Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

December 4-10, 2015

We hosted, in collaboration with St. Luke Institute, over 150 women and men religious and diocesan priests and personnel for a human formation conference on celibacy. They joined us for most of our liturgies. See this link for an overview of the conference:

We plan to continue this formation conference collaboration with St. Luke biennually. Tentatively, the next conference will be in 2017 with the proposed topic: Human Formation in a Multicultural Context.

Here are some excerpts from Fr. Adrian's homilies:

Sunday: John the Baptist was chosen to herald an unthinkable event. It was a mind-blowing act of divinity coming among our humanity. It seems, at our present time, our time is anything but straight paths. Look at our media. It is quite easy to take for granted the Advent message because of the messages of despair with which we are constantly bombarded.

In Advent and at our Eucharist and in our sacraments, God reaches out with his message of peace, peace in his Son through the gift of prayer by his Holy Spirit. A diet high in the distressing message of the news only leads to our increased stress and insecurity. Limit your news intake, and instead, turn to the Good News of prayer where Christ is connected to us in an eternal covenant, even to the end of the age in a crumbling world.

We can only find the Spirit in deep, abiding, reflective, calm and silent prayer. Faith illumined by the grace of wisdom and understanding placed in Christ can elevate us in our deep prayer to the light of God so we can be light for others. Serious Christians walk by faith in a world plagued by bad news. They herald the Good News.

Thursday: God owes us nothing. We can't take the Kingdom of God as if it's owed to us. The Kingdom of God is a gift; it is grace. And so it must be received. Jesus wants us to be where He is, and that's as forgiveness and mercy. We can then ponder how we can be instruments of mercy as a pure gift -- the way God does it -- without prejudice and  bias. Let us let go of our attachments to freely love others and be open to God's grace. Nothing that we have been given by God is intended for us alone.

Archbishop Tobin of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis presented at the celibacy conference. He also presided at our Mass Monday morning on the feast of St. Ambrose. Some notes from his homily:

The people who brought the sick man to Jesus had survival skills to get their friend to Jesus. Archbishop Tobin shared some creative ideas to survive long lines in Italy. The Gospel announces the possibility of our encounter: to see the face of Jesus. Pope Francis is using a technique to help us see the face of Christ. He is removing the tile from the roofs by initiating this extraordinary jubilee year of mercy. Let us pray that our experience of mercy this year will allow us to use our ingenuity to remove the tiles.

From Archabbot Justin's homily, Immaculate Conception:

God who is faced with a gravity of sin has as his opening act the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Mary, like all descendants of David, had her free will and she had to weigh many outcomes of the angel's question. Martin Luther wrote of her:

Oh, how simple and pure a heart was hers, how strange a soul was this! What great things are hidden here under this lowly exterior! How many came in contact with her, talked, and ate and drank with her, who perhaps despised her and counted her but a common, poor, and simple village maiden, and who, had they known, would have fled from her in terror. (Martin Luther, The Magnificat, 1521)

She became rightly what we name her in the Salve Regina: Mater Misericordiae, Mother of Mercy. She is the perfect mirror of her Son, who taking flesh became mercy in our wounded world. Today's feast takes a look back in a kind of time warp. The fullness of God's mercy reached back to save Mary from the stain of sin. The arm of God can reach back to heal our wounded hearts.

In this jubilee year of mercy, Mary calls us to look at our longings and hopes and look at the mercy of God square in the face. We bear the wound of sin in our human nature. No one can fool us quite like we can fool ourselves. The mercy of this jubilee year calls us back to that mercy which called us to religious life and priesthood and renews in us our missionary work of Mary. God's mercy welcomes all refugees of sin so the world can become what it was created to be.

On Wednesday, Fr. Prior Kurt gave the community an advance conference with a focus on the Sacrament of Reconciliation and preparing our hearts as we journey through Advent and the Extraordinary Jubilee year of Mercy.

Br. Matthew returns for a couple weeks from his studies in Toronto.

Br. Zachary helped one of our coworkers, Agnes Kovacs, with some formation for our coworkers. Agnes is creating some opportunities for our coworkers to learn more about the mission of the Archabbey. The first formation consisted of tours of the Archabbey Church. Two tours were offered in November and two on Thursday. George Hubbard, who works in the choir department, assisted by showing off some features of the organ and playing the organ.

From Lauds, Thursday morning. Perhaps a helpful petition in a world filled oftentimes with distressing messages: For the wisdom to judge beyond appearance and recognize the hidden ways of the Spirit.

Come, Lord Jesus!

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.