Holy Week PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fr Augustine   
Sunday, 22 March 2015 19:26

Every Good Friday, the monks adore our Savior upon the wood of the Cross of our redemption, during which the Reproaches are sung. It is at this Good Friday Liturgy, or Mass of the Presanctified, that the mystery and desolation of the Cross and the humanity of Christ in His Incarnation and Passion come to the fore. Here is an excerpt from a homily on the Passion by Pope St. Leo the Great:

   "True reverence for the Lord's Passion means fixing the eyes of our heart on Jesus crucified and recognizing in Him our own humanity... No one, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the Cross. No one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ. His prayer brought benefit to the multitude that raged against Him. How much more does it bring to thsoe who turn to Him in repentance...

   "The Christian people are invited to share in the riches of paradise. All who have been reborn have the way open before them to return to their native land, from which they had been exiled. Unless indeed they close off forthemselves the path that could be opened before the faith of a thief. The business of this life should not preoccupy us with its anxiety and pride, so that we no longer strive with all the love of our heart to be life our Redeemer, and to follow His example. Everything that He did or suffered was for our salvation: He wanted His Body to share in the goodness of its head...

   "Again, who cannot recognize in Christ his own infirmities? Who would not recognize taht Christ's eating and sleeping, His sadness and His shedding tears of love are marks of the nature of a slave?...

   "The body that lay lifeless in the tomb is ours. The body that rose agai on the third day is ours. The body that ascended above all the heights of heaven to the right hand of the Father's glory is ours.If then we walk in the way of His commandments, and are not ashamed to acknowledge the price He paid for our salvation in a lowly body, we too are to rise to share His glory. The promise He made will be fulfilled in the sight of all: Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I too will acknowledge him before My Father Who is in heaven."

Here is the Abbey's Triddum schedule:

    Maundy Thursday, 2 April: 7.30p - Mass of the Lord's Supper, followed by the watch at the Altar of Repose until Midnight

    Good Friday, 3 April: 12.00p - Stations of the Cross

                                        3.00p - Liturgy of the Lord's Passion/Mass of the Presanctified

                                        8.00p - Office of Tenebrae

    Holy Saturday, 4 April: 8.00p - The Easter Vigil

    Easter Sunday, 5 April: 9.00a - Mass of the Lord's Resurrection

Last Updated on Saturday, 28 March 2015 01:40
Welcome to the Abbey of Saint Mary and Saint Louis PDF Print E-mail

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to our website and introduce you to our way of life as Benedictine monks at the Abbey of Saint Mary and Saint Louis.  Over a millennium and a half ago, our Holy Father Benedict placed great attention on the reception of guests, and it is upon his instructions on the subject that I will base my introduction.  He noted that "after the guests have been received, they should be invited to pray; then the superior or an appointed brother will sit with them" (Rule of Saint Benedict 53:8). I would like to fulfill the first precept by praying for your growth in holiness.  May you grow each day in your knowledge and love for the Lord Jesus and may his Spirit guide you to what he wants you to be. I also request your prayers for our community, specifically that we may grow in numbers and holiness.

As for the second precept, "to sit with you," I would like to fulfill it by giving you a word on the goal of monastic life.  In a world that seeks freedom with an enthusiasm perhaps greater than ever before, we would like to describe our Benedictine way of life as a journey towards that freedom.  It is our deep conviction that:

To love God with all our being,
to be abandoned to Him,
possessed by Him,
and so able, through His Spirit,
to love our neighbor as ourselves
is, as human beings, our greatest freedom.

The apparently effortless freedom of the artist, the gymnast, or the dancer is the fruit of long hours of discipline and practice.  So, too, the patience, gentleness, and wisdom of the mature monk are the fruit of quiet perseverance in a life that blends the structure of the Rule with a constant openness to the demands of the Spirit.  Ours is a life of growth toward complete freedom, that freedom which will be ours as children of God when, in His mercy, we see Him face to face.  But here and now we may grow daily in our union with Him and, as our union grows, so does our freedom.

Everyone yearns for the freedom of holiness, and each has his unique path to it.  It is my prayer and hope that by learning of our path you may find applications for your own journey into an ever-deeper union with God.

Laus Tibi Domine,

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Lent 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fr Augustine   
Monday, 16 February 2015 01:49

Only four times throughout his Rule does Saint Benedict use the word "joy." It is striking, then, that two of those four instances are found in his chapter on the observance of Lent: "The life of a monk ought to be a continous Lent. Since few, however, have the strength for this, we urge the entire community during these days of Lent to keep its manner of life most pure and to wash away in this holy season the negligences of other times. This we can do in a fitting manner by refusing to indulge evil habits and by devoting ourselves to prayer with tears, to reading, to compunction of heart and self-denial. During these days, therefore, we will add to the usual measure of our service something by way of private prayer and abstinence from food and drink, so that each of us will have something above the assigned measure to offer God of his own will with the joy of the Holy Spirit. In other words, let each one deny himself some food, drink, sleep, needless talking and idle jesting, and look forward to holy Easter with joy and spiritual longing."

May you have a blessed Lent, and may God make it fruitful by His grace.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 18:27