A monastery is like a window opening onto God; it helps us turn our gaze towards God and allows the full light of God to penetrate everyday life.
Founded in 1882 and dedicated to the Peace of the Heart of Jesus, St Cecilia’s Abbey on the Isle of Wight, England, belongs to the Benedictine Order, and in particular to the Solesmes Congregation. This is a family of monasteries in the spiritual tradition of Dom Prosper Guéranger, who re-established Benedictine life in France after its destruction in the French revolution. The nuns live a traditional monastic life of prayer, work and study in accordance with the ancient Rule of St Benedict. At the heart of this life is the praise of God, expressed through the solemn celebration of the sacred liturgy.
“There are institutes which are totally ordered towards contemplation in such ways that that their members give themselves over to God alone in solitude and silence, in constant prayer and willing penance. These will always have an honoured place in the mystical body of Christ, in which all the members do not have the same function (Rom 12:4), no matter how pressing may be the needs of the active ministry. For they offer to God an exceptional sacrifice of praise, they brighten God’s people with the abundant fruits of holiness, they sway them by their example, and they enlarge the Church by their hidden apostolic fruitfulness.” (Perfectae Caritatis 7)
For all our liturgical worship, we have retained the use of Gregorian chant and the Latin language. For centuries the Church has expressed her love for her Lord in Gregorian Chant, “which springs from the depths of the soul where faith dwells and charity burns” (Pope St Paul VI). Far from being a museum piece or relegated to dusty tomes, Gregorian chant is a school of prayer, a source of beauty and truth, and a powerful means of raising the heart and mind to God.
We believe that every person was made for the love and praise of God and that God is indeed worthy of our love and praise – our lives. In the Divine Office and throughout our monastic day we are doing what we hope we shall be doing for all eternity – gazing at him who is all beauty, truth and goodness – although here we do it “as in a mirror” and there we shall do it “face to face”. Any baptized person, when he or she prays or does what is right, raises up the whole world because the prayer or action is done “in Christ”. The enclosure of the monastery enables us to do this with special concentration. Our talents and personalities are focused entirely on God, and used for him. In our prayer and especially in the psalms of the Divine Office, we express to God the joy and hope, fear and sorrow of all mankind. The deeper our prayer-life becomes, the greater is our capacity to share with all mankind God’s mercy and love.
website of our brother monks: www.quarrabbey.org
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Our Father: A Biblical Meditation on the Lord’s Prayer
– Sr Claire Waddelove OSB (Paperback)
This original and imaginative treatment of the Our Father plumbs the scriptural depths of this prayer, so beloved of Christians. The Biblical meditation of each chapter is further enriched by introductory pages presenting the author’s reflections and explanations, drawing on the treasures of the Church’s patrimony: her liturgy, the Fathers of the Church, popes and saints. This is authentic spirituality, deeply rooted in the word of God: living and life-giving, nourishment for heart and soul, enlightenment for the mind. Taste and see!