We were on retreat this week. Here is a rundown of our retreat.
Archbishop Peter Sartain was supposed to give our retreat, but due
to some health needs, he was unable to be here this week. Archabbot
Justin and Father Prior Kurt rounded up some of our troops.
We reflected on vows on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: obedience
(Fathers Gavin and Harry), stability (Brother Jacob and Father
Raymond) and conversatio (Fathers Warren and Subprior
On Thursday, we viewed and had a discussion on the movie "Of Gods
and Men," a film about the monastery of Tibhirine in Algeria.
Brother Francis wrapped up the conferences with a reflection on
"Gratitude for Our Vocation as a Monk of Saint Meinrad" on
Here are some nuggets of wisdom gleaned from the
"'Not my will but thy will be done.' These words are
intoxicating and transform us into the likeness of Jesus
"Sometimes we are the 'other' to be respected, served and loved.
It is not all give or all take. It is mutual."
"We must find the deep part of ourselves, and we must find that
part of ourselves over and over again. Obedience to self is
important for monks."
"Keeping to the monastic way of life, regardless of where we
are, is important for our lives to take fruit."
"Part of the challenge of stability is to accept one another as
we are. We do this well when we find a sense of growing stability
"We need to depend on each other and rely on each other.
Conversatio binds us together and makes us into the School
of the Lord's service."
"Christ comes to full stature in us when we are true to
ourselves. We must moved toward Christ, deeply centered in the
hermitage of our hearts where we find grace."
"The person with whom we struggle might be the source of grace
for our conversion."
"What are you doing here (as a monk)? Entering into this
question leads to a deep sense of gratitude."
"Sometimes the way forward in the spiritual life is the way
backward, where we remember our chosenness and our call."
We closed the retreat with Eucharist on Friday, where we also
renewed our vows.
We launched our latest podcast with thoughts from Archabbot
Justin on his resignation and the preparation for the election of a
new archabbot (June 2). Here is a link to the podcast.
As arranged by the Task Force, we will have our two final
meetings in preparation for the abbatial election tonight (Friday,
May 27) at 7:30 and tomorrow morning (Saturday, May 28) at
Finally, a historical note: last year today, May 27 (it was a
Wednesday), was our formal day of transition from our monastery to
St. Anselm and Benet halls. Pray for us as we prepare for a smooth
return in the coming monks. And pray for us that we are open to the
Holy Spirit these next several days in prayerful preparation for
the abbatial election.