I received an email today from Downside, promoting one of their “Monastic Experience” weekends. I have myself been to Downside several times and always found it to be a wonderful experience. Interestingly, Brother Bartholemew, who is now one of the Juniors at the monastery, was with me on the first visit I paid there, also making his first visit. I suspect he would not remember me but I have a very vivid memory of him. At any rate, since I do not know anyone personally who might like to attend, I thought some readers of this blog might be interested. Below is the information:
We need men whose intellect is enlightened by the light of God, men whose hearts are opened by God, so that their intellect can speak to the intellect of others and their hearts can open the hearts of others. It is only by means of men who have been touched by God that God can return to be with mankind. We need men like Benedict of Nursia, who in an age of dissipation and decadence immersed himself in the uttermost solitude. Then after all the purifications he had to undergo, he succeeded in rising again to the light.
Joseph Ratzinger, Christianity & the Crisis of Cultures, pp. 52-53.
The monks of Downside invite men between 18-35 years old to find out more about St Benedict and his relevance today by making a retreat between the 10th – 12th of September. Talks will be offered on the life of St Benedict and the enduring values of his Rule, as well as on the conversion of Europe Œby cross, book and plough‚ and the mission of Benedictine monasteries today.
Retreatants are invited to share in the regular life and prayer of our community and there will be opportunities for Confession or to talk privately to members of the community. Retreatants need not be practising Catholics and there is no set charge.
To sign up for more information, please visit: http://www.downside.co.uk/Abbey/information/vocation_retreats_interest_form.html