The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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The effect of monasticism

Canisius | 17 January, 2006 16:55

It seems probable that Gueranger had a devotion to St. Antony, inasmuch as Antony was the first Abbot and Gueranger himself was the founder and Abbot of a monastery. I didn't detect in special exuberance in today's entry, however.

In vol. 3, p. 306, Gueranger says that "the Faithful had but to look at these [monastic] communities living in the fervent and literal fulfillment of the Counsels of Christ, and they felt themselves encouraged to obey the Precepts." This is certainly true: when I see a monk living in perfect celebacy, it would make me feel ashamed if I couldn't at least stop myself from committing adultery. But the usual effect of seeing a good monk or nun is something even stronger, it seems to me. Usually the monk's literal fulfillment of the counsels arouses in the devout lay person a desire for the non-literal fulfillment of those counsels: the lay person wants to practice continence even within his marital rights, rather than simply keeping himself from sin; he wants to live in a spirit of poverty and give up what he could have rightfully possessed, rather than just keeping his hands off of other people's goods; he wants to show an eager responsiveness to the interior promptings of the Spirit and to the call of his daily duties rather than taking full advantage of his freedom from the vow of obedience.

Gueranger himself has a similar effect on me. He awakens within me a love for the liturgy, and I know that he and his monks lived a life of intense liturgical prayer. My own relatives in the monastery spend half the day in liturgical prayer! I cannot do this literally, because I have children and a regular job, but it makes me want to do what I can: for example, I can at least keep in the spirit of the liturgy by reading The Liturgical Year!


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