Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

March 4-10, 2016

On Sunday, the seminary community joined us for Vespers. Following Vespers, we joined them for dinner in the school, and we closed our time together with Compline and Benediction in the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel. We try to do this at least once a semester to share in community.

Saint Meinrad's first official podcast launches this month. In fact, you can listen to a short trailer about the podcast at this link: Br. Joel and Novice Tony serve as the podcast hosts. (You'll hear Br. Joel introduce himself as Novice Jonathan, but that gets explained later.) The first full-length episode - about the church bells - will be released on March 31. You can read more about it here:

Br. Zachary gave a midweek retreat this week on "Anger and Forgiveness" to about 17 participants through our Guest House and Retreat Center.

Fr. Jeremy is giving a retreat for parish secretaries and administrators this weekend on "Administration and Evangelization" through our Guest House and Retreat Center.

Some notes from Fr. Eugene's homilies this week:

Sunday: People who study parables technically say that when there are two parts, the punchline is in the second part. Let's look at the older brother who laments about his father's incompetence and his brother's greed. The older brother is angry. The younger brother isn't stupid. He wants to survive. He comes up with a survival plan. Many people call this repentance, but it's not. It's simply good insight.

The father acts in ways we may not expect. He gives his younger son a kiss: a sign of forgiveness. A ring: a sign of authority. Sandals: a sign that he was a free man. Slaughtering the fattened calf: no one did this. Everyone had a fattened calf like everyone has fine china, but no one used it.

The older brother was looking for justice, but what he fails to understand is what the father is offering both sons: grace. God's grace is inviting us to the celebration. What would we do if we were the older son? It's an important question to ask because chances are we are the older son.

Monday: In the first 12 chapters of John, there are several signs manifested through Jesus. Each sign points to something deeper, something about Jesus as the Son of God. What is the deeper meaning in today's Gospel? We find it in the prologue of John's Gospel: In the beginning was the Word… We have access to that Word, and it's activated through our faith. The challenge is: can we believe that?

Tuesday: The light of the world comes into the darkness, yet the Pharisees still do not see. That's John's definition of sin. There are two questions for us: 1) What does it take to see? 2) Do we really have what it takes?

Wednesday: Most of the Gospel stories in John defy our understanding. Today's Gospel is about the Father and Son's relationship. Jesus shares about his works. What we know about God, we know through Jesus. Jesus was accused of fabricating this relationship with God the Father. Plenty of people in the Gospel of John do not believe this relationship.

Jesus is showing us how God gives us life. If we are to be followers of Jesus, we are called to do Jesus' works and reveal God's presence in all we do and say. We are called to give life. Amid the day we might pause and ask, "Are we doing the works of Jesus Christ, and is what I'm doing actually giving life?"

Friday: The sides have been drawn and opponents of Jesus, based on their "knowledge," think Jesus is not the Messiah. Jesus claims they don't know anything. They don't know where he comes from. He comes from God, the Father. This is not a matter of knowing, but a matter of faith.

They don't believe in Jesus. Let's turn to the Letter of Hebrews definition of faith to understand how Jesus taught faith: "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." It is good to have knowledge, but it's important to reflect on our knowledge. What do we really know, and what are we going to do with that knowledge?

Friday, March 11, was the actual 60th anniversary of Brother Andrew's profession of vows. He joined the Abbot's Table for the evening meal, and we had colloquium in his honor.

Br. Mario is making his way through the Guest House rooms adding a fresh coat of paint to each room. He has his work cut out for him. Don't worry, he is allowing ample time for the rooms to dry before guests stay in the rooms.

See the following link for our Holy Week and Easter schedule. And, please join us if you're in the area! /news/?story=13279

Brother Linus Klucsarits from St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman, Alabama, a visiting Benedictine studying with us, will be ordained a deacon at his Abbey this Saturday, March 12.

Our one beehive survived winter, and we ordered two more honeybee hives. They should arrive shortly after Easter. Fr. Louis M. asked how much honey one should eat a day to reap some of the health benefits. There are varying recommendations via Google, and there certainly are good studies out there about the health benefits of honey, including helping with allergies.

I was going to close with a scripture verse or Lenten intercession from our Vespers or Lauds prayers, but Fr. Eugene's homily notes are good food for thought this week!


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.