Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

June 2015: June 20-26

Last weekend, Fr. Vincent gave a retreat to several guests. The topic: "Where Sin Increased (Romans 5:20): The Seven Big Ones."

And, this week, Br. Maurus gave a midweek retreat titled "Pray Your Way to Happiness."

The second conference of "One Bread, One Cup" for high school youth and their teachers and youth ministers starts today. The college interns and staff have been working hard to prepare for another joy-filled, spirit-filled and intellectually stimulating conference.

Last Friday afternoon, the monastery hosted a "Thank You" luncheon at the UnStable for the Physical Facilities and Housekeeping crews for their top-notch service in helping us move out of the monastery and their preparations of our current housing. Fr. Prior Kurt, Br. Martin, Nov. Thomas and Nov. Timothy helped with the pizza preparation and serving.

Congratulations are in order for our Fr. Columba, who received the Liturgical Institute's Spiritus Liturgiae Award for his work in Gregorian Chant. Staff from the Institute, of the University of St. Mary of the Lake, were here this week to interview Fr. Columba on video. Coincidentally, he is unable attend the award ceremony at the Liturgical Institute's Symposium at USML because the day of the event he will be presenting a chant workshop here on campus at our Guest House and Retreat Center.

Fr. Adrian shared some of these insights in his homilies this week:

Sunday: Nature is abundantly full of mystery, and we are part of that mystery. When we discover a divine encounter, we realize the need of faith. Nature points to its creator and we yearn to learn more about beauty and our creator. Consider your new self to be alive in Christ, and when you find yourself in fear turn to prayer.

Monday: Many of us will struggle under the burden of perfection. And when we cannot attain perfection and flawlessness, we project that frustration on others. We have to instead surrender. It's a matter of opening our hearts to what God has to teach us. We have to unlearn what love means in order to learn who love is.

Tuesday: Jesus is doing the hard work in the Gospel of preparing us for our mission to live in him and live the Gospel. Rather than using words to proclaim the Gospel, Jesus urges his disciples to spread the Gospel through loving actions.

Wednesday (Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist): As forerunner of the Messiah, John was used by God to pave the way for the Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ. John's voice continues to reverberate in the Church, calling us to repent, turn and be reconciled. The spiritual life begins with an encounter with the mystery of God and continues daily through careful listening and attentive watching. Our spiritual lives take place in the present moments of every day. (Fr. Prior Kurt was the principal celebrant at Mass today, and we enjoyed colloquium (talking) at dinner this evening.)

Thursday: Jesus warns us and encourages us in today's Gospel to not become complacent in our faith. It is nothing in us that saves us except Christ alone acting in us. Christ knows the true us, and he  want us to discover our true selves in him. We do this through prayer and a mutual coming to know Christ and he us.

We are finding the optimism in our temporary relocation out of the monastery. For instance, Br. Francis recently recorded the audio of some frogs singing back and forth to one another between courtyards. Have a read and a listen at his blog.

During our table reading last night, we read from the Holy Rule, Chapter 19. Br. Francis mentions that chapter in his write-up in America magazine about the punctuation of our daily lives with prayer.

In closing this week:

At Vigils this week, we heard one morning an excerpt from the writing of Thomas Merton, OCSO. He wrote, "The monk who ceases to ask himself why he came to the monastery perhaps ceases to be a monk." The same can be asked by all people in all walks of life: "Where is God in all of this?", as Br. Francis posed in his America magazine write-up.

Fr. Adrian gave us practical advice this week to answer that question daily: "Through careful listening and attentive watching."  Additionally, St. Benedict lends us instruction: "Let us open our eyes to the deifying light, let us hear with attentive ears the warning which the divine voice cries daily to us, 'Today if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.' (Ps. 95:8)."

This, then, we hope is some encouragement for you, too, to not grow weary in seeking God daily in your prayer and work and to grow patiently day-by-day through God's grace.

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.