Fr. Mark gave a retreat to a full house of oblates last weekend.
He spoke on "The Presence of God."
We also celebrated last Saturday the Solemnity of St. Benedict.
The solemnity was moved out of the Lenten season for most of the
Catholic Church, but many Benedictine communities still honor it on
this day during Lent. It's a nice way to celebrate the memory of
our founder and also a means by which we can have a taste of Easter
joy amidst the Lenten season.
Fr. Christian provided the homily for the solemnity while Fr.
Archabbot Justin was the principal celebrant. In his homily, Fr.
Christian said that on St. Patrick's Day everyone is Irish and on
the Solemnity of St. Benedict everyone is Benedictine. He reminded
us of many of our Benedictine values and how we can let those
flourish in our lives as monks and how we can share those values in
the many ministries of which we are a part.
Fr. Adrian served as Mass Heb this week. Here are a couple
paraphrases from his homilies this week:
The event of raising Lazarus points to God's glory. The Word that
is Christ is not like other sorts of words. The way that is Christ
is not a safe way -- we may find struggle, defeat and failure. But
when we choose Christ, we choose life and all the joys that
We are the vessels into which God has poured his Spirit. Our lives
are about making the Spirit real through our works and
We are continuing with our book by Archbishop Sartain for table
reading at dinner, and a line worth noting in light of Lent seems
appropriate to share: "Perseverance is essential for any good
deed." A helpful reminder for our Lenten good works.
Fr. Prior Kurt presided at the Solemnity of the Annunciation on
Wednesday. Reflecting on the readings and thinking of Mary's
saying, "May it be done to me according to your word," (Luke
1:26-38), Fr. Prior closed his homily with "May all good be done
unto us according to that same word." We enjoyed
colloquium (talking) at dinner.
On Wednesday we had our final Lenten community conference with
themes regarding our temporary move out of the monastery for
renovations. Br. Martin gave the conference on "Taciturnity:
Reclaiming our Space with Silence."
It was an opportunity for us to talk in small groups and as a
community about the importance of silence to our way of life and
how we will be positively and negatively affected by the temporary
living situation during the renovation. We also remarked that our
eventual move back into the monastery might provide for us the
opportunity to make anew the value of silence and other monastic
Looking for some additional reading, check out Br. Francis'
Hosanna! Crucify him!
Also, please consider visiting us for some or all of our Holy
Week and Easter liturgies. See this link for times and
Br. André is back from culinary school on spring break. He is
using part of his break as a retreat, with Fr. Timothy leading the
retreat here on the Hill. We enjoyed delicious homemade pancakes
from Br. André on Saturday morning for the Solemnity of St.
Benedict. I had the chocolate pancakes. Yum!
We are forming a monastic softball team to play in the seminary
softball tournament in the middle of April. We've had several
practices, and we might take the team name "Bad Habits." Get
From Morning Office this morning, we heard a reflection read by
Fr. Barnabas from Cardinal John Newman. An excerpt: We have
internal miracles taking place every day. If our course of life is
to be moved, it has to be from within through God's grace.
Finally (and I wish I had written down who said this during the
week), here is some more inspiration from the monastery heading
into Holy Week and Easter: Winter is dissolving into Spring; death
is dissolving into life. We discover a new kind of obedience in the
Lord through our Lenten good works. Our winter hearts become Easter
May your winter heart become an Easter heart full of joy and
resurrection as we approach the holy feast of Easter.