The Path of Life

The Path of Life

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Created out of love to love

God who created man out of love
also calls him to love--
the fundamental and innate vocation
of every human being.
For man is created in the image
and likeness of God
who is himself love.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1604

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Easy does it

Around here, they're called the Voice of God. And that voice has been awfully quiet lately.

I am referring, of course, to the six bells in the two sandstone towers of the Archabbey Church here at Saint Meinrad -- the bells that not only mark each quarter hour, but also are rung by hand each day to summon monks and visitors to the Divine Office and Mass.

Some weeks ago, however, problems arose with the bells. A crack was discovered in Bell No. 6, the largest bell, which is housed in the church's north tower along with Bell No. 5. Upon inspection, it was determined that the other bells -- No. 5, as well as Nos. 1-4 in the south tower -- needed some preventive maintenance. So, work recently began on bells 1-5, with parts removed and taken elsewhere for repairs. Because of this, the familiar sound of the Archabbey bells echoing across the surrounding hills has been silenced. They have not been ringing for Office, Mass, or for the regular marking of time.

In addition, the cracked Bell No. 6, it was determined, must be removed from its tower and shipped to the original manufacturer in the Netherlands to undergo sophisticated repairs.

Today, with a good deal of effort and maneuvering, workers with the help of a large crane, were able to hoist the 5,000-pound bell out of the tower (it was a tight squeeze)! The photos along with this post illustrate what a tricky -- even dangerous -- task this was. For some even better photos (taken by our Development Office) click here.

View from inside monastery courtyard.
The crane sat on the valley side of the church (the back). Ordinarily, it would have been placed on the lawn near the monastery on the north side of the church (visible from the guest house). However, that was no longer possible because of the recent monastery renovations; our geothermal field systems for the monastery's heating and cooling are laid under that lawn. As a result, the crane had to be positioned on much lower ground, farther away, and extended out more than normal to lift the bell out of its tower.

The hope is to have bells 1-5 back in place by Easter. Bell 6 will take longer. Then, it'll have to be hoisted back in place. In the meantime, we sure do miss them around here. The Voice of God, of course, carries on as always -- but it helps to also keep an eye on the clock these days!

Monday, February 6, 2017

We love because he first loved us

Photo taken December 29, 2012

Christians do not strive to avoid sin and perform good works in order to win God's love and achieve salvation.

Rather, because we believe by faith that God first loved us and granted us salvation through his Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, we strive by grace to avoid sin and perform good works. This is the fruit of faith, a gift that comes from God alone.

As Ephesians 2:8-10 says: "By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God — not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life."

When we fail to produce the fruit of faith -- as we surely will (and do, many times each day), then we seek God's forgiveness and resume the journey of faith, extending that same mercy to others who fall along the way. As St. Benedict says in his Holy Rule for monks, "It is love that impels [us] to pursue everlasting life" (5:10).

"God proves his love for us in that
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8

Sunday, January 29, 2017


A couple morsels of spiritual food for prayer and reflection related to today's Gospel reading at Mass (Matthew 5:1-12a). The above video shows the Saint Meinrad schola chanting the Beatitudes for the preparation of gifts during Mass on the Solemnity of All Saints in November 2016. Try listening to it while reading Pope Francis' comments today regarding the same Gospel passage: please click here.

May we all be blessed in poverty of spirit!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

We walk by faith

"When we say that we cannot find God and that he seems so far away, we mean only that we cannot feel his presence. Many people do not distinguish between God and the feeling of God, between faith and the feeling of faith. It seems to them that when they do not feel God, they are not in his presence, which is a mistake.

If you ask me, 'What can I do to acquire the love of God?' I answer, 'By willing to love him.' And instead of setting to work to try to find out how you can unite your soul to God, put the thing in practice by a continual application of your mind to him, and I assure you that you will arrive much more quickly at your object by this means than by any other.

In order to reach the road to heaven, we must just go on putting one foot before the other, and by this means, we shall arrive where we desire. Keep walking, we say to those souls so desirous of their perfection, walking the way of your vocation with simplicity, more intent on doing than on desiring; that is the shortest road."

St. Francis de Sales

Monday, January 23, 2017


Novice Joseph Wagner

Br. Elias Leeuw

The past week has been a busy one here in the monastery. There was the sudden death of Fr. Rupert, and his funeral early in the week, and then the Solemnity of Saint Meinrad on Saturday. On Thursday and Friday, there were two additional events of a special nature.

First, we received Joseph Wagner (no relation) into the novitiate -- with the new arrival ceremoniously knocking on the two large wooden doors at the front of the monastery, which a couple days earlier had swung open to receive the body of Fr. Rupert. You can read more about Novice Joseph by clicking here. Then, former Novice Joshua Leeuw made his profession of temporary vows (obedience, stability, and conversion of life, for three years), receiving the name Br. Elias. Read more about Br. Elias by clicking here.

May God complete the good work he's begun in both Br. Elias and Novice Joseph, and guide their continued discernment of our way of life with peace and wisdom.

Meanwhile, please continue praying for more vocations to our way of life, and for those of us who've already made solemn vows. Be assured of our own for you -- we pray each day for the Church and the world.