Today, in an atmosphere of prayer and fraternity, grateful to God, and happy memory of our father Saint Benedict, we gathered for the Investiture of our brothers James and Hélio. Thank you for your desire to journey with us. The dictionary defines " Investiture” as an act of investing, or taking possession.
Today, dear candidates, you will be invested with the Benedictine monastic habit; and will take possession of your place in the monastic order, the Order St. Benedict, adding “OSB” at the end of your name; and in the community, taking your place in queue with your brothers, respecting the elders and loving the younger.
The mystique of the monastic habit comes from a long tradition of hermits and cenobites, as a distinctive symbol of consecration, humility, simplicity and prayerfulness. For us Benedictines it is a sign of a person vowed to obedience, stability and continued conversion. Your novice master and your community undertakes the challenge to instruct you in this sacred tradition, with zeal of an older brother – novice master Father Carlos - capable to enlighten your journey with patience and wisdom, discerning with you the Spirit of Christ which leads us together to Eternal Life.
I am excited to announce that Abbot James Albers, Fr. Meinrad Miller and Br. Leven Harton will be on the EWTN program Life On the Rock airing Friday, July 11, the feast of St. Benedict, at 7 pm (Central Time).
You can watch the broadcast online on the EWTN website, also channel 261 on DTH satellite, 261 on DISH, or channel 370 on DIRECTV. If you have questions or comments please reply to this e-mail.
The show will re-air:
Sat. Jul. 12 at 12:30am
Sun. Jul 13 at 10pm
Tue. Jul. 15 at 8am
(all times central)
In the spirit of St. Benedict,
Father Jeremy Heppler, OSB
“If you only love those who love you, what reward will you have? The Publicans do as much. If you greet only your brothers, what is exceptional about that? The Pagans do as much.”
One of the most difficult teachings of Jesus is “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who persecute and calumniate you.” This is contrary to our nature, certainly to our fallen nature.
What is the rationale behind this? Why does it make good sense to love those who have injured you, defamed you, and wished you harm?
It certainly does not mean that we are to invite this kind of destructive behavior upon us or upon our dependents. To the contrary, we are to protect ourselves from unnecessary and avoidable abuse that others plot to give us. We have an even greater responsibility to protect our dependents from such abuse and harm. Would that the German people in the 1920s and 1930s had offered more resistance to the rise of the Nazi party, when there was still an opportunity to prevent a Second World War, with all its horrors and atrocities.
When an aggressor is attempting to harm the innocent, he is to be firmly opposed and subdued. When the aggression ceases, then the process of reconciliation can begin. The best way to love an enemy when he is menacing, is to keep him from doing any harm. When the threat of harm is over, then the expression of love can take a more normal shape. In our world, there are many things that must be defended, or they are lost. This includes such things as religious freedom, biblical marriage, the morals of youth, freedom from all forms of slavery, basic human rights and the sanctity of all human life.
Here is a great example of loving one’s enemies. In 1966 the Polish Church celebrated its millennium of Faith. The Polish bishops, under Cardinal Wyszynski’s leadership, prepared a bold gesture: two decades after a war in which Germany had devastated Poland, the Poles would take the initiative in forgiving and asking forgiveness. The Polish bishops recalled the immense suffering of their people during WW II, while acknowledging that Germans had also suffered at Polish hands. They concluded the letter with “We forgive, and we ask your forgiveness.” It was Matthew's Gospel, and a deep faith that motivated this. (See George Weigel’s THE END AND THE BEGINNING, pp. 71-2.)
Jesus wants us to see things from God’s perspective. He has no favorites. He is not partial. He sees the goodness that is in every human being, at least the great potential for goodness. And God knows that there is a great amount of variation among the members of the human race. We are called to take on this perspective. May the warmth of our friendship be to others what the sun and rain are to the fields of the earth.
Join us on Corpus Christi Sunday for a procession hosted by the Monks of St. Benedict's Abbey
Procession begins at 2 p.m. in the Abbey Church
1020 N. Second St. Atchison, Kansas
Recent First Communicants are encouraged to wear suits or dresses
Jesus promised to send us his Spirit, who would continue Jesus’ mission, and apply it to the whole world. We see here that each of the Three Persons of the Trinity is involved with us. The Father is the Creator, the Son is our Savior and Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit is our Sanctifier.
Think of what happened when Jesus ascended to the Father and left the first Christians in the Holy Land. They were a small group, and still uncertain about their identity in this little country on the eastern border of the Mediterranean Sea. This small band was destined to spread all around the Mediterranean Sea, and then eventually, throughout the world. With time, Christianity grew from being just a small religious group, competing with the many religions and deities of the 1st Century, to become the dominant cultural inspiration of all Europe, Constantinople and northern Africa. How did this happen? By the guidance and inspiration on the Holy Spirit.
At the end of the video session, Reginald concluded with this greeting in Latin:
VESTRA OMNIA VOBIS VTINAM QUAM PROSPERRIME CEDANT ET EVENIANT CONSILIA
“Would that all your plans may happen and succeed as favorably for you as possible”.
Pleae share this video with others and invite them to join us in saving the treasure of Latin.
Father Aaron Peters' journey of faith wasn't a straight line. It has taken him from the bottom of the ocean to the bluffs of the Missouri River. He was recently featured in an article in the Kansas City Star, along with several of his Navy Comrades. For Fr. Aarron's portion, see the bottom of the article.
The 2014 Abbot's Table banquet was a great success, bringing in over $470,000. Generosity continues to flow from our special event and we are so grateful to all who attended and those who have supported the monks. This video kicked off the event and offers some insight into the many "works" of the monks. Enjoy!
The Church is directing our attention to the Holy Spirit. After Jesus completes his Mission, the Holy Spirit comes into play, and deals directly with us.
Nicodemus, a Pharisee, seeks Jesus out anonymously. He knows that no mere mortal could teach and do what Jesus did, if God were not with him. Jesus gets right to the point: “He who has not been born again cannot see the Kingdom of God” (Jn 3:1-8).
As many of you are already aware Fr. Meinrad Miller will be singing the national anthem for the Nascar race this Saturday on Fox at 6:30 pm. Yesterday, Fox 4 KC, our local affiliate, came to interview him and discuss his preparation. I am excited to share this story with you. It can be viewed by clicking here.
We hope you'll tune in this Saturday. And watch out for 60 seconds with Fr. Matthew Habiger tomorrow. I want you to know we keep you in our daily prayers, and hope this message finds you well.
In the spirit of St. Benedict,
Abbot James R. Albers, OSB