Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

Br. James was recently appointed as administrative assistant for our "One Bread, One Cup" program.

Frs. Colman and Micheas celebrated their actual 50th anniversaries of priesthood ordination this past Saturday. Fr. Colman joined the abbot's table, and we enjoyed colloquium in their honor.

Then, we had another occasion for colloquium. Archabbot Bonaventure celebrated his 97th (97th!!) birthday on Sunday.

On Saturday, we welcomed Abbot Jean Pierre Longeat, resigned abbot of Ligugé and current president of AIM (Alliance Inter-Monastères), and Father Mark Butlin of Ampleforth Abbey and current member of the AIM staff. They are touring monastic communities in the United States to acquaint Abbot Jean Pierre, who was recently appointed as president, with some of the men's and women's houses. 

Here are some of my notes from Fr. Adrian's homilies this week as Mass heb:

Sunday: Fear can lead a person to flee or fight. Fear is not an evil thing. It helps us with our survival. There's a third option when facing fear -- playing dead. When one faces an overwhelming threat, the response to play dead can be appropriate. As "manly" as it seems to fight, it might be very foolish. At Yellowstone, park rangers encourage visitors to transfer some of their fear at the threat of a bear by making loud noises and big movements to seem more powerful than the bear.

Isaiah said God strengthens hands and firms up weak knees -- Hezekiah received this testimony and prayed for God's mercy and strength. Today, the Word of God comes to us as well. Will he find faith in us as well to stand our ground? To be fully alive is to know Christ in one's heart -- to become a new person with new eyes and ears open to the Word and to respond boldly.

Today humankind needs courage more than ever. Fear comes from within, and when we are fully awake to God's love we have nothing to fear. Ordinary people can and are putting aside their fear to open their hearts and homes to so many in need. We, too, can confess this with our lips. Fear happens first and then Christ happens.

Tuesday, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Fr. Adrian used the Angelus prayer for the basis of his homily. Mary is ready and then open to receiving Christ. She became ready to receive Christ through her devotion to God throughout her life. With her fiat, she freely accepts her responsibility. "Let it be done unto me according to your word." We can readily accept the Word that comes to us in the moment, like Mary, the more we diminish our own self-centered nature. Jesus now dwells among us in the present moment -- May God give us the grace to follow Christ in the present moment.

Wednesday, St. Peter Claver: Our Colossians reading this morning, "If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above," is similar to a Galatians passage, "Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me." This is a "now" teaching and not an eschatological teaching. This is how we are to live now through our baptismal grace. We are to lay down our lives for the charity of others. Where is our charity to give, and how are we to respond? We can answer this the more we discern God's will in our lives and not our own. In the ordinariness of his own life, Peter Claver responded with charity and with love in those present moments of brutal sin existing around him. He served those in need to the best of his ability.

Thursday: In and of ourselves, we cannot please God. The message of the readings today makes this evident. When we become forgetful, completely forgetful of ourselves, and live in the bond of Christ, we can put on the attributes in Colossians. We are to do as God has done for us. Forgiveness, mercy, love … God first gave these to us and we have to do as God has done for us when we surrender to him and his love. We can fulfill the mission of the Church when we are one with God by making Christ present here on earth.

On Wednesday, we had a Culpa Service in the Chapter Room. Fr. Barnabas gave a homily on Chapter 4 verses 62-74 from the Rule of St. Benedict. A Culpa Service is an opportunity for the monastic community to gather, reflect on God's mercy and share publicly individual grievances against the community.

Archbishop Daniel and several others caught some or most of the teleconference by Pope Francis. Let us join our prayers together for Pope Francis, especially so that God protects Pope Francis in his travels to the United States and those traveling to see him and that the Holy Spirit inspires those hearing Pope Francis' messages.

To close, here's a quote worth thinking about from a book from my Introduction to Liturgical Theology class: "The Church is as it were the human face of the heavenly liturgy in our present time" (Jean Corbon, The Wellspring of Worship). Stop in and see us sometime. Join us for a liturgy if you're able.

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.