The Holy Cross Benedictines of Adoration ..... our story so far .... by Dom Alistair Bate OSBA (csr)
This worked quite well for us and we gained members steadily until the year 2012 when out of the blue the Roman Catholic Passionist Congregation threatened legal action against us for describing ourselves as “Passionists” and using the Passionist Sign, which unknown to us, they had registered as trademarks two months previously. Rather than rejoice that their charism had found a new expression amongst those marginalised by the Roman Church they chose to suppress us as best they could, and indeed we had to go back to the drawing board and discern where the Lord was calling us.
Although this was a painful time of loss it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as despite our appreciation of the spirituality of St Paul of the Cross, we were all much more temperamentally suited to a more contemplative approach and besides, our appreciation of the Passionist tradition was now soured irrevocably by its present day custodians.
When choosing a name for our new Benedictine community we chose "Holy Cross Benedictines of Adoration" in grateful acknowledgement of the orientation towards the Passion of Our Lord which had inspired us for the five previous years.
In our view, devotion to the Cross and Passion of Our Lord is inseparable from devotion to the His Risen Presence in the Holy Eucharist, so it was a natural development of our charism to commit ourselves to frequent, if not daily, Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament. As the "Rule for a New Brother" says, “The celebration of the Eucharist would be nothing but a romantic or aesthetic sensation should you forget that the heart of it is the self-giving of Jesus. …. The Eucharist sets you on the way of Christ. It takes you into his redeeming death and gives you a share in the most radical deliverance possible. …”.
The Cross is also central to Benedictine devotion, as is clearly illustrated by that most popular of Benedictine sacramentals, the Benedictine Medal, with its Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti inscription: “The Cross of our Holy Father Benedict, May the Holy Cross be my Light”.
"Sit in your cell as in paradise. Put the whole world behind you and forget it. Watch your thoughts like a good fisherman watching for fish. The path you must follow is in the Psalms—never leave it.
If you have just come to the monastery, and in spite of your good will you cannot accomplish what you want, take every opportunity you can to sing the Psalms in your heart and to understand them with your mind.
And if your mind wanders as you read, do not give up; hurry back and apply your mind to the words once more.
Realize above all that you are in God’s presence, and stand there with the attitude of one who stands before the emperor.
Empty yourself completely and sit waiting, content with the grace of God, like the chick who tastes nothing and eats nothing but what his mother brings him.”
Today, the Holy Cross Benedictines of Adoration (csr) have twenty four members in ten different countries on six continents and we look forward with confidence to further growth in grace and number. We are probably one of the most outwardly traditional, and certainly the most clerical, of the the new-monastic communities and so occupy a niche which may have wider appeal as time goes on.
For further information please consult our website!