Last Sunday was Pentecost, the end of the Easter season in the Church. I was unable to celebrate it with my people since I was at my monastery of Subiaco for the annual alumni reunion, and, now, for our annual monastic retreat. The reunion was a great time, and I was happy to see so many of my former students.
Our retreat master this year is Abbot Gregory Polan, of Immaculate Conception Abbey in Missouri. Obsculta O fili, precepta magistri is how the Rule of St Benedict begins: "Listen, O son, to the precepts of your master, and incline the ear of your heart." It's important for all of us monks to listen, to let the word of Christ pierce to our hearts. The word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword, as Hebrews reminds us. Sometimes it's good to be able to let that sword do its work: open us up, strike our hearts, and make us open to the will of God.
It is good to see the members of our monastic community again. There are fewer now than there were the last time I was here. One of our monks, Br. Vincent, has cancer, which has gone into his liver. He needs our prayers as he goes into this process of chemotherapy. He may very well find that he is on his way to his Master. May his heart be open!
As the days of this retreat continue, I will be blogging more, and hopefully I will have more to say and more time to say it.