Communities for Men
OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE (U.S.A.)
thee are my words now addressed, whosoever thou mayest be that renounceth
thine own will to fight for the true King, Christ. (St.
As the very
word implies, or as its Latin form monachus shows,
it contains the prefix mono meaning one or singular.
A monk is therefore someone whose desire is singular, he desires
only one thing in the entire world, and that one thing is God alone.
monk in his cell
The monks of
old headed their letters with the Latin inscription Soli
Deo, meaning for God alone or to
God only. Among spiritual exercises practiced in the
solitude of their cells, the Carthusian monks have the custom of
writing beautiful intimate lettters soli Deo,
to God alone. At the end of each year these monastic letters and
meditations written in silence in the presence of God are cast into
the furnace where they rise heavenwards as the smoke of incense.
Only ashes are left for the curiosity of men, since the spiritual
exercise is . . . soli Deo.
Marmion wrote that a person is worth whatever he seeks or desires.
So if you seek money, you could be worth millions . . . but money
is only paper and will perish like all paper. What has the profane
to confer but profanity? Only a travesty of reason would conceive
lucre empowered to impart beatitude. Your worth lies in the object
of your desiring. If you seek God, the object of your desiring
persons desiring lies somewhere between two extremes, his
desires are mixed, and his ability to concentrate on the ideal outlined
by faith fluctuates at every moment. Yet St. Augustine elaborated
on the same idea saying, My soul is restless until it rests
in Thee my God.
To desire something
which is completely incompatible to us is contradictory. Though
our being is the union of flesh and spirit, the human soul is essentially
spiritual, it makes little sense for that immaterial soul to desire
something material. Yet the effects of original sins cause us to
desire things foreign to our spiritual make-up. What, then, could
be more normal than to want what was made for us? Yet the contrary
holds the true answer. We are made for God, only He can be our
beatitude. Only the things that come from Him can give us true
happiness. My soul is restless until it rests in Thee.
The monk is
therefore someone who desires God alone, who sacrifices all things
so as to live for God alone.
A Pure Gift
vocation is proof of Gods infinitely merciful reordering of
the human will through the workings of grace. To seek and to desire
what is actually our own perfect and supernatural end is the product
of grace. The will becomes lightened and free to desire with the
purest longing the supreme good that is God. To seek God, to want
God alone, to want to live only for God, fleeing everything else
this is the monastic vocation. Not only it is a wonder of
Gods grace, but it is also the normal consequence of that
same grace every soul receives at baptism. A monk is one of these
very same souls, that has decided to live in the grace that gives
life everlasting, beginning now . . .
The monk is
one of those ordinary souls who has decided to embrace the extraordinary
life presented to everyone at baptism. Yet if being a monk is such
an ordinary and normal thing, why are there so few of them? The
mystery of monks is found among the parables of the gospels. The
most famous of these is the parable of the rich young man. Speaking
to Our Lord, the young man asked what he should do above and beyond
the mere fulfillment of the commandments. In His reply, Our Lord
actually showed the young man what the commandments actually lead
to. He said to the young man, Go sell what thou hast,
give to the poor, take up thy cross and come, follow Me.
In essence, Our Lord was presenting the monastic vocation to the
young man. But the young man went away, sad . . .
The lesson of the parable shows that he had great possessions and
was overly attached to them. They turned him away from Our Lord
and drew him home.
versus the Monastic Vocation
The only obstacle
to the monastic vocation, the only thing that can hinder ones
vocation is, as the parable shows, the attachment to material things.
Materialism is the enemy of vocations. To allow belongings to set
themselves between God and ones soul is the only gain of materialism,
for all else it is a severe loss. Yet, on a moral level, there
is also a kind of greedy materialism being purely spiritual which
causes the soul to cling to itself. This is selfishness, egotism,
or self-love. Through pride, the soul becomes infatuated with itself
and turns its back on God: the will of God is rejected along with
any calling to a life of sacrifice which, in fact, is an essential
part of the monastic vocation. For the unfortunate soul stricken
with the disease of materialism, the only cure is the spirit of
sacrifice: the practice of the spirit of poverty for material things,
and the practice of generosity and self-sacrifice for oneself.
ad altare Dei..."
Will I become
call to many hardships and sacrifices which reveal the true face
of the monastic vocation, why do some souls proceed undaunted by
the forbidding cloister walls? The Psalmist writes: In
my meditation, a fire has flamed forth. When we invoke
the Holy Ghost, we pray: . . . and enkindle in them the
fire of Thy love. In the story of Moses, God revealed
Himself in the form of the burning bush which burned intensely but
did not consume the branches. It is the flame of Gods love
for one soul, the mysterious power of fire not only to consume but
also to hypnotize and fascinate, the image the Sacred Scripture
most often used to describe the power of the mystery of Divine Love.
The fire of Gods love for ones soul, first to capture
its attention, to try it and make it strong like white-hot forged
steel, and purify it like gold in a furnace. It is powerful beyond
anyones greatest imaginings, but powerful in a way which stirs
awe in the soul and causes reverential fear. This image of fire,
in thinking about God in fervent meditation, in the guidance of
the Holy Ghost, or when God reveals Himself to us, is the image
of the purest of flames which is His intense love for us, which
draws us to Himself.
Answer Gods Calling is a Way of Life
monks of the desert were completely unaware of inaugurating a new
way of life. The monastic life they lived was nothing more than
an ever-growing fascination with Gods own life. Obsessed
by the power of Gods love they trained themselves to surrender
to Him and became the saints, the friends of God every baptized
soul is destined to become. For the monastic vocation it is a pressing
thing to answer Gods calling. But why does God call soul
in this mysterious way? He explained to the prophet Jeremias: With
an everlasting love have I loved thee, this is why I have drawn
thee to Me. The monastic vocation is the initiative of
the attracting magnetism of Gods everlasting love for any
individual soul. The response given to the love of God by that
soul, the soul that is willing to listen closely to the voice of
God and look seriously into his vocation this is what decides
the rest . . .
Vocation and the Magisterium
many cries of protest coming from irreligious souls, the Church
has placed the monastic vocation upon a pedestal where all may see
it for use as an ideal. The place the Church gives the monastic
calling ifs by far the best way to understand its importance as
well as its universal appeal. Pope Pius IX, among no fewer than
fifteen other supreme pontiffs, extolled this truth: Established
by very holy persons whom the Divine Spirit inspired for the greater
glory of God and the good of souls, and confirmed by this Apostolic
See, they contribute to that admirable variety which sheds such
a marvelous splendor on the Church. And they composed those choice
troops, those battalions of auxiliaries in the army of Jesus Christ
which have always been, both for civil society and for Christendom,
a powerful aid, an adornment, a rampart. Burning with
ardent love for God and man, they have been a spectacle to the world,
to angels, and to men, knowing no other delight than that of using
all their efforts, all their zeal, all their energy to meditate
night and day on divine things.
Vocation in This Time of Crisis
vocation has been shown as something normal in its universality
but extraordinary in its uniqueness among the many paths which lead
to God. In this time of crisis, vocations have become rare since
the means God uses to attract them have been forcefully held back
by men of the Church. The saintly Archbishop chosen to be the instrument
of Providence has given us a clear reminder of the value of monastic
monasteries, without the examples of the contemplative religious
consecrated to the continual praise of God, the Church will never
recover from the present crisis. In order to traverse this present
crisis, there must be more monasteries, more souls willing to devote
their whole life to prayer and intercession. (Archbishop
thy walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed guardsmen. All the day
and all the night long, they will not hold their peace from praising
the Name of the Lord. (Antiphon from the Benedictine Breviary)
Dei commission had succeeded in separating the traditional Benedictine
monks of Le Barroux from the work of Archbishop Lefebvre. Nevertheless,
a handful of monks could not in conscience consider the saintly
prelate as schismatic and excommunicated. After the historic summer
of 1988, it had quickly become impossible for these monks to remain
in the monastery of Le Barroux and support the Archbishop at the
same time. The only choice was to leave, placing all in the hands
was one of those who left. Having traveled to Ecône to speak with
the Archbishop, where he met with Fr. Thomas Aquinas, who is the
Superior of the traditional Benedictines in Brazil, the decision
was made to found a new monastery faithful to Tradition located
in the Southwest region of the United States.
The vast work
of constructing a new traditional monastery has begun. High in the
mountains in the Gila Wilderness, the first candidates to the monastic
life are working to construct their own monastery. A few young
men have come to be the pioneers of the foundation, and as they
alternate between the work of construction and the prayers of the
Divine Office, the walls are beginning to rise. There is already
a waiting list of vocations from around the world wishing to come
immediately to embrace the contemplative Benedictine monastic life,
- but there is no more room. A few stubborn souls have agreed to
come anyway and rough it while living in RV trailers.
are many but the grace of God has given these souls the spirit of
the monks of the Middle Ages who also constructed their own monasteries.
May Our Venerable Father St. Benedict instill in their hearts the
burning fire of love to consecrate their lives to the sacred service
of the Church, to be the choice militia engaged in the holy warfare
against the powers of darkness.
Here is the
horarium (daily schedule) in use at the Monastery of Our Lady of
Private Mass, Mental Prayer in the Choir
Study or Manual Work
Mental Prayer in Choir
to the vast work of construction in which the community fully participates,
certain modifications of the horarium take place accordingly. A
recreation takes place once a week in which the brethren go hiking
in the surrounding mountains.
Cyprian with one of his monks on the construction field
Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe
142 Joseph Blane Rd
Silver City, NM 88061
Tel:  (505)
388 92 79
Abbaye Notre-Dame de Bellaigue
Bellaigue - 63330 Virlet
04 73 52 33 26