Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

March 2015 - Week 4

Fr. Mark gave a retreat to a full house of oblates last weekend. He spoke on "The Presence of God."

We also celebrated last Saturday the Solemnity of St. Benedict. The solemnity was moved out of the Lenten season for most of the Catholic Church, but many Benedictine communities still honor it on this day during Lent. It's a nice way to celebrate the memory of our founder and also a means by which we can have a taste of Easter joy amidst the Lenten season.

Fr. Christian provided the homily for the solemnity while Fr. Archabbot Justin was the principal celebrant. In his homily, Fr. Christian said that on St. Patrick's Day everyone is Irish and on the Solemnity of St. Benedict everyone is Benedictine. He reminded us of many of our Benedictine values and how we can let those flourish in our lives as monks and how we can share those values in the many ministries of which we are a part.

Fr. Adrian served as Mass Heb this week. Here are a couple paraphrases from his homilies this week:

The event of raising Lazarus points to God's glory. The Word that is Christ is not like other sorts of words. The way that is Christ is not a safe way -- we may find struggle, defeat and failure. But when we choose Christ, we choose life and all the joys that brings.

We are the vessels into which God has poured his Spirit. Our lives are about making the Spirit real through our works and prayer.

We are continuing with our book by Archbishop Sartain for table reading at dinner, and a line worth noting in light of Lent seems appropriate to share: "Perseverance is essential for any good deed." A helpful reminder for our Lenten good works.

Fr. Prior Kurt presided at the Solemnity of the Annunciation on Wednesday. Reflecting on the readings and thinking of Mary's saying, "May it be done to me according to your word," (Luke 1:26-38), Fr. Prior closed his homily with "May all good be done unto us according to that same word." We enjoyed colloquium (talking) at dinner.

On Wednesday we had our final Lenten community conference with themes regarding our temporary move out of the monastery for renovations. Br. Martin gave the conference on "Taciturnity: Reclaiming our Space with Silence."

It was an opportunity for us to talk in small groups and as a community about the importance of silence to our way of life and how we will be positively and negatively affected by the temporary living situation during the renovation. We also remarked that our eventual move back into the monastery might provide for us the opportunity to make anew the value of silence and other monastic practices.

Looking for some additional reading, check out Br. Francis' latest blogs:

Holy Tools
Hosanna! Crucify him!

Also, please consider visiting us for some or all of our Holy Week and Easter liturgies. See this link for times and locations.

Br. André is back from culinary school on spring break. He is using part of his break as a retreat, with Fr. Timothy leading the retreat here on the Hill. We enjoyed delicious homemade pancakes from Br. André on Saturday morning for the Solemnity of St. Benedict. I had the chocolate pancakes. Yum!

We are forming a monastic softball team to play in the seminary softball tournament in the middle of April. We've had several practices, and we might take the team name "Bad Habits." Get it?!

From Morning Office this morning, we heard a reflection read by Fr. Barnabas from Cardinal John Newman. An excerpt: We have internal miracles taking place every day. If our course of life is to be moved, it has to be from within through God's grace.

Finally (and I wish I had written down who said this during the week), here is some more inspiration from the monastery heading into Holy Week and Easter: Winter is dissolving into Spring; death is dissolving into life. We discover a new kind of obedience in the Lord through our Lenten good works. Our winter hearts become Easter hearts.

May your winter heart become an Easter heart full of joy and resurrection as we approach the holy feast of Easter.

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.