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Abbey News: July 26, 2015

We’re Moving . . .

. . . the web site, that is. Sometime within the next couple of weeks we will be moving our Abbey web site and the Retreat House web site to a different provider using an improved and more robust web program. At the moment we’re in the ‘growing pains’ of making the change. The format may change somewhat but most of the contents will remain substantially the same. No doubt there will be some glitches here and there but when the dust finally settles the end result should be an improvement. Stay tuned.

No Schedule Change

For some time we have been discussing whether or not to change the time for rising and the office of Vigils to an hour later so as to allow more time for sleep for some of the elder brethren who may need it. After a consultative vote of the community the Abbot decided no change was called for. Other arrangements can be made for those requiring extra sleep. This allows us to keep the traditonal spirit and practice of keeping a mid-night vigil. It seems that many, if not most, in the community experience keeping a vigil from 2:25 AM until 6:00 AM when we celebrate Lauds the best time of the monastic day for quiet prayer, lectio and contemplation. Provided, of course, one slept well from 7:00 PM till 2:10 AM.

Typical scene during a mid-summer walk through our ample forest. [1]

Typical scene during a mid-summer walk through our ample forest.

Pope Francis and Saint Benedict

Recently the following article appeared on the news page of the Benedictine Monks web site. The recent issue of The Good Oil (July 21, 2015), the magazine of the Good Samaritan Sisters, features Common Threads: Francis’ Encyclical and Benedict’s Rule by sister Mary McDonald, SGS. The concerns and values expressed in Pope Francis’ new encyclical Laudato Si’ are also central to the Rule of St. Benedict. What, she asks, are some of the commonalities that can deepen our understanding and appreciation of Pope Francis’ and St. Benedict’s teaching? An article several of us found interesting.

Lectio Notebook

The affirmation of Christian faith that Christ will come again in the end and the absolute urgency impelling us to prepare for his coming in glory by no means imply that Christians receive any secret knowledge of historical seasons and moments that will enable them to predict the decisions of God’s mind as if they were forecasting the weather.

Nor do Christians receive the kind of knowledge that will enable them even to manipulate the course of providence for their own benefit and to the detriment of others!

Such presumptions would grievously violate both God’s absolute freedom and our obligation to hope and work for the salvation of all

Fire of Mercy
Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis