Pope Francis recently presented his Beatitudes for Bishops to the Bishops of Italy. In it, he cautions the Bishops against being self absorbed and isolated. He urges them to be among their people, to be humble and to be compassionate and merciful. Good lessons for us to remember and items that St. Benedict refers to in the Rule.
Blessed is the Bishop who makes poverty and sharing his lifestyle, because with his witness he builds the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed is the Bishop who is not afraid to wet his face with tears, so that in them may be reflected the sorrow of the people and the work of priests, and who finds God’s consolation in the embrace with those who suffer
Blessed is the Bishop who does not shut himself up in buildings, who does not become a bureaucrat more attentive to statistics than to faces, to procedures than to stories, who seeks to fight alongside man for God’s dream of justice because the Lord, encountered in the silence of daily prayer, will nourish him.
Blessed is the Bishop who has a heart for man soul in order to find the gold of God there, who is not scandalized by the sin and fragility of others because he knows his own misery, because the look of the Risen Crucified One will be the seal of infinite forgiveness.
Blessed is the Bishop who stays away from the duplicity of the heart, who avoids every ambigious dynamic, who dreams of the good even in the midst of evil, because he will be able to rejoice in the face of God, finding his reflection in every puddle in the city of people.
Blessed is the Bishop who works for peace, who walks along the path of reconciliation, who plants the seed of communion in the hearts of priests, who accompanies a divided society along the path of reconciliation, who takes every man and woman of goodwill by the hand to build fraternity; God will recognize him as his son.
Blessed is the Bishop who is not afraid to go against the current of the Gospel, and hardens his face like Jesus going to Jerusalem, without letting himself be stopped by misunderstandings and obstacles because he knows that the Kingdom of God moves forth against the world.
The Pope was obviously reminding his Bishops that they are spiritual fathers to their flocks and that they need to be among their flock listening and teaching them as well being aware of their need to be men of prayer and having strong spiritual lives.
New Website address
Finally have a permanent address for the website. As you may not know, this site is hidden, that is a site that is not listed in your normal search engines or at least that is what I have requested. This site is for my family members and friends and members of my monastic community of Incarnation Monastery. I know in the past that some of you have asked what an oblate is and what do they do. I hope that this site can address some of those questions.
Still plowing away on reading on the eremitic life and hermits. Currently reading the journals of Thomas Merton. Just got done a couple of days ago with journal 6 which details his transition from his monastic community to living in his hermitage. Will be starting journal 7 which details the last year of his life before his unexpected death in December 1968 in Thailand.