Thanasi, editor 771 Chestnut Grove Dr., Apt. 114, Blacklick, OH Table of Contents Tension Between 3 When Worlds Collide 4 Eyes Wide Open 5 New Oblate 7 Immortal Diamond 8 Day the Revolution Began 9 Business 10, 11 Easter 12 The cover is a barrage of several terms for our word Lent in Latin and Greek. Earliest term used by both in the East and Western Church traditions was the Great 40 Days. We in the English speaking church went to a term for Spring to differentiate ourselves from Rome. The Greeks started using two other terms, Great Fast and the Great Triodion which is a period covering a different liturgical book for a season that starts 3 weeks before Lent and ends after Bright Week. Convocation Contracts have been signed for the use of the Transfiguration Spirituality Center in Cincinnati for October 26th through October 30. Reserve the dates! If you plan to attend we will need a 25% deposit ($75) by the end of March. We will have to limit attendance to 21 people if this doesn't happen, as the second building, Bethanne, will have to be released for use by other organizations. News from Brother Guardian The Council is busy planning this year's Convocation, and will be updating us on their progress as we get closer to the event. They may ask us to read a book in preparation for this event. The theme this year will center around Everyday Monasticism. More to come! 2 Continue to C/G Business on page 11. Lent: The Tension Between Gratitude and Remorse by Fr. Tyrone Fowlkes The ashes that we receive on our foreheads at Ash Wednesday remind us that we are born from dust and to dust we return. The ashes mark that strange season of feeling thankful and feeling sorry. Lent is the dynamic tension between gratitude and remorse. In this season, we practice giving thanks for who we are and what we have but we are also confronted with the fact that who we are and what we have can play a part in our own demise. Here I recall the desert mothers and fathers whose regular devotion to prayer, silence and contemplation are what equipped them to ponder their finitude before God. Lent begins with thanksgiving: a gratitude for the life that we ve been given and the recognition that our souls and bodies, were made from mere dust of the earth. Yet our flesh was blessed with intellect, skill, relationship, community and possibility. Our deepest gratitude emanates from the knowledge that everything we have, everything that we ve been given is a gift. John Goldring was a monk that I met years ago at the Society of Saint John the Evangelist in Cambridge, one of our companion religious monasteries. He has since passed on but he once told the story of how he sat alone before an altar and asked himself, How often do I say thank you to Jesus? His mediation that day was a repetitive thank you to Jesus. And before he rose from prayer, he realized that life itself was a gift and that we are blessed with many gifts: food, mercy. tears, laughter, and hugs. These are all gifts. Being made in the image of God is a also gift. Our existence is a gift. The Holy Spirit is a gift. And because of such wonderful gifts, our lives should overflow with thanksgiving. But from time to time, we feel a trembling. And the trembling is like a thick cloud that hovers over us. Our hearts beat a little faster and we are easily startled. We know that sometimes we don t quite measure up. This trembling will eventually call us to return to the Lord for solace, mercy and forgiveness. This is what Christians call confession and repentance. It is most often enacted within corporate worship. But we don t always commit our sins publicly. Therefore, if you ve never done so, you might consider confessing your sins privately with a priest. I will warn you now, it s 100 times more difficult. But sometimes it s necessary because we can name our deepest remorse our deepest guilt for our past wrongs and this too is a gift. Why is confession important and so central to Lent? It connects us to our deepest remorse. And whatever connects us to our deepest remorse will always connect us that much closer to God. Thus, the aphorism that is central to our Anglican understanding of confession holds true: All may, none must, some should. And this practice of confession is in keeping with more than 2000 years of Christian tradition which doesn t say repent and your sins will be forgiven. Rather, your sins are forgiven, therefore repent. We ve all had the experience of being seated before a lavish feast and the eagerness to dig in after someone has blessed it and given thanks. The food is so good, that we revel in those moments. The food is so good that we can t remember a meal like this before. The food is so good that we can t stop eating it. And then after the meal is over, when our minds catch up with our bellies, we start to feel that gnawing sense that we ve eaten way too much. And then we hate ourselves for it. Lent is like that. Lent calls us to hold together our deepest gratitude and our deepest remorse. Throughout these 40 days, gratitude and remorse will struggle in tension with each other. It will be not unlike a difficult conversation. Let that conversation happen. Let it make us more honest. Let it draw us closer to Jesus. And let it be the dust that is etched across our foreheads. It will be a rough Lent. You are wise to put on your crash helmets and to ensure that all of your insurance policies are up to date. The wilderness has come to us. No thrills or frills. No pancakes. It s going to be rough. But if we allow that tension of being thankful and being sorry to have a place in our lives, then we too will sit alone at the altar the place where God has promised to meet us. We will sit. We will listen. We will receive. We will give thanks for a life that knows no end. For our souls will be sealed in God. Fr. Tyrone Fowlkes, Chaplain, CG, By Brother Daniel-Joseph It s fairly self-evident today that we live in a highly polarized and divided world. We see this most clearly in our own nation, of course, as political forces each cling to what they claim are American Values, which amazingly are often quite the opposite of each other. There is only one Constitution, and yet there are differing values. The values we choose grow from what s in our hearts is it God, or is it self-interest? This divided nation then stumbles in the darkness, desperately searching for a foothold in anything that might preserve its life. This darkness tends to fuel nationalism, an advanced form of tribalism, which fuels even greater conflicts. Walls are built, armies are strengthened, hatred flourishes, facts give way to confusion, and diplomacy collapses all rooted in fear (panic, actually), that without these things, our very existence is threatened. The kingdom of God is a direct threat to the kingdom of collective dysfunctional egos. These egos will do anything anything to survive. We see the tension building to a boiling point during Holy Week that leads to a betrayal within Jesus own inner circle. He is arrested, tried, convicted, and publicly executed as an example to others who try to disrupt the system. But God s love and power prevails! The Resurrection on Easter morning was proof-positive that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, and that Jesus message was true and good. Julian of Norwich sums this up through the message that she received from God: Since I have brought good out of the worst-ever evil, I want you to know by this that I shall bring good out of all lesser evils, too. But this conflict is not new it s as old as mankind itself. Mankind s kingdom and God s kingdom have always been at odds. Each kingdom offers a very different way to live, and the extent to which the values of each are adopted by society determines the degree of tension between the worlds. As we journey through this Lenten season, we begin to see how these two worlds impacted the life and ministry of Jesus. He was sent to us out of God s love for this world, as we read in John 3:17, Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. In other words, God wanted His kingdom to come to this world that we might learn how to live together under His guidance and love. But Jesus was well aware that his message of love and unity would be met with great opposition. He warned his disciples, Do not think that I will bring peace to the earth; I will not bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34) Why would this be so? Because his way of life would upset the status quo it would bring greater equality to an imbalanced system; It would make sure that each and every person was treated with dignity and respect; no one would go without the basics of food, clothing, shelter, and community; it would reduce the power and privilege of an elite few and move it back to the people; it would give equal status to women, the poor, and the marginalized. 4 Perhaps the Lenten season is a good time to reflect on this ongoing tension between two worlds. What does Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven mean to you? Within the limits of your station in life, what can be done to further God s kingdom among mankind in your own world? (Remembering that even serving the least of these, you serve God!) Br. Daniel-Joseph Schroeder, Brother Guardian Eyes Wide Open by Br. Daniel-Chad On a raw frigid Saturday during the second week in Advent, nonresidential monastics from the Community of the Gospel, the Order of Julian of Norwich, and the Brotherhood of Saint Gregory offered a quiet day at the Episcopal Church of All Saints, Indianapolis. We organized food, fellowship and contemplative activities, including silence. One of the activities focused on four creches that we had brought from our homes and set up on tables around the meeting room. A particularly striking display was an elaborate Fontanini crèche from Italy. In the morning, we engaged in group lectio divina. In the afternoon, we engaged in a lectio visio by trying to see our way into the experience of one of the figures we selected from one of the creches. As we sat with that figure for about a half an hour we began to imagine how the birth of Jesus had been experienced by that person or animal or (in the case of the angel) heavenly messenger. I chose a Fontanini shepherd and as I held the piece of elegantly carved wood in my hand, envisioned what it might have meant to bring the animals to the site of Jesus birth. For lectio visio to work, we have to see deeply into an object, person or creature, artifact or artistic expression. In our discussion that Saturday at All Saints, there was a rich reflection on the birth of Jesus that came from deep sight and deep regard of objects. Our Advent was blessed by this exercise. Protestants have long practice in listening to the Word of God through sermons and Bible study. But they are less practiced than Roman Catholics and Orthodox in seeing the Word. This comes home to me when I visit the Orthodox parish of Mary the Joy of All Who Sorrow in downtown Indianapolis. Many holy icons are displayed. These are not just lovely devotional objects. Their point, as former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, writes is.... to give us a window into an alien frame of reference that is at the same time the structure that will make definitive sense of the world we inhabit. It is sometimes described as a channel for the energies of that other frame of reference to be transmitted to the viewer. (Rowan Williams, Lost Icons: Reflections on Cultural Bereavement, p. 2) For example, when I gaze on the Russian icon of the Holy Trinity I realize that I am gazing on a window into the mysterious heart of God. Deep vision is a contemplative skill that must be practiced just as deep listening must be exercised. Deep vision is more than looking just as deep listening is more than registering sounds. Both skills are incredibly difficult. We know this about listening when someone asks: Why weren t you listening to me? The visual parallel is expressed when someone who is very old or is a person of color remarks that they feel invisible in certain social settings. Think, for instance of Ralph Ellison s great novel, The Invisible Man. I discover how strenuous seeing can be on my frequent visits to art museums. If I view pieces of art carefully noting line, color, perspective, form, motion, composition, cultural context, artistic intent I find that the experience leaves me mentally and emotionally depleted after two or three hours. I suffer from sight 5 fatigue. It takes work to see deeply! few steps down the sidewalk. Will I miss it? Attentive looking which becomes real sight yields profound treasures that go, as in the case of art works, way beyond formal elements of construction or architecture. This is what the contemporary American artist Alec Katz ( born 1927 ) was getting at when he remarked that he always recognized a failed piece of art because it lacked an inside out energy. In other words, real sight takes us underneath and beyond the surface appearance of things. The Nobel prize winning Israeli author S. Y. Agnon captures the ability to see an inside-out energy when he describes an elderly woman in the short story Tehila: There was an old woman in Jerusalem. A fine looking woman, like none you have ever seen in your life. She was pious and she was wise and she was charming and she was modest. The light in her eyes was kindness and compassion and the wrinkles on her face, blessings and peace. Deep sight can t be learned on the Interstate where things whiz by or with a TV remote in hand where channels switch mindlessly. It is learned contemplatively and with God s guidance. I use my frequent walks in historic neighborhoods of Indianapolis to instruct me in deep looking. There is always a cornice or a turret to look at, or a dandelion poking through cracked cement, or beautiful mushrooms growing on an ancient branch of an oak tree, or a duck and ducklings swimming on Pogue s Run. The idea on these walks is to breathe slowly and deeply and to keep my eyes wide open. There is probably an adventure to be seen a Even when I am meditating in my house, I keep my eyes open. The idea is not to shut out the world but to welcome it into my field of vision and awareness with gentle hospitality. How is it possible that I have lived in this century old house for ten years and yet I see something new as I am contemplating? That cobweb? Those flecks of dust in amber sunshine on the south side of dining room? The scratch in the woodwork? There is a lot of talk nowadays about empathy. The word is bandied about without much precision. But one way to think of empathy is the skill of appreciatively acknowledging the emotions and life of another individual. This involves both deep listening and deep seeing. And it was a skill that Jesus knew so well. He was able to see inside the soul of the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-38), understanding her several lives and aspirations. He was able to see her across ethnic boundaries. Jesus also was known as a great healer whose ministry focused on recovering sight to the blind (Luke 4:18). When Jesus healed the man who was blind from his birth (John 9:1ff) he used this healing act to declare himself the light of the world. Sight always involved for Jesus the ability to perceive great spiritual truths. So here is our monastic challenge: We do not sleep walk through our days unable to see the beauty and wonder and pain in the world around us. We open our own eyes fully, relinquishing our fixation on ourselves, and connecting to the inner energy of all that we see and hear. This is why we practice contemplative skills. Not to lull us to some kind of slumber or to a pious altered conscience but to connect us to life and to the Source of all life. In order to do this, we see deeply.... and we keep our eyes wide open. Are you blind or do you see? 19 February Br. Daniel-Chad Hoffman, 6 On January 29, 2017, Anita Rocsktroh became an oblate for the Community of the Gospel. Reverend Canon Deborah Dunn with Br. John Charles Westaway, and Sr. Dawna Clare Sutton accepted Anita s oblate vows. The service was held at her home church of St. Peter s Episcopal in Santa Maria, California. Welcome Oblate Anita! Signed, Sealed, Delivered 7 Book Review by Novice Michael Wright I m going to submit this brief book review even though the book cannot be found on the Community of the Gospel s library listing. It may not appear there, but I feel it is a good candidate for inclusion. The Immortal Diamond is a very easy read from the wonderful author Richard Rohr. In the book he details the seeking of our true self and ridding ourselves of the false self. As you can imagine the false self equates with the unhealthy ego we are familiar with. It is the façade we have built up to present to the world. Rohr argues that it is even a necessary thing that helps us early in our life to survive, but that we outgrow its usefulness. Unfortunately some people are never able to shed their false self. They cling on to it like a life vest as they bob up and down on the waves of life. They never gain the ability to gain what De Mello calls perspective on the duality that they live. Rohr talks about the Immortal Diamond as being the part of us that is in God and is God in us. He fully admits to walking close to Theosis in this interpretation. Our Immortal Diamond, the real 8 us, is the part of us that can never die or be changed, this necessitates that it is from and of God to gain that aspect of immortality. Rohr also argues that each and every one of us will someday and time become acquainted with our true selves if only on our death beds for some. But we needn t wait to die to have our false self die unto the world. Rohr discusses death and fear of dying in this book. He tells us that if we are able to shed our false self than we can dispense with the fear of dying because we have already died. Most people fear death because it means that they will have to go through that death of the false self they will be forced to come face to face with their real self. So it is easier for many to simply fight against that which will consume them in the end simply to hold on to their façade. For my part, I hope someday to arrive at that point. I still find there are many parts of me that cling to a false self. The great news that Rohr wants to share is, that if you are aware of the true self in any capacity, then you are on the right road. There are many who have no awareness and they cannot be helped until they start to feel this God-longing and desire. The desire to discover the Immortal Diamond within us could very well be God in us longing to reunite with God outside of us. I think one of the most powerful parts of the book is in the beginning, where he says, I am writing this book for secular seekers and thinkers, believers and
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