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 Post subject: What books?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:13 pm 
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Sons of Thunder
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...do you suggest that you know of that thoroughly explains the similarities, differences, and interrelatedness between the "active" orders, mixed orders, and purely contemplative orders and how each contributes to the "building up of the Church"? Or what book would be the closest to what I'm looking for here???

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 Post subject: Re: What books?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:37 am 
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Jedi Master
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You might want to look at these two websites:

http://www.digitalvocationguide.org/vision/2010#pg1
http://vocation-network.org/

I am unaware of any book length treatments comparing various forms of religious life. Thomas Merton wrote The Silent Life decades ago about the various forms of strict monasticism. Recently, Dominic Monti wrote Francis and His Brothers about the history of Franciscan men.

Part of the issue is that religious communities are living things, like families. Each has a spirit, both in the technical sense of a charism and in the sense of just having a "vibe" that distinguishes them, and even distinguishes different provinces of the same order.

I would suggest that you begin to talk to someone directly, and go from there. You should be able to visit different communities informally. Before I joined the Capuchins, I had visited many groups, and began to feel that I could assess a community very quickly after a while - think of "speed dating" where people assess whether there is any hope of a possibility very quickly.

Finally, trust God and trust the Church. God usually puts us in contact with the people and groups he wants us to interact with, if we keep our eyes and ears open. Trust the Church, which has tested religious orders over the decades and centuries. There is something romantic about new start up groups, and some are called to them. But they will go through their growing pains, and that may be difficult when those growing pains occur.


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 Post subject: Re: What books?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:18 pm 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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Are informal visits to purely contemplative communities normal for men? I know that for women's contemplative communities, sometimes a year or more discernment with the community is required before a visit or there may be other requirements. Even then, initial visits (or all visits, depending on the Order) rarely allow a visiting woman to go inside the cloister. Men's contemplative communities don't tend to be cloistered, so perhaps it's a bit different, but I would still be rather surprised if casual visits were the norm.

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"Take it as a certain sign that your charity is not genuine if your words, no matter how true, are not charitable." --St Francis de Sales

"The thing is--to be ready to die: and is there one of us who would quite like to die, doing as little for God as we are doing now?" --Fr Faber


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 Post subject: Re: What books?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:22 pm 
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PDUBYA wrote:
...do you suggest that you know of that thoroughly explains the similarities, differences, and interrelatedness between the "active" orders, mixed orders, and purely contemplative orders and how each contributes to the "building up of the Church"? Or what book would be the closest to what I'm looking for here???


For a general comparison between the active (or apostlic) life and the contemplative life, you should take a look at the Summa Theologica: Second Part of the Second Part, Questions 179 through 189, especially Question 182. http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3182.htm

Other good books that may be profitable to you would be St. Alphonsus's treatise on The Religious State and Fr. Stefano Manelli's Come and Follow Me.

http://www.stpiusxpress.com/BookTitles/ ... iCSSR.html
http://marymediatrix.com/bookshop?page= ... rd=manelli

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 Post subject: Re: What books?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:26 pm 
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Jedi Padawan
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Puppi wrote:
Are informal visits to purely contemplative communities normal for men? I know that for women's contemplative communities, sometimes a year or more discernment with the community is required before a visit or there may be other requirements. Even then, initial visits (or all visits, depending on the Order) rarely allow a visiting woman to go inside the cloister. Men's contemplative communities don't tend to be cloistered, so perhaps it's a bit different, but I would still be rather surprised if casual visits were the norm.


I have no experience in this area but from the Carthusian Chaterhouse of the Transfiguration (in Vermont) website, it seems that they do not accept casual vocational visits.

Quote:
We permit only vocational retreats, i.e., for those who believe they are called or who are discerning a possible call to the Carthusian life, and only after some preliminary requirements (a questionnaire, two letters of reference, further questions) are satisfied.


http://transfiguration.chartreux.org/

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"The more we honor the Blessed Virgin, the more we honor Jesus Christ, because we honor Mary only that we may the more perfectly honor Jesus, since we go to her only as the way by which we are to find the end we are seeking, which is Jesus."

-St. Louis De Montfort


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 Post subject: Re: What books?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:56 am 
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The Carthusians are something of an exception. Anyone can stop at a Trappist abbey and observe the prayer, the number of monks, and try to observe the 'vibe' of the community. Most other religious orders have semi-public chapels which people may visit. Of course, a phone call to inquire is a good idea. But in general, a brief, casual observation of the place is possible, and may be preferable. Of course, an inquirer can contact the vocation office and set up an appointment.

Many of these communities have attached retreat facilities, and some will welcome overnight guests into the cloister, but that is more rare.

It is all well and good to read about religious life, but some of the things suggested are centuries old, and no book will give a living and breathing experience that even casual observation brings. Imagine if you had to rely on Aquinas to tell you about family life! What he says is undoubtedly worthwhile. But a few minutes around a dinner table will tell you much more about the existential reality.


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 Post subject: Re: What books?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:53 am 
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Sons of Thunder
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Puppi wrote:
Are informal visits to purely contemplative communities normal for men? I know that for women's contemplative communities, sometimes a year or more discernment with the community is required before a visit or there may be other requirements. Even then, initial visits (or all visits, depending on the Order) rarely allow a visiting woman to go inside the cloister. Men's contemplative communities don't tend to be cloistered, so perhaps it's a bit different, but I would still be rather surprised if casual visits were the norm.


It is normal for this one. I have spent some time here over the years. They are Trappist founded by a group from Gethsemani in Kentucky in 1947. Very fond memories here.

http://www.holytrinityabbey.org/

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 Post subject: Re: What books?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:35 am 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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matteo d'basio wrote:
The Carthusians are something of an exception. Anyone can stop at a Trappist abbey and observe the prayer, the number of monks, and try to observe the 'vibe' of the community. Most other religious orders have semi-public chapels which people may visit. Of course, a phone call to inquire is a good idea. But in general, a brief, casual observation of the place is possible, and may be preferable. Of course, an inquirer can contact the vocation office and set up an appointment.

Many of these communities have attached retreat facilities, and some will welcome overnight guests into the cloister, but that is more rare.

Ah, I see. Thanks, Father, for the clarification.

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Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quæ retribuit mihi?

"Take it as a certain sign that your charity is not genuine if your words, no matter how true, are not charitable." --St Francis de Sales

"The thing is--to be ready to die: and is there one of us who would quite like to die, doing as little for God as we are doing now?" --Fr Faber


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 Post subject: Re: What books?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:51 pm 
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Sons of Thunder
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Deo Gratias and thank you all for your responses...(ears still open)

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"The only successful method will be that which bases harmony and agreement among Christ's faithful ones upon all the truths, and the whole of the truths, which God has revealed." -Pope Pius XII

Some of these ecumenists are so preoccupied with Christian unity that they are willing to destroy Catholic unity in the name of Christian unity. - Fr. John Hardon


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