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quarta-feira, 8 de outubro de 2014

Classics of the Liturgical Movement: Canon Simon's Commentary on the Rule

Canon G. A. Simon was a priest oblate of St. Wandrille Abbey. That's as much information as one can readily find about him. I have never seen a photo of him. But his magnificent commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict contains countless passages of rich spiritual wisdom that retains all of its clarity, penetration, and relevance for those who are striving to learn the imitation of Christ from St. Benedict and his monastic legacy. In particular, Canon Simon has much to say about liturgical spirituality and theopus Dei, and in this regard embodies the finest flowering of the early (and healthy) liturgical movement that owed so much to the reestablishment of traditional monastic life in the 19th century.

If you are one of those who admire and try to follow the Benedictine teaching on the centrality of the devout worship of God in the sacred liturgy, I definitely recommend Canon Simon's commentary. Here are some choice passages.

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Commentary for Benedictine Oblates on the Rule of Saint Benedict(1947)

pages 162-63:
          There are methods of spirituality which may present a certain danger.  They are those which make of personal perfect — ‘self-improvement’ as Father Faber called it, without approving of it — the first goal of our effort.  Man considers himself first.  His asceticism has the end of reforming him, modeling him, completing him, as an artist does with a statue which he would make a masterpiece.  And in practice God finds Himself relegated to the background.  Asceticism, says Father Faber, is then no more than ‘a systematizing and a glorifying of self-will.’  Regret for sin is nothing more than ‘the bitterness of endless piecemeal failure,’ and perhaps, if the sin has had witnesses, the pique at having let others get an impression other than that which one wished to give them.  Thus the method ends in pride.
          St. Benedict, on the contrary, invites us to look at God.  He wants us to seek God truly: si vere Deum quaerit.  He wants us to follow in Christ’s footsteps, pergamus itinera Christi, and to have our eyes wide open to the ‘deifying light.’  The gaze fixed on God, whom we know to be present, is at the first step of humility and at the base of perfection.  It is because this God who sees us detests sin that we avoid committing it.  It is to make room for God that we renounce our own will.  Obedience is nothing but a complete docility to all the divine desires.  It is for God, to be more united to the Crucified, that we accept humiliation and suffering.  It is for Him that we renounce ourselves.  If our sins trouble us, it is not because they ‘mar the symmetry of our character,’ but because they grieve the Holy Spirit.  Thus is the soul quieted and confident, even in the face of its faults.  And because it is looking on the supreme Beauty, it forgets itself, it immolates itself and it mounts in Love.  It understands that its whole existence should be like a divine praise.  It expands in joy: the joy of knowing its God, the joy of loving Him, the joy of possessing Him already and of counting on the eternal possession of Him.
          The more we study the Holy Rule the more we understand that for St. Benedict life is nothing but a ‘search for God,’ an ardent and joyous search, thanks to which we reach that end from which egoism had turned us away and which is none other than perfect love.

pp. 301-2:
          St. Benedict wants the monk’s whole life to be permeated with the thought of God, and he wants everything in that life to minister to sanctification and progress in charity. . . . There is nothing in the truly Christian life, then, that escapes the supernatural spirit. It is not a life partitioned, in which more or less large rooms are reserved for God. Everything is for God. The daily toil, whatever be its nature, becomes matter for humility, matter for sacrifices, matter for imitation of the Lord Jesus; it becomes a holy thing, it becomes prayer. And in this sense it is true to say: He who works, prays.
          For the sanctification of toil St. Benedict demands a direction of intention. We must offer the toil to God beforehand and ask him to come to our aid.

pg. 323
          St. Benedict teaches us also equanimity and even joy in forced abstinence. Here as elsewhere he forbids absolutely any sadness, ill humor, murmuring. It so often happens that we have not the courage to impose mortifications on ourself. At least we ought to give the Lord a good reception when He Himself chooses for us the matter of our penances. “If a limited or absolute privation should be the case,” says Dom Étienne, “it ought to be considered as a divine permission and to excite in faithful souls a feeling of thanksgiving instead of complaints and murmuring. And not only in this circumstance, but every time it pleases God to impose a privation. That is the meaning of the conclusion of this chapter: ‘Before everything, we desire that murmuring be banished.’”

pp. 338-39:
          Prayer, and liturgical prayer above all, is the source of all interior life and the soul of every apostolate.
          “No ministry, no labors, however fruitful or necessary they be in themselves, will ever replace the preponderance of prayer, the preferential esteem to which it has a right. Let that ministry, that work, that toil infringe on the time reserved before all for the Work of God, and once more will the word of Scripture be realized: ‘You have sowed much and reaped little’ (Aggaeus 1:6); for the Lord will not fail to exercise His right of reprisal. . . . And is it not here that we must look for the principal cause of the meager results sometimes obtained by manifold and sustained efforts, by labors which naturally speaking ought to have produced much more?” (L’Huillier).
          If we want our action to be truly fruitful, therefore, we must give the [Divine] Office the preponderant place in our life. It is through liturgical prayer that the life in God will be maintained in our souls; it is thence that we shall draw the strength and the light necessary in order to attract souls to us and to direct them. Without this basis there is only human activity, that is to say, almost nothing.
          Love of the opus Dei implies regularity in the manner of performing it. Since prayer is what gives our life its orientation and its whole meaning, since it is what should be most dear to us and what is most necessary for us, let us apply ourselves to it as often as our schedule calls for it.

pp. 364-65:
          St. Benedict . . . knows no particular method of prayer. It is quite simply the fruit of the liturgy and of the sacred readings. Our morning prayer, therefore, will feed at once on our readings and on the liturgical prayer we have just completed. Hymns, Psalms, lessons, mysteries, lives of the Saints, orations—we shall find there an inexhaustible source of reflection and contemplation. The Psalms in particular adapt themselves in a surprising way to the liturgical cycle and to our states of soul.
          The mind which has contemplated the mysteries, followed Jesus Christ, Our Lady, and the Saints, found its own needs in the petitions the Church addresses to God, makes a selection as if by instinct in the memories of those readings. All those things enlighten one another mutually. And while we pray and meditate, we are continuing to pray with the Church, to sing with her, to contemplate with her. The Church is our guide and our mistress. And the thoughts and resolutions she herself has prompted and inspired will be found as if brought to life again every time we take up our breviary during the day.
          Prayer is not a little exercise apart, separated from the rest of our life by a sort of partition. On the contrary, it maintains a close contact with the Office and the lectio divina. And thus is realized in the interior life a unity more fruitful than the dispersion in which too many souls live, poorly enlightened on the close connection which ought to make a single whole of the Office, spiritual reading, and prayer.

Livros católicos

Ebook cattolici

Bibbia, Vangeli, Catechismo della Chiesa Cattolica, Storia della Chiesa



Classici Cristiani

  • L'imitazione di Cristo di Tommaso da KempisEPUB MOBI HTML
  • L'imitazione di Maria di Edoardo CiccodicolaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Trattato della vera devozione a Maria di San Luigi Maria Grignion de MontfortEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Il segreto ammirabile del Santo Rosario di San Luigi Maria Grignion de MontfortEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Il grande segreto per diventare santi di San Luigi Maria Grignion de MontfortEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Le Glorie di Maria di Sant'Alfonso Maria de LiguoriEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Del Gran mezzo della preghiera di Sant'Alfonso Maria de LiguoriEPUB MOBI HTML
  • La necessità della preghiera di Sant'Alfonso Maria de LiguoriEPUB MOBI HTML
  • I racconti di un pellegrino russoEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Filotea di San Giovanni di SalesEPUB MOBI HTML
  • I fioretti di San FrancescoEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Storia di un anima di Santa Teresa di LisieuxEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Esercizi Spirituali di Sant'IgnazioEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Trattato della vita spirituale di San Vincenzo FerreriEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Il castello interiore di Santa Teresa d'AvilaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • La nuvoletta del Carmelo di San Giovanni BoscoEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Maria Ausiliatrice col racconto di alcune grazie di San Giovanni BoscoEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Maraviglie della Madre di Dio di San Giovanni BoscoEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Specchio (o salutazione) della Beata Vergine Maria di Corrado da SassoniaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • E' Gesù che passa di San Josemaría Escrivá de BalaguerEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Opera Omnia - San Francesco d'AssisiEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Opera Omnia - Santa Chiara d'AssisiEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Meditazioni della Beata Madre Teresa di CalcuttaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Madre Mia quanto sei bellaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Con Maria la vita è bellaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Con Maria verso GesùEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Il mio ideale Gesù figlio di Maria di p. Emilio NeubertEPUB MOBI HTML
  • L'anticristo di Vladimir Sergeevic SolovievEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Salita del Monte Carmelo di San Giovanni della CroceEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Maria e la sua armataEPUB MOBI HTML

Biografie di santi, Visioni, Profezie, Rivelazioni

  • La Misericordia Divina nella mia anima - Diario di Santa suor Faustina KowalskaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • L'Araldo del Divino Amore di Santa Gertrude di HelftaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • La vita di Maria della Beata Anna Caterina EmmerickEPUB MOBI HTML
  • La Passione di Nostro Signore della Beata Anna Caterina EmmerickEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Le visioni della Beata Anna Caterina EmmerickEPUB MOBI HTML
  • La Mistica Città di Dio di Suor Maria d'AgredaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • I sogni di San Giovanni BoscoEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Vita di Santa Margherita Maria Alacoque (scritta da lei stessa)EPUB MOBI HTML
  • I primi nove venerdì del mese - la grande promessaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Diario di Santa Gemma GalganiEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Il diario della Beata Elisabetta Canori MoraEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Il diario mistico di Camilla BraviEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Diario di Louise Marguerite Claret De La ToucheEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Il libro della Grazia speciale - Rivelazioni di Santa Metilde di HackebornEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Le Rivelazioni di Santa Brigida di SveziaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Amore per amore: diario di Suor Maria Costanza del Sacro CostatoEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Beata Marietta RubattoEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Beato Bartolo LongoEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Colui che parla dal fuoco - Suor Josefa MenendezEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Così lontani, così vicini - Gli angeli nella vita di Santa Gemma GalganiEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Cristo Gesù nella Beata Alexandrina da BalasarEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Il mistero del Sangue di Cristo - Suor Maria Antonietta PrevedelloEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Santa Gertrude Di Helfta di don Giuseppe TomaselliEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Vita della Serva di Dio Edvige CarboniEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Diario di Edvige CarboniEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Rimanete nel mio amore - Suor Benigna Consolata FerreroEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Il Sacro Cuore e il Sacerdozio. Biografia di Madre Luisa Margherita Claret de la ToucheEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Figlia del dolore Madre di amore - Alexandrina Maria da CostaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Il piccolo nulla - Vita della Beata Maria di Gesu CrocifissoEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Beata Anna Schaffer: Il misterioso quaderno dei sogniEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Beata Chiara bosattaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Beata Maria Candida dell'EucaristiaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Fratel Ettore BoschiniEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Il cuore di Gesù al mondo di Suor Maria Consolata BetroneEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Madre Giuseppina BakhitaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Beata Maria di Gesù Deluil-MartinyEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Serva di Dio Luigina SinapiEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Marie-Julie JahennyEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Marie Le ValleesEPUB MOBI HTML
  • I SS. Cuori di Gesù e di Maria. La salvezza del mondo, le loro apparizioni, promesse e richiesteEPUB MOBI HTML
  • La testimonianza di Gloria PoloEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Chiara Luce BadanoEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Madre Carolina VenturellaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • Madre SperanzaEPUB MOBI HTML



  • Scritti dei primi cristiani (Didachè, Lettera a Diogneto, Papia di Gerapoli)EPUB MOBI HTML
  • I padri apostolici (S.Clemente Romano,S.Ignazio di Antiochia,Il Pastore d'Erma, S.Policarpo di Smirne)EPUB MOBI HTML
  • I padri della chiesa: Scritti di Sant'AgostinoEPUB MOBI HTML
  • I padri della chiesa: Sant'Agostino, la città di DioEPUB MOBI HTML
  • I padri della chiesa: Sant'Agostino, le confessioniEPUB MOBI HTML
  • I padri della chiesa: Clemente Alessandrino,Sant'Ambrogio, Sant'Anselmo, San Benedetto,San Cirillo di GerusalemmeEPUB MOBI HTML
  • I padri della chiesa: San Giustino, San Leone Magno, Origene, Cirillo d'Alessandria, San Basilio, Atenagora di Atene, Rufino di Aquileia,Guigo il CertosinoEPUB MOBI HTML
  • I padri della chiesa: San Giovanni CrisostomoEPUB MOBI HTML
  • I padri della chiesa: San Gregorio di NissaEPUB MOBI HTML
  • I padri della chiesa: Quinto Settimio Fiorente TertullianoEPUB MOBI HTML
  • I padri del deserto: Evagrio Pontico, Sant'Antonio AbateEPUB MOBI HTML
  • I padri esicasti : La preghiera del Cuore,Gregorio il sinaita,Niceforo il solitario, San Barsanufio e Giovanni, Pseudo MacarioEPUB MOBI HTML

Sacramenti e vita cristiana

Altri libri

  • La Divina Commedia (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso) di Dante AlighieriEPUB MOBI HTML
  • La storia d'Italia di San Giovanni BoscoEPUB MOBI HTML
  • I testimoni di Geova di Don Vigilio Covi