What do you have to lose?
Come and experience a
community of Benedictine
monks, founded on an
excellent liturgical tradition,
who are seeking God
and serving the
Office of Monastery Vocations
100 Hill Drive
St. Meinrad, IN 47577
Enter #014 at VocationMatch.com
• “The one who endures to the end
will be saved” (Matthew 10: 22).
i realized that death is not the end of
the story but the never-ending beginning. “This will change my life,” i
thought. And it did.
still, life is full of difficulty, physical and emotional struggles, troubled relationships, work, oppression,
contradiction, failure, fear, and sin.
The deceased i mentioned above had
varying degrees of faith, it seemed,
but none of them died perfect. “so,
how were their lives well-lived? How
My journey into religious life
is another story, but it is intimately
bound with these questions. My
ongoing conversion has centered on
how what is human becomes divine:
“you mean i’m not perfect, and
neither are my brothers? you mean we
never will be, and don’t have to be?
How does that work?”
We witness hope
As human beings we love to judge
one another and ourselves. it’s what
we do best. We who see dimly forget
that God judges because he alone
sees all. While striving to follow
Christ, at some point we must accept
that reality in faith, place our hope
in God’s boundless mercy, and allow
this trust to be the font of our love
for him and one another. Christ came
to save, not condemn.
That is the point to our prayer,
work, and community life in the
monastery. it is expressed daily in
numerous ordinary ways, and it is
demonstrated most vividly at a community member’s funeral. in life and
death we become witnesses to hope
in God’s mercy, which transforms
what is human into what is divine.
i wish everyone had a chance
to experience our monastic funerals here; they are unlike anything
i had known before coming to the
monastery. Rich in hopeful symbolism and solemn beauty, they reflect
not merely the individual lives of the
deceased but moreover our common
life consecrated by, to, and for our
“Keep death daily before your
eyes,” instructs the Rule of St.
Benedict, which guides our common
life. “And never lose hope in God’s
mercy.” That is sound advice for all
religious and for all Christians. Having an eye on our end provides the
wisdom to live each day in light of
the Resurrection. And hope means
that while we will fall short, God’s
grace is limitless.