Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Honor Your Inner Monk

On Good Friday, WISH-TV in Indianapolis aired a segment about Saint Meinrad Archabbey, and specifically about the popular "Honor Your Inner Monk" phone app developed by the Vocations Office here. It's worth a view!


Novice Timothy Herrmann (and fellow native of Findlay, Ohio; there are three of us in the monastery!) recorded this time-lapse video of the Easter morning sunrise over the Saint Meinrad Archabbey cemetery. In the background is a recording of the monks chanting the Philippians Canticle (Philippians 2:6-11). Enjoy--and a Blessed Easter season to all! (Soon, I will be taking a week or so away from the monastery for vacation, so I likely won't be posting anything during that time.)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Come to me

Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of its street. On either side of the river grew the tree of life that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month; the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there anymore. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever and ever. Blessed are they who wash their robes so as to have the right to the tree of life and enter through its gates.
Revelation 22:1-5, 14


All seems silent today, but...

Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh, and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.

--The Lord's Descent into the Underworld
From an ancient homily for Holy Saturday
(cf. Ephesians 4:7-10; 1 Peter 3:19-20; 1 Peter 4:6; Revelation 1:18)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Why is this Friday good?

"When I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw everyone to myself."
John 12:32

Christ Jesus,
though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name.

Philippians 2:6-9

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Food for the journey

“This is my body
that is for you.
Do this
in remembrance
of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:24

Monday, March 30, 2015

What makes this week so holy?

Traditionally during Holy Week, we focus on the sufferings of Jesus. However, it is not suffering, not even the suffering of Jesus, that makes this week holy. Rather, it is holy because of the inexplicable and immeasurable love that prompted that suffering. Genuine love empowers, even transforms us. We know that love of family can engender unselfishness, and love of country can inspire heroism. This week we see that, driven by love for all, Jesus willingly accepted the consequences of his messianic role. 
This week is holy because of love, but it is love misunderstood. Jesus is a hero, but not in the traditional pattern of heroism. He actually looks more like a victim. He is not triumphant, as we understand triumph. Instead, he appears to be a failure. Judging by one set of standards, standards not unlike those of many people of his day, he has not met our expectations either. But according to another standard, the standard of unconditional love, he has far surpassed all of our expectations. 
 Parents, lovers, patriots, committed people of every kind often disregard their own desires and comfort for the sake of those they love. Are they heroes? Of course they are! Are they failures? Certainly not! Have they frustrated our expectations? Quite the contrary. Human sacrifice like this gives us an insight into the meaning of the sacrifice of Jesus. The love that prompts us to give of ourselves is but a reflection of the magnanimous love of God which, in the guise of suffering and death, unfolds before us this week. 
The conditions of our world may make us feel that this is a terrible week, not a holy one. However, we can change this, if only in some small way. We will make it holy if we can begin to realize the depth of God's magnanimous love. We will make it holy if we can bring unconditional love into the lives of those around us. We will make it holy if we live according to the paradoxical standards of Jesus who, though publicly disgraced, is still our hero.
-- Diane Bergant, CSA