Today is the feast day of Br. Jerome, who professed vows as a monk of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in 1949.
Known in the past for his fiery personality, he will now shout (he's hard of hearing) to anyone within earshot, "I've mellowed, you know!" And he has.
These days, he cleans the Archabbey Church, helps out with meal duties in the infirmary, and dispenses the refectory wine. He's one of the first monks up in the morning. He gets up at 3 a.m. and puts the coffee on for everyone else to follow, and then takes a walk outside. In the evening just before Vespers, he can be seen strolling silently in the monastic courtyard, and in the evening just before Compline, he sits on a bench outside the church watching the sun set.
I sat beside him at dinner this afternoon, and was delighted when with a big smile on his face, he repeated to me one of the wisest things I've ever heard:
"As I always say,
I live peacefully
in a state of war."