Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Office of Heiligen Kreuz (Cistercian), or the Dude Abides.

I agree, the book looks magnificent. Although, it is nothing without the contents. This Cistercian abbey signed off on a general reform of its office after Vatican II and adopted a two week cycle. My impression, based on looking at the psalter schema, is that it offers an office still reflecting the monastic ethos in terms of its spirituality. Simply put, this looks like a more fulfilling office than the modern Roman breviary (Liturgia Horarum).

Looking through this window into the office of Heiligen Kreuz stirs a lot of conflicting emotions. On the one hand, it is truly frustrating that this office is unavailable outside of the abbey in Austria. On the other, there is something somewhat comforting about knowing there was an abbey that kept a balanced view of liturgical reform and prays from these books.

If Roman Catholicism, or Catholicism in general, is going to survive in a form that resembles its classical expression, it will be at the hand of communities, monastic or otherwise, who have the expressed intention of providing an oasis in midst of West's spiritual aridity.

It's just good to know this office, this abbey, is out there. It reminds of the Big Lebowski in a way,

"The Dude abides. I don't know about you, but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there. The Dude. Takin' 'er easy for all of us sinners."

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