Proverbs 4: 7 – 13, Col 3: 12 – 17, Matt 23: 8 – 12
We are celebrating our monastic life today. The very founders who established our Cistercian way of life. They left us a great gift which is a wonderful legacy to the Church and the world. Our monastic life structured in the Benedictine tradition but shaped by a new emphasis on continual prayer and contemplation through the hidden life of silence and solitude enables us to enter more deeply into our prayer and contemplation and the worship of God by praying the Liturgy of the Hours. So that the call to conversion of our life into Christ can happen
We love our community life. We love the way our life leads us to a deeper relationship with Jesus. When we know Jesus, life is changed. And gives us the opportunity to be men of prayer and to be witnesses of the Kingdom. By becoming Christ for others.
The world in seeming chaos is looking to us to show the way forward – God is the only answer. Our Cistercian charism is truly a gift to the world. We have something to offer – our prayer and our lives and what a privilege for us to be the ones to carry it out through this wonderful life. To model Gospel values at every turn. Seeking always to prefer nothing whatever to Christ in the praise of God’s glory.
To embody the truth that all are created in the image and likeness of God and it is Jesus who shows us what it looks like to live it out.
Our way of life is surely founded on the teaching of Jesus we heard today in Matthew’s gospel. Which is put into practice in the Church of Colossae as we read in the list of virtues one is called to as a Christian. A pretty good list of how to live this life. The call to humility, to compassion, obedience, kindness, forgiveness and prayer. These outline the goals of our hospitality and of our community life. That openness to meet Christ in each person.
As we remember our Founders, Robert Alberic and Stephen, we celebrate each one of them with awe and reverence. They are models for us of these ideals lived out in the very way of life they inaugurated. Each one brought a quality to our monastic life that helped to shape the ongoing development of this holy endeavor began at Citeaux in 1098. Imagine the impact – westand in over a thousand-year tradition of monastic life. Let us be proud of it and true to it. Living it honestly and faithfully.
St. Robert encourages us to give our whole heart to the work of the Spirit and continue to seek Christ even though at times it seems nothing is happening. Keep the vision you have. That the monastery is an experience of the mystery of the Church, where nothing is preferred to the praise of God’s glory.
Alberic invites us to find way to share our resources and gifts to move forward to accomplish all we need to do to have the success we are seeking. Depend on each other and live the Rule. So that God is our focus and changes us and therefore the world.
Stephen wants each of us to be disciplined and see the big picture and our role in it. Be that good monk that makes the life work for all. Being attentive to all things that matter. To persevere in the life in Christ that is ordinary, obscure and laborious. But leads us to happiness and to eternal life.
Every reflection we can make about our founders, these great monastic saints, help us to be faithful to our vocation and to be that person God had chosen to be His as monks who continually seek to give Praise to Him through Christ and our life together.
It’s always a great day to celebrate who we are and all that Mepkin is for us and we pray to our founders to continue to live this wonderful life with the help of their intercession.
My brothers, happy feast day and let us be energized even more to live well this wonderful life together.