Thursday, September 13, 2012


In most monasteries, the evening meal is simple but adequate.  Like everything else in the monastic life, it is balanced.  It's a harmony of proteins, vegetables, dairy products and fruits, all combining to build well-nourished bodies. 

And of course, there is again Refectory Reading.  It, too, is balanced.  Over any given month, there will be a variety of books, articles, writings of saints.  As the body is nourished, the mind and spirit are being fed as well.

For tonight's refectory reading, I've prepared a platter of brief selections for mind and spirit.  I, for one, intend to settle back for a few minutes, ask Our Lord to inspire my meditations, and enjoy a hopefully well-balanced sampling of thoughts....

"Here I stand, knocking at the door.  If anyone hears me calling and opens the door, I will enter his house and have supper with him, and he with Me."  (Revelation 3:20)

"I Myself am the Bread of life.  No one who comes to Me shall ever be hungry, no one who believes in Me shall ever thirst."  (John 6:35)

"Through the Eucharist those who live the life of Christ are fed and strengthened."  (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1436)

"From celebration to celebration, as they proclaim the Paschal mystery of Jesus 'until He comes,' the pilgrim people of God advances, 'following the narrow way of the cross,' toward the heavenly banquet, when all the elect will be seated at the table of the kingdom."  (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1344)

"It is no small penance to accommodate our taste to all kinds of food and keep it in subjection to all occurrences.  Besides, this kind of mortification makes no parade, gives no trouble to anyone, and is happily adapted to civilian life."  (St. Francis de Sales)

"An overfed belly will not study willingly."  (a medieval maxim)

"Sister Paula remarked ... how it was 'so nice' that the tornado did not kill us after all, as Sister Catherine's mother had just given us some shrimp and it would be a dreadful shame for a rare treat like that to be blown into Texas where people probably had shrimp any old day."  (Mother Mary Francis PCC, A Right to be Merry, p. 22)

"Happy are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!" (Revelation 19:9)

Click here to continue reading about 'our monastic day'....

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