Getting Ready for a
This past Sunday,
about fifteen oblates and monks gathered at our Subiaco
Retreat House to begin their spiritual preparation for
Lent. “In This Holy Season” was the name of the talk
offered by oblate director Fr. John Martin Shimkus, O.S.B.
as a reflection St. Benedict’s instructions for a holy
Lent. St. Benedict dedicated a complete chapter to
encouraging and directing his communities in the ways of
prayer and self-denial, so as to “wash away the
negligences of other times”.
Fr. John drew from the work of
one of our Sylvestrine-Benedictine confreres, Dom Lorenzo
Sena, O.S.B., an Italian monk and monastic scholar.
One of the important ideas expressed in his presentation
was that Lent can become a “joyful season” when Christians
truly allow themselves be guided and supported by the Holy
Spirit in the choice of penances they make.
This pre-Lenten program included
meaningful discussion among those gathered, as well as the
communal praying of Vespers and the sharing of a warm and
delicious meal prepared by Br. Marty Singer. It
turned out to be an inspiring and uplifting way for our
Benedictine family to get into the Lenten spirit and, in
the words of St. Benedict, to begin “looking forward to
holy Easter with joy and spiritual longing.”
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