Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

October 16-22, 2015

On Friday (memorial of St. Gaul), Fr. Thomas shared in his homily: It is said that St. Gaul was approached by a bear in the woods, and St. Gaul gave it a piece of bread. The bear went away and brought back a stack of sticks for a fire. It is said this bear accompanied Gaul throughout his life as a companion.

Why did this bear not attack Gaul? It is said animals can sense the goodness of a person.  God does the same thing and more. He knows our goodness, our thoughts and our weaknesses. Through prayer and spending time with God, we can grow in holiness and goodness. God sees our goodness and loves us all the same.

Archabbot Justin gave a retreat for the Oblate Council last weekend. This was a welcomed change of pace to their typical busy meetings.

Some excerpts from Fr. Adrian's homilies this week:

Sunday: God desires to come into this world despite the mess we have made of it. He became one of us -- lowly even -- a servant and a slave, as the Gospel has it. We, too, have to be slaves and carry our cross in service of others.

We are people of ambition. Without ambition, there would have been no Israel or other marvels, art and inventions of the world. Ambition is a gift and God redirects our ambition toward the service of many. Disciples of Jesus should strive toward servitude and not glory.

Monday, John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues: John de Brébeuf reminds us of the extraordinary generosity of the saints. John de Brébeuf knew he had to share his treasures with the least in the world. This calls us to task about our modern inconveniences -- that could be complaining about food, water not being available in the morning or the power going out for a short time. We can look to our flaws and ask God to strengthen us in our weaknesses.

Fr. Eugene has been giving a retreat to a group of priests this week. It has been nice to have many of them concelebrate Mass with us.

Fr. Jeremy, Fr. Harry, Br. John Mark, Br. Cassian (Subiaco Abbey), Br. Stephen, Br. James, Br. William, Nov. Timothy, Nov. Peter, Nov. Jonathan, Nov. Thomas and Candidate Joshua traveled to Washington, Indiana, to give a chant program to a crowd of over 100 folks at their public library. Here is a link to one of our many chants that night:

Fr. Macario from Conception Abbey, ordained last year, spent a few days here with us and presided and preached at Mass on Wednesday. He shared in his homily: The truth hurts. Today and yesterday, we hear a truth of vigilance and watchfulness. Sometimes we think we are unstoppable and invincible. Today's Gospel reminds us that we will have to make an account for our actions. Let us continue preparing ourselves to see our Lord face to face in all his glory and wonder.

On Wednesday, Archabbot Justin gave an Abbot's Conference to our monastic community. Here are some notes from the conference -- with the theme about technology:

In Chapter 66, we read that the Rule should be read regularly to the community. Some of the rules are outdated. However, we are constantly seeking ways to filter present ways of life through the Rule. 

Values, prudence and honesty shape our use of technology. Many of the vices related to social media, such as addiction to games, TV shows, movies and images, are privatized vices only viewed by God.

Restraint of speech, as noted in Chapter 6 of the Rule, is helpful in our perspective of social media. Facebook, Twitter and email have created means that can tempt us to participate in idle chatter.

Chapter 34: A need is a luxury you have had twice. When we have something more than once, we think we need it regularly. Technology is also a temptation for us to invite envy into our lives. "So-and-so has this device. Shouldn't I?"

Devices can get a hold of our willpower and slowly strangle it to the point that we cannot tell a need from a want.

Who is our true community? If Facebook or social media substitute, even minimally, for fraternity, we've broken the bonds of community.

Let us remember to prefer nothing to Christ.

The last line is a good note on which to end this week's About the House. Blessings!

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.