Benedictine Sisters and Brothers of Ray Of Hope Church
Another wonderful gift of God to Ray Of Hope Church is the option of living as
a Professed Sister, or a Professed Brother in the Religious Life of your
choice. Currently we have Br. Benedict who publically professed the three
Benedictine Solemn Vows of Obedience, Stability, and Conversion Of Life on June
15 of 1996. Notice we do not require any vow that restricts one's sexual
life.We firmly believe that each person
is called by God to fully live out the sexual orientation and gender expression
God has given them.Therefore, we expect
some of our future Benedictines might be married to persons of any gender, some
might remain single and celibate, and some might remain single and not celibate
but sexually active according to their orientation.The vows we require are all encompassing and
provide a strong scaffold on which to build a healthy life of service in the
St. Benedict guided the church toward
a great devotion for the worship of God in a community setting where all
persons are equal.He also encouraged
the church to come together for worship many times a day.Some churches today in fact have at least one
worship event every day of the week.Some Benedictine churches have as many as eight public worship events
every day of the year.One influence of
this communal worship that is evident at a Ray Of Hope Church worship event is
the number of persons who have leadership roles during the event.We endeavor to include as many of the persons
in attendance as we can in assisting to lead and present the worship
Additionally, Benedictine Life lends
itself particularly well to the charism of public Ministry at Ray Of Hope
Church. St. Benedict brought to the Church a disciplined way of life where the
Christian balances three axioms: Prayer, Study, and Labor. Benedictine
Christians will find their spirituality to be very helpful when they are in
Vocational Ministry at Ray Of Hope Church due to the fact that each
Clergyperson has to be motivated and disciplined to do the work of God on their
own. Our Clergy have to be so radically in love with Christ that they desire to
do everything required of them (all the works of leading the Body Of Christ)
with enthusiasm. Those interested in Benedictine Life should express their
interest in becoming a Benedictine Sister or a Benedictine Brother. One can be
a Benedictine Sister or Brother without being "Clergy."
St. Benedict was the father of Western Monasticism. He
was born in Nursia, Italy, in 480. Beginning in 520, he founded twelve
monasteries in the region of Subiaco. The foundation at Monte Cassino (529)
became the cradle of his Order. His twin sister was St. Scholastica. Benedict
died March 21, 542 at Monte Cassino.St.
Scholastica died February 10, 543 at Monte Cassino.
St. Benedict had a profound veneration for the Holy Cross
and for our Savior Crucified. In virtue of the Sign of the Cross he wrought
many miracles and Christ exercised great power over the
spirits of darkness through St. Benedict's faith.
In consequence of the great veneration in which St.
Benedict was held from the early middle ages, it followed that a medal was
The following is an introduction to the Saint Benedict Medal as has been
traditionally used by the Order of Saint Benedict.
Saint Benedict Medal
Believers have worn the medal as a reminder that the
Christian has exceptional powers against the demons of Hell in the Name of
The Medal of Saint Benedict is one of the Sacramentals
of the Church. A Sacramental is a symbol that is used to remind the Christian
of a doctrine of faith. In this case the doctrine is "Greater is He who
is in you than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4). The medal of Saint
Benedict also reminds the person wearing it that many thousands of women and
men have lived their Christian lives following the example of St. Benedict
since the 5th Century. The Church has been deeply enriched by Benedictines in
all cultures and times, and even in many denominations of the Church of Jesus
The front of the
medal shows St. Benedict holding a cross in one hand and the book of his Rule
for monastic communities in the other.
Flanking him on
each side are the words: Crux S. Patris Benedicti
(The Cross of the
Holy Father Benedict).
Below his feet are these words: Ex S M Casino
MDCCCLXXX (From the Holy Mount of Cassino, 1880). On that date , Monte
Cassino was given the exclusive right to produce this medal.
Inscribed in the circle surrounding Benedict are the words:
Ejus in obitu nostro presentia muniamur
(May his presence protect us in the hour of death).
The other side of the medal is where the real
exorcistic force reveals itself. In the center is the Cross. Benedict
loved the Cross and used it to drive away demons.
The vertical beam of the Cross has five
letters: C.S.S.M.L., meaning
Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux (May the holy Cross be for
me a light).
The horizontal beam of the Cross also has five
letters: N.D.S.M.D., meaning Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux (Let not
the dragon be my guide).
The four large letters at the angles of the
Cross: C S P B stand for
Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti (The Cross of the
Holy Father Benedict).
Encircling the Cross in a circle around the right
margin are these letters:
V.R.S.N.S.M.V., meaning Vade retro Satana; nunquam
suade mihi vana (Begone Satan! Suggest not to me thy vain things).
Around the left margin of the circle are these
letters: S.M.Q.L.I.V.B., meaning Sunt mala quae libas; ipse venena
bibas (The drink you offer is evil; drink that poison yourself).
At the top of the circle is the
word PAX (Peace).
Scholastica is the twin sister of St. Benedict.
She was also called of God and dedicated her adult life
to serving God in Religious Life.It
is likely that she lived in a hermitage with one or two other religious women
in a cluster of houses near the place where there is an ancient church named
after her at the base of Mount Cassino.It is well documented that once a year she would go and visit her
brother at a place near the abbey.They would spend the day worshiping God together, discussing
Scripture, and issues of the day.It
is also well documented on one of their visits, which in fact would be their
last visit, they enjoyed supper and it was getting late.Some have suggested Scholastica sensed her
death was nearing, but at any rate, she requested her brother to stay
longer.He was concerned that this
would cause him to break his own rule for the monastery.Scholastica close her eyes and prayed and
suddenly there was such a wild storm that it would have been death defying
for her brother to leave.It is well documented that he asked; "What
have you done? ", and she replied according to the writings of St. Gregory, "I
asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So
now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery. "Unable to survive the storm if he tried to
pass through it, they spent the night together and continued their devotion
and study.According to St. Gregory's Dialogues, it was three days later
that Benedict watched his sister's soul leaving the earth and ascending to
Paradise in the form of a white shining dove.(read more of this testimony here: Gregory the Great.Dialogues,
Book 2, Chapter 34).Benedict had her
body brought to the abbey and laid it in a tomb he had prepared for
himself.He was later buried next to
and St. Benedict
are twin brother
and sister.They are the inspiration
and men all over the world from
We pray and ask
Our Lord Jesus to send us men and women servants who will serve through Ray
Of Hope Church as Benedictine men and Benedictine women in Christ.
Saint Francis Of Assisi
St. Francis lived from 1182 A.D. until 1226 A.D.. St. Francis is considered
to be a real friend of the GLBTQS Community. He was a radical reformer who
listened and followed the Holy Spirit. Francis knew and believed that
everyone was called to the free gift of Salvation in Christ. Francis was
totally convinced that God shows no partiality. "But in every nation
whoever fears God and works righteousness is accepted by God." (Acts
Francis was a perfect example of what Jesus meant when He said: "The one
who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of their heart will flow
rivers of living water." (John7:38) Francis was a flowing fountain of
God's Love. What was his secret? Simply put, Francis loved Jesus so much that
Christ was able to live through Francis. We look to St. Francis as our role
model on how to accept and welcome all people in the Name of Jesus. It is
true that many so-called "Christians" will not welcome us these
days because of their pre-conceived ideas about our sexual orientations.
Simply put, if the sexual orientation is different than their own, (very
narrow-minded and poor presentations of heterosexuality - very unlike true
and healthy Heterosexuality) it is forbidden, and the person is cast out.
In Christ, our response to this is: Though we may not be welcome in many
communities today, everyone, absolutely everyone is welcome in our community.
Francis showed the Church that by the power of Christ all things are
possible. Francis showed the world that in God everyone is loved and equal.
We thank God Almighty for St. Francis, and we ask the Holy Spirit to inspire
us to follow his example of radical love for Jesus and radical yes to
everyone who comes to us seeking Christ Jesus.
It is our hope that Ray Of Hope Church will be gifted with Franciscan Sisters
and Brothers someday in the future when the Lord Jesus calls women and men to
this charismatic vocation.
St. Clare of
Saint Clare of Assisi (July 16, 1194 to August 11, 1253) is considered
co-founder of the Franciscan Family. In 1211, after hearing Francis preach a
series of Lenten sermons in San Rufino, Clare began to meet with Francis to
discuss her vocation. They discussed the importance and beauty of chosen
poverty to be free in spirit to concentrate on the Gospel.They also decided caring for the poor and
the sick was more important than the wealthy lives their parents had provided
for them.Following the powerful call
of the Holy Spirit, on March 28, 1211 she left her father's house to receive
her habit from Francis in the Porziuncola on Palm Sunday evening.Basically, Clare decided to elope, not with
the young man her family had chosen for her, but to Jesus.It is well documented that she arrived
dressed in her finest dress and jewelry.Francis and his assembled brothers and friends lit candles and sang psalms.Clare removed her fine clothing and
jewelry, put on the rough habit of poverty and sandals.Francis himself cut off Clare's beautiful
long hair as she renounced the wealth and lure of the world and embraced the
freedom of the Word of God.Francis
arranged for her to stay in a women's Benedictine monastery where she would
learn the monastic way with other women.After her time there she opened the first Franciscan monastery for
Clare went to
live a cloistered life in San Dominano. Women soon joined her and a new form
of Religious Life was started.Soon,
her blood sister, Agnes joined her too.Her parents were furious, to say the least.After her father's death, even Clare's own
mother would join her.Her monastic
rule was written for the Order of Poor Ladies, and is thought to be the first
known monastic rule to be written by a woman.Franciscan women live in communities all over the world.Some Franciscan women live in cloistered
monasteries and some live in apartment houses among the poor, some are
teachers, some are doctors, some are social workers, some are volunteers in
their cities.All of them, whether
they go by the name of Poor Clares or Fransican Sisters live that same charism
of Christ living through them and reaching out to everyone around them.It may come as a surprise to our readers
that there are Franciscan men and Franciscan women in many different
denominations of Christianity, not just Roman Catholicism.
death, his body was brought to San Dominano so Clare could say goodbye to
Clare died on
August 11, 1253, shortly after receiving a Bull from Pope Innocent IV
granting her and her sisters the Privilege of Poverty. She was canonized in
1255, and her feast day is August 11. In 1958 Pope Pius XII proclaimed St.
Clare the patron saint of television.
St. Clare and St. Francis
holy friends in Christ
the inspiration for Franciscan women
all over the world of every
denomination of Christianity.
We pray and ask Our Lord Jesus to send
us men and women servants who will serve through Ray Of Hope Church as
Franciscan men and Franciscan women in Christ.
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