Herro


A Lenten Prayer: “Food that Nourishes”

The following prayer by Br. Steve Herro, O. Praem., was published in the national Lenten resource 21st Century Poverty Study Guide (page 14) sponsored by NETWORK: Advocates for Justice, Inspired by Catholic Sisters (reprinted with permission).


Creator God,

TreesOn the third day, you produced “…every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it.” Since the beginning of time, you have gifted us with seeds, soil, water, and sunlight to help us produce food that continues to nourish our body, soul, and mind.

For these gifts, we thank you.

The feeding of the human race involves millions of people who grow, pack, transport, and prepare food that has nourished our body, soul, and mind. Our morning cereal, midday sandwich, and evening rice could not be possible without the effort of so many of our neighbors.

For these providers and their efforts, we thank you.

Your son celebrated many meals with those he loved, people often excluded by others in the community. Around such tables, he and we grew and continue to grow in relationship with family, friends, and strangers. Bless those hosts who make such relationship building around a common table possible.

For these opportunities, we thank you.

For growers and consumers who share their resources with food pantries; for men, women, and youth who volunteer at food banks; for policy advocates who lobby on food security with our lawmakers—may they be sustained in their ministries.

For these community servants, we thank you.

For every man, woman, and child, in the United States and abroad suffering from lack of food security, that their material needs may be met. For the grace to discover Christ in service to those suffering from lack of nutrition, we thank you.

We offer this prayer through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

More opportunities to celebrate the season of Lent at St. Norbert Abbey »

Lenten Reading Suggestions

Lenten Reading

Looking for inspiring books that will enhance your Lenten journey? We asked a few prolific readers within the Norbertine community for suggestions. Below are their recommended titles.

Br. Steve Herro, O. Praem.

Br. Steve Herro, O. Praem.

Fr. Matthew Dougherty, O. Praem.

Fr. Matthew Dougherty, O. Praem.

Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection

By Pope Benedict XVI

Recommended by: Fr. Matthew Dougherty, O. Praem., and Br. Steve Herro, O. Praem.

Pope Benedict takes his readers through the familiar stories surrounding our Lord’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection while adding unique reflections and insights earned from a lifetime of study, prayer, and reflection. This book not only makes you rethink what you know of Jesus of Nazareth but also fall in love with him again.

Mysterium Paschale: The Mystery of Easter

By Hans Urs von Balthasar

Recommended by: Fr. Matthew Dougherty, O. Praem.

Named a cardinal of the Church by Pope (Saint) John Paul II shortly before he died, Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988) was one of the great theologians of the post-Vatican II Church. Mysterium Paschale is one of Balthasar’s most influential works, especially for its unique take on Christ’s decent into hell. At times, this work can be a bit jargon-filled and difficult to read, but for those comfortable with theological language, it is a profound and worthy book.

Fr. Michael Weber, O. Praem.

Fr. Michael Weber, O. Praem.

Benedictus: Day by Day with Pope Benedict XVI

By Pope Benedict XVI

Recommended by: Fr. Michael Weber, O. Praem.

I’ve used Pope Benedict’s devotional throughout the last couple of years for reflection. Although these are daily meditations throughout the year, they are particularly powerful, well written short reflections on Scripture passages—including Lenten messages.

Abbot Emeritus Jerome Tremel, O. Praem.

Abbot Emeritus Jerome Tremel, O. Praem.

The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully

By Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B.

Recommended by: Abbot Emeritus Jerome Tremel, O. Praem.

Grace and wisdom flow from some 40 short essays. A rich source of reflection for anyone approaching or experiencing the elder years.

Fr. James Herring, O. Praem.

Fr. James Herring, O. Praem.

i am through you so i

By Brother David Steindl-Rast

Recommended by: Fr. James Herring, O. Praem.

Brother David, one of the most significant spiritual teachers and international speakers of our era, tells his incomparable rich story spanning the nine decades of his life.

Brother David and his TED Talk also can be found online.

Written for Our Instruction: Theological and Spiritual Riches in Romans

By Thomas D. Stegman, SJ

Recommended by: Fr. James Herring, O. Praem.

This book sets forth and makes accessible an under-appreciated aspect of St. Paul’s theology on the life of the Spirit. In his letters, Paul often reminds his readers/hearers about the gift of the Spirit they have already received.

Everything Ablaze: Meditating on the Mystical Vision of Teilhard de Chardin

By David Richo

Recommended by: Fr. James Herring, O. Praem.

Richo describes our calling to discover the sacred heart of the universe, grow into planetary consciousness, and participate in the great work ahead of us. A rich resource for meditating.

—Ursula King
Fr. Michael Brennan, O. Praem.

Fr. Michael Brennan, O. Praem.

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

By Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, with Douglas Abrams

Recommended by: Fr. Michael Brennan, O. Praem.

The author invites these two spiritual leaders and close friends to share their experiences of deep and abiding joy, most particularly in the face of profound suffering. This book has both confirmed and challenged my understanding of hope, joy, and suffering amidst the blessedness and brokenness of our shared humanity.

The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your TransformationThe Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation

By Richard Rohr with Mike Morrell

Recommended by: Fr. Michael Brennan, O. Praem.

Fr. Richard Rohr invites us to enter into one of the central tenets and mysteries of Christianity: our God is relationship, our God is community. Made in this image and likeness, we are invited to be transformed by our God, who constantly calls us into relationship. I’ve had this book on my shelf since late last summer; perhaps Lent will be the perfect time to jump in.

Between the Pages Book Discussion

Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 10-11 a.m.

Tony Pichler, director of the Norbertine Center for Spirituality at St. Norbert Abbey, is facilitating a book discussion on The Divine Dance. Details and registration »


Frater Johnathan Turba, O. Praem.

Frater Johnathan Turba, O. Praem.

iBreviary—Office of Readings

Recommended by: Frater Johnathan Turba, O. Praem.

When I start my day reading the Office of Readings, my heart is much more open to God’s presence throughout the day. Simply download the iBreviary app, click on “Breviary” and then select “Office of Readings.”

Hope for the Flowers

By Trina Paulus

Recommended by: Frater Johnathan Turba, O. Praem.

This simple book tells a beautiful allegory of letting go of our comforts in life and finding the courage to move through death to a life greater than anything we could have imagined. I find this book so insightful in reflecting on my own struggles, identifying what comforts I am holding on to that I may need to let go of, and visiting anew the need to give my life completely to God.

Fr. Stephen Rossey, O. Praem.

Fr. Stephen Rossey, O. Praem.

The Way of Gratitude: Readings for a Joyful Life

Editors: Michael Leach, James Keane, Doris Goodnough

Recommended by: Fr. Stephen Rossey, O. Praem.

The Way of Gratitude is a treasure trove of writings that inspire and prod one to think seriously about things that most of us just take for granted. The editors have assembled the writings of well-known authors who open the meaning of “gratitude” to make its practice useful and joyful. Authors such as James Martin, SJ, Henri Nouwen, Joan Chittister, O.S.B., and even David Brooks help you rethink your own response to gratitude.

Deacon Patrick LaPacz, O. Praem.

Deacon Patrick LaPacz, O. Praem.

The Magnificat Lenten Companion 2018

Recommended by: Deacon Patrick LaPacz, O. Praem.

This booklet contains reflections and short prayers for every day in Lent and helps keep one focused through one’s Lenten journey.

Frater Anh Tran, O. Praem.

Frater Anh Tran, O. Praem.

The Long Loneliness: An Autobiography of the Legendary Catholic Social Activist

By Dorothy Day

Recommended by: Frater Anh Tran, O. Praem.

Through Dorothy Day’s autobiography of her life as a devout Catholic, a lover of Christ, and a tremendous champion for the poor, we gain insights regarding the call of true discipleship within our lives and the beauty of the Paschal Mystery.


More opportunities to celebrate the season of Lent at St. Norbert Abbey »

Share the Journey

By Br. Steve Herro, O. Praem.

Families affected by drought receive ration cards for a food distribution conducted by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) partner Caritas Hargeisa. CRS and Caritas are responding to the crisis through out the region. Photo by Nancy McNally/Catholic Relief Services (used with permission)

Families affected by drought receive ration cards for a food distribution conducted by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) partner Caritas Hargeisa. CRS and Caritas are responding to the crisis through out the region. Photo by Nancy McNally/Catholic Relief Services (used with permission)

I was mulling over the world refugee crisis before Pope Francis boldly preached his Midnight Mass homily on Christmas Eve (I was not the only one impressed by his words connecting the Holy Family to today’s refugee families; so were my Catholic, Lutheran, and Unitarian friends on Facebook). Pope Francis preached, in part:

So many other footsteps are hidden in the footsteps of Joseph and Mary. We see the tracks of entire families forced to set out in our own day. We see the tracks of millions of persons who do not choose to go away but, driven from their land, leave behind their dear ones. In many cases this departure is filled with hope, hope for the future; yet for many others this departure can only have one name: survival. Surviving the Herods of today, who, to impose their power and increase their wealth, see no problem in shedding innocent blood.

“Another Year of Record Displacement” (Council on Foreign Relations, December 22, 2017) reported, in part:

Those with the greatest resources exercise the greatest responsibility. At the moment, there is a vacuum of leadership on the refugee question. … But in the main, the wealthiest countries in the world, led by the United States, are turning their backs on the problem, and that is very dangerous.

Though I live in the midst of the U.S. heartland, in a rather frigid and less culturally diverse section of the country, I am reminded of the extent of the refugee crisis in our Church and world. Three Somali leaders presented at our Bay Area Community Council meeting last month. We were surprised when we learned that 5,000 Somalis live in our community—about 2.5 percent of the population of our metro area. After several months of planning and one postponement, I am glad that I did not give up in attempting to arrange the Somalis’ presentation. I shared our positive experience with a local pastor. He replied that one of his congregants was producing a plan to ensure that every liturgy would have armed personnel to protect the churchgoers from an armed attack by Somalis, as one church in the Twin Cities has done. “Ugh,” I thought to myself. We have a long way to go.

National Migration Week 2018 Toolkit | Image courtesy USCCB (used with permission)

National Migration Week 2018 Toolkit | Image courtesy USCCB (used with permission)

2018 will be a very challenging year for the Church’s priority to “welcome the stranger.”

  • The security of 800,000 immigrant young people is threatened by a March deadline for Congress to regularize their status.
  • The president has cut the ceiling on refugees to be admitted to our country from 100,000 to 45,000 people.
  • Salvadorans, Haitans, and Nicaraguans given temporary permission to live in the U.S. following natural disasters in their countries have been told (or may be told in the very near future) that their welcome is over.

Our Church’s National Migration Week (January 7-13, 2018) resource toolkit offers some suggestions on how we can begin to change the tenor in our communities in an attempt to foster real communities of “encounter” with “the other.”

DISCLAIMER: This blog represents Br. Herro’s own opinions and experiences. It does not represent an official position or opinion of St. Norbert Abbey or of any other Norbertine.

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