Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

February 19-25, 2016

On Wednesday, Abbot Alan Berndt died peacefully in our infirmary at the age of 95. Abbot Alan recently transferred his stability to our monastery after the closing of his former monastery, Blue Cloud Abbey. Read more here, including the funeral arrangements:

On Wednesdays throughout the month of March we are dedicating a special hour of prayer focused on the election of our Archabbot on June 2. From 3 to 4 p.m. (Central Time) we will have Eucharistic Adoration in the Archabbey Church. Please consider uniting with us in prayer wherever you may find yourself for this special intention. And join us on the Hill if you will be in the area.

This Wednesday, Abbot Vincent Bataille, the Abbot President of our Swiss-American Congregation and a monk of Marmion Abbey, spoke to our community and encouraged us in our preparations in electing a new archabbot.

Two blog posts this week from Br. Francis, reflections on some of the weekly readings:

Last weekend we hosted the National Players (for the 65th time out of their 67 years touring!). They performed "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "A Tale of Two Cities" in our St. Bede Theater.

Some excerpts of notes from Fr. Adrian's homilies who served as Mass heb this week:

  • Sunday: Faith is already partly innate. Abraham had a special ability with his faith-he was exceptionally ready to listen to God. He had to learn over time what an increase in faith meant by practicing his faith. This is true for us. What faith really amounts to is a thorough prayer becoming God's friend. Abraham believed in God despite how things looked, including having a child with Sarah at such an advanced age. Animals cut in two symbolized the people's commitment and covenant saying that if they break the covenant they should become like the slain animals. As far as God is concerned, Abraham does not need to walk between these animals because his faith is pure. Jesus' companions, too, fall into a deep sleep and arise to a command from God: "This is my beloved son, listen to him." Our job is to fight off the sleep, to stay awake and see what God wants us to see-often times seeing his face in those around us. To see God we must climb the steep incline we call life. This is exercised through faith, prayer and love.

  • Monday, Chair of St. Peter: Thomas Merton used a word when something seemed to fit well or made sense: solid. Jesus calls Peter's witness "solid", the rock. How does Peter come to this truth of who Jesus is? Prayer. Clearly Peter has been listening. Listening to God is what prayer is. We best pay attention to our prayer life and listening in prayer so that we may be solid members of the Church. Pope Francis encourages us to have a solid heart of discernment. As we elect a new Abbot, he must be someone who listens.

  • Tuesday: As monks we come to know day by day the importance of obedience and how it helps us with our conversion. Obedience leads to understanding. Further, St. Benedict says that those who love Christ above all else, obedience comes naturally. Obedience without love is not possible; it's slavery. Obedience is predicated on love, charity. We have examples in our monastic community of those who live with awareness, kindness, forgiveness, mercy and charity. We can be good examples for one another of obedience.

  • Wednesday: Proud men cannot live together. They may live under the same roof, but they don't live together. They fall prey to the root of sin and the antithesis of love: pride. It's no wonder the longest chapter in the Rule is on humility. It call us to live as servants to all. Humility is an interior disposition that manifests itself outwardly in how we treat others. If we look to each other's interests, we, in the monastery, will live together as brothers in community. Guide our hearts to fear your name, O Lord.

  • Friday: The stone rejected by the builders is foreshadowed in Joseph in our Genesis reading. He is loved and doted on by his father. If Joseph is a type of Christ in a Christian reading of the text, we might be the brothers in the text. Sometimes we can drive others away in our contempt for them when we are called to compassion and tolerance. As monks and Christians we are called to carry each other's burdens. Who of us has not needed the grace of tolerance? Mercy? Compassion? When we are tempted to grumble about our own misfortunes or the fortunes others have, let us be grateful for what we do have. Love of God and love of neighbor: this is important for us as we continue learning to love our brothers.

For your continued Lenten reflection, a reading and intercession from this past week:

Isaiah 30: 15, 18:

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,

    "In returning and rest you shall be saved;

    in quietness and in trust shall be your strength."

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you;

    therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.

For the Lord is a God of justice;

    blessed are all those who wait for him.

Thursday, Lauds, Weeks 2/4:

"That by prayer, fasting and mercy, our faith stand firm, our devotion abide, and our virtue endure." Let us pray to the Lord.

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.