Brothers All

Brothers All

Abbot Paul Mark comments on the Papal Encylical Fratelli Tutti:

Pope Francis recently issued a new encyclical letter entitled Fratelli Tutti, rendered in English as Brothers and Sisters All.  I have only begun to read the encyclical and will not venture a summary.  In any case this blog does not allow the space to give even a brief summary of this deep, rich, meditation and I encourage you to read it for yourself.  But here follows a few thoughts inspired by the encyclical.

In the opening paragraph Pope Francis draws our attention to the theme of the encyclical.  He states that St. Francis of Assisi counselled his followers to live a love that transcends the barriers of geography and distance, not just physical barriers but psychological and emotional barriers that separate people from one another.

Yes, loving my brother and sister, to acknowledge, appreciate, honor, and respect them regardless of where they were born or live, this generous love is no mere human skill.  No, it is a gift of God, a gift God desires to give each of us.  Hence, it is not impossible to love but it is a skill with God’s grace that begs daily practice.

A practical way to implement this love is to be mindful of and live out the “common good”.  The definition the Catholic Church provides us of the common good is, “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.”  The common good concerns the life of all.

None of us are islands and all of us need one another.  How can I make your life, the brother and sister I live, work, and pray with daily, reach your fulfillment more fully and easier this day?

 

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Prayer

Cistercian monastic life gives primary place of chanting the Opus Dei or Divine Office in community as well as personal time spent in sacred reading which fulfill the monk's sacred duty of seeking God.

Hospitality

Cistercian monastic life allows rooms for guests because all guests are to be received as Christ.  We never know if we have entertained angels.

Life in Common

Cistercian monastic life is communal:  We share all things in common as did the early Christian community so as to live in greater charity and union with Christ.