Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

November 13-19, 2015

Fr. Harry led a retreat last weekend at the Guest House: "Covenant: Our Relationship with God in Christ."

Fr. Joseph has been serving as our Mass heb this week. Here some excerpts from his homilies:

Sunday: With the end of the world there would be no more sickness, terrorism, poverty, abuse, famine or sin. The world is still here and predictions and theories of the end of the world still abound. It is a good idea to see what Scripture says about the end. We read that we don't know the day or the hour, but we should always be prepared.

We should look at our own lives to see how Christ is present every day. We are to watch and wait and suffer until the Lord comes again. God is Lord over this suffering, which ultimately leads to hope and oneness with the Lord. Our lives should be lives of vigilance and preparation. We can be watchful with compassion, love and care.

Tuesday: Two things led to Zacchaeus' salvation: his initiative and God's grace. With his initiative he was actively seeking Jesus. He had a great desire to see the Lord. He was able to see Jesus and welcome him into his home as a guest.

He was blessed with God's grace as a descendent of Abraham, Father of Jesus' lineage. The gift of God's grace and Zacchaeus' repentance led to his salvation. You and I have the gift of grace, and we are called every day to act on that gift for our good and the good of our neighbors.

Thursday: In Jerusalem halfway up Mount Olive is a church named Dominus Flevit: Jesus Wept. The dome looks like a teardrop and the altar overlooks the city of Jerusalem. In the Gospel of St. Luke, we hear about Jesus' lament while looking out over Jerusalem.

The word for peace is shalom, which also is understood as entering into wholeness in relationship. Peace is a blessing on several different levels. We concentrate our prayer on intense areas where peace is needed. Peace starts with us, and we can give peace to others.

Fr. Rupert celebrated his 94th (94th!) birthday on Saturday. He sat at the abbot's table for our evening meal and we enjoyed talking (colloquium) in his honor. We also had some birthday cake, too, for dessert.

Abbot Justin gave an Abbot's Conference on Wednesday afternoon. Some notes from his conference:

He shared that two of our Advent Conferences will focus on mercy this year as the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy approaches.

The Mystery of the Incarnation is what makes Advent happen. We are dealing with a liturgical mindset, not a historical mindset. Advent takes its place as a seasonal completion of what the Incarnation began. In this sense, Advent is above all and rightfully, so it's the season of hope.

Advent asks us to live in the present. To live in the present is to take things as they come and be present to the moment. If the virtue of hope doesn't help us live in the present, then it's an empty idea. Hope comes alive in us when we live in the present with faith. If we fail here, we fall pray to deceit.

Advent also asks us to look to the future. This hope allows us to look forward with joy to full communion with God and full communion with one another. If we fail here, we fall prey to cynicism.

Advent hope allows us to live in the present because of what is yet to come.

Here is a reflective prayer by St. John Paul II that Br. Francis posted on his blog. Very timely.

Also timely in light of recent and ongoing world events is an excerpt of a Psalm we prayed last Friday:

I cry to you, O Lord

I have said: You are my refuge
all I have in the land of the living
Listen, then, to my cry
for I am in the depths of distress

--Psalm 141

We might hear God comforting us and know his steadfast love if we do as Psalm 131 encourages, which we prayed this Tuesday at Vespers:

Truly I have set my soul
In silence and peace.

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.