About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“Church officials frequently asked Tomás Luis de Victoria for his opinion on cathedral appointments because of his fame and knowledge. He was faithful to his position as convent organist even after his professional debut as an organist, and never accepted any extra pay for being a chapelmaster. Held in great esteem, his contract allowed him frequent travel away from the convent, and he attended Palestrina's funeral (in Rome) in 1594.”
— Dr. Robert Stevenson, 1961 (mod.)

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In Christ there is no East or West, in Him no North or South
published 4 September 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

t the seminary for late vocation men where I teach we have many seminarians from countries where the US was once in enmity. Even though the communist government allows the Churches in such countries to be open it is almost impossible for the seminarians to get ordained because of “regulations.” They say, however, that some of the spies, who attend Mass every Sunday to make sure the priest doesn’t say anything political, eventually convert.

So, among these foreign seminarians are Cistercian monks. I am putting together an anthology of spiritual writings from the classics and working on St. Bernard, twelfth century famous Cistercian. And I am thinking that paragraphs like this sound so overly emotional to 21st century minds. This comes from St. Bernard’s commentary on the Song of Songs and is a reflection on the ointments mentioned in this lush love poem of the Old Testament:

“The spices of this second ointment, on the contrary, are not produced on our earth at all, we seek to gain them for ourselves from afar. I mean that all that is good, everything that is perfect, is given us from above; it comes down from the Father of all light. For this ointment is made from the gifts of God bestowed on the human race. Happy the man who makes it his business to gather these carefully for himself and keep them in mind with due thanksgiving. When they shall have been pounded and refined in the heart’s receptacle with the pestle of frequent meditation, all of them fused together in the fire of holy desire, and finally enriched with the oil of gladness, you will have an ointment more excellent than the former, and far more precious.”

Just as I was excerpting this, a friend, who is helping tutor one of these ,comes to tell me how a bishop will come from his country will come to ordain him here and he, the seminarian monk, is simply overflowing with joy from so many years of yearning finally to be a priest and say his first Mass – true son of St. Bernard, true lover of Jesus the Bridegroom.

Ah, Jesus, melt our hearts hardened by cynicism from years of sufferings in the Church!

Read more blog entries by Dr. Ronda by visiting RONDAVIEW. Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.