Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

May 20-26, 2016

We were on retreat this week. Here is a rundown of our retreat. Archbishop Peter Sartain was supposed to give our retreat, but due to some health needs, he was unable to be here this week. Archabbot Justin and Father Prior Kurt rounded up some of our troops.

We reflected on vows on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: obedience (Fathers Gavin and Harry), stability (Brother Jacob and Father Raymond) and conversatio (Fathers Warren and Subprior Guerric).

On Thursday, we viewed and had a discussion on the movie "Of Gods and Men," a film about the monastery of Tibhirine in Algeria.

Brother Francis wrapped up the conferences with a reflection on "Gratitude for Our Vocation as a Monk of Saint Meinrad" on Friday.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom gleaned from the conferences:

"'Not my will but thy will be done.' These words are intoxicating and transform us into the likeness of Jesus himself."

"Sometimes we are the 'other' to be respected, served and loved. It is not all give or all take. It is mutual."

"We must find the deep part of ourselves, and we must find that part of ourselves over and over again. Obedience to self is important for monks."

"Keeping to the monastic way of life, regardless of where we are, is important for our lives to take fruit."

"Part of the challenge of stability is to accept one another as we are. We do this well when we find a sense of growing stability in ourselves."

"We need to depend on each other and rely on each other. Conversatio binds us together and makes us into the School of the Lord's service."

"Christ comes to full stature in us when we are true to ourselves. We must moved toward Christ, deeply centered in the hermitage of our hearts where we find grace."

"The person with whom we struggle might be the source of grace for our conversion."

"What are you doing here (as a monk)? Entering into this question leads to a deep sense of gratitude."

"Sometimes the way forward in the spiritual life is the way backward, where we remember our chosenness and our call."

We closed the retreat with Eucharist on Friday, where we also renewed our vows.

We launched our latest podcast with thoughts from Archabbot Justin on his resignation and the preparation for the election of a new archabbot (June 2). Here is a link to the podcast.

As arranged by the Task Force, we will have our two final meetings in preparation for the abbatial election tonight (Friday, May 27) at 7:30 and tomorrow morning (Saturday, May 28) at 9:00.

Finally, a historical note: last year today, May 27 (it was a Wednesday), was our formal day of transition from our monastery to St. Anselm and Benet halls. Pray for us as we prepare for a smooth return in the coming monks. And pray for us that we are open to the Holy Spirit these next several days in prayerful preparation for the abbatial election.

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.