Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

December 11-17, 2015

This past weekend, Fr. Harry gave the annual December retreat for oblates. Br. Lorenzo snapped some photos during the weekend. Four oblates made their final oblation. Here are Br. Lorenzo's photos from the weekend.

Notes from Fr. Adrian's homily from the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe:

We have the tendency to place saints on a high pedestal, but it is important to understand the flesh and blood of the saints. They have their own strengths and limitations. Mary was able to grow to a maturity in her spirituality to let go of things in the world. She wrestled with the Word like we wrestle with the Word.

She had fear and the angel calmed her by saying, "Be not afraid!" We, like Mary, have questions. We receive the Word, though we may not fully understand it. Out of receptivity and trust, like Mary, then, we act. She becomes a disciple. We are called to be disciples.

On Sunday, at the beginning of our Eucharistic celebration, we ceremoniously opened our Holy Door of Mercy. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis gave us the great honor of being a pilgrimage site during the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Here is more on the Year of Mercy from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis:

Our press release:

Br. Lorenzo's photos of the ceremony:

Br. Francis' blog post about Saint Meinrad's Holy Door of Mercy

Notes from Fr. Eugene's homilies as Mass heb this week:

Sunday: I think Advent is like meeting Jesus again for the first time. Liturgically and symbolically, we go through this re-meeting every year. Zephaniah admonishes us to rejoice, as does St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians. When we look at the news, doesn't it seem strange to rejoice?

Where is Jesus in all this mess? What should we do? That's what the people asked John the Baptist. He answered, "Repent!" We wait; we wait patiently for the coming of our Lord. Wherever there is suffering, there you will find the Messiah.

The Church has an answer, too: the corporal and spiritual works for mercy. We find in the Rule an answer: Never despair of God's mercy. (RB 4:74) Our real sin is failure to do good. Pope Francis is convinced that mercy will help us better the world.

For the world to change for the better - we don't need any more theories, theologies and philosophies. We need people of all kinds to put the works of mercy into practice here and now. Jesus said, "Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy." Now that's something to rejoice about.

Monday: The questions Jesus is often asked are questions of fact, and He turns the question into a question of faith. We often address questions of faith with answers of fact. This is the temptation we ask to be delivered from in the Lord's prayer. What kind of questions are we asking?

Tuesday: There are a variety of ways of understanding scripture. Let's look at today's Gospel theme of obedience as radical listening. St. Benedict's Rule opens with radical listening. Righteousness is rooted in obedience. Obedience is rooted in listening. With those who have ears to hear, may they listen.

Wednesday: Jesus scandalized people because He was who He said He was. He wasn't what the people expected in a Messiah. He came as a servant and not as some powerful royalty. Should we be a scandal? If we were who we say we are, we might be a scandal. Pope Francis does a good job at being a scandal through his discipleship. We don't like being a scandal, but Jesus encourages us otherwise.

Thursday: It is easy based on routine to fall into the habit that, at daily Mass, the quicker we get to Communion the better. However, the liturgy is one of the Church's tools for teaching. In Advent, we've heard from many prophets to have confidence, to hold fast and to be patient in waiting for the Messiah. The Gospels then give us a taste of what it will be like with the Messiah present. Look at the women in today's genealogy of Jesus: they are tough and followed God's will. We are in for something we weren't expecting.

On Wednesday, during Vespers, Archabbot Justin presided as we included an Anointing of the Sick for several of our confreres. Please pray for our ill and aging confreres and for those who take care of them, especially our infirmary staff.

Monastery Upgrade Project Update: The mild weather has allowed good progress on the addition to the infirmary and the repair of the refectory roof. The infirmary addition is completely framed and enclosed to protect it from the elements. The refectory roof has had new insulation sprayed in and exterior sheathing added, and the new copper external roofing is being installed. All of this, in advance of any winter weather.

We start the "O" Antiphons today. Read more about Praying the "O" Antiphons at Br. Francis' blog.

To close: At dinner we have been reading daily Advent reflections from Pope Francis. Paraphrased notes based on Tuesday's reading:

It is not our own righteousness that saves us, but it is God's grace. When we recognize our weaknesses and sin, we recognize more and more the grace of God working in our lives.

Each day the monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey write another page in the long history of Benedictine monks throughout the world. Here are recent events chronicled at Saint Meinrad.