Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

October 9-15, 2015

Fr. Germain shared the following in his homily on Friday: St. Augustine questioned how pagan philosophers came to know God. They learned about God through the beauty of nature and creation. From a poem Fr. Germain appreciates: "The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings." We must stop and look, Fr. Germain encouraged! We must exclaim and wonder at Christ and we can be as happy as kings because of the wonderful things God has given us.

Monastery cat news: Clawdia (mother cat) and her young  son (Tuffy) have been living in one of our courtyards. They are the source of many laughs and fun stories around the monastery. Recently, Tuffy spent some time away from Clawdia, as Clawdia had surgery and was recovering. Now they are reunited and playing again together.

In the same courtyard are two turtles Br. Francis rescued from renovations in our monastery courtyard. The turtles help us appreciate the slower pace of life.

Several of the novices and juniors have been pressing apples for apple cider. This week on Tuesday we pressed 9 gallons worth of apple cider for our Halloween Party.

Fr. Thomas has been serving as our Mass heb this week. Here are some excerpts from my notes on his homiles:

Sunday: From the Rule of St. Benedict, Fr. Thomas shared a line from the chapter about the abbot: "He must so arrange everything that the strong have something to yearn for and the weak nothing to run from" (Chapter 64, vs. 19). The way of the monastery should be strict enough that a monks is able to follow it all his life. There are weak and strong moments in our life as monks and we transition between the two at regular points in our life.

We require God's abundant grace to follow the precepts and Ten Commandments of the Church. The rich man asks Jesus: "What more can I do?" Jesus challenges the rich man with a challenge specific to him. When the man asks Jesus for a more difficult challenge, Jesus challenges him to take on more radical discipleship. We can't enter the kingdom on our own -- if so, we will walk away sad -- but with God we can enter his kingdom here and now.

This is what we strive for when we are strong. It is practicing the presence of God, constant prayer, purity of heart and the joy of the Gospel. How does Jesus enter the kingdom now? Our individual vocation is the answer for that. A life of virtue helps us put on the man of Christ and enter the kingdom.

Tuesday: There must be something in our nature that calls us to worship -- whether it's God or an idol. Jesus laments that the Pharisees are worshipping rubrics when they have the temple of God right in front of them. Woe to us when we worship something that's not God. The sign of worshipping God might be joy and peace, instead of the anxiety we experience in worshipping an idol. God is the ruler, maker and sustainer of all. Let us worship him.

Thursday, St. Teresa of Jesus: Teresa of Avila's method of prayer was simple at a time when there were many complicated methods of prayer. For her, she found it simple to reflect on Jesus' life. She found grace in attaching her life to the humanity of Jesus. We pray similarly -- chanting the Psalms, reading scripture, praying the rosary, the prayer of quiet. Many seeks us out for spiritual knowledge. Let us offer the simplicity of our lives: being with Jesus and reflecting on his life. That's all we need.

Several monks made the trek to Findlay, Ohio for the annual Northwest Ohio alumni and friend dinner. These dinners (held in several regional locations) are a wonderful occasion for our monastic community (including and on behalf of the Seminary and School of Theology) to celebrate the many wonderful alumni and friends who support us in so many ways.

Plus, we have the opportunity to share some information about our latest project: the monastery infirmary upgrade project. Here is the wonderful video our communication office produced about the project:

A paving crew is making its way around campus repairing some of our roads and also re-paving some heavily worn areas.

Ora et Labora!

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.