Mount Saviour Monastery

March 2002
For many years, the monks go the Grace Church in Elmira to sing Vespers and Compline on the 4th Sunday of Lent.  This ecumenical custom is attended by a large crowd and we can share a meal and ideas with our Episcopalian friends.  On Sunday, March 10th, we had high winds that damaged the roof of two barns.  A section of 15 by 55 feet fell down to the ground in one piece.  The roof of the main barn lost some shingles that peeled off .
This winter, our wood lot experienced some damage due to the wind and our poor soil.  Br. Pierre was able to pull out a large quantity of trees to sell for firewood.  We cut the logs in 20 foot lengths for those who buy by the truck load.  When the forest is well managed, it yields more.  The monastery received a few awards from the Conservation Department over the years for our forest management.  The kitchen of the men's guest house was renovated to serve better groups that prepare their own meals.   We still celebrate the traditional feast of St. Benedict on March 21st.  In the afternoon, the monks were served 'high tea' at St.Gertrude's guest house.

Holy Week:
Fr. Martin gave an introduction to the paschal Vigil which began in the crypt of the monastery Chapel and a brief introduction to each of the 7 readings with an equally short homily on the Gospel.  The responses of the monks and congregation, aided at times by flute and harp made for a reverent and joyful celebration.  What follows is an edited version of the Gospel homily.

We have heard the account of God’s activity on our behalf from the beginning of time to the death of the Incarnate One.  We believe we participate in Christ’s resurrection and receive the gift of his Spirit.  So when St. Matthew ends his gospel with the words of Jesus:  “I will be with you always.”  What does that mean to you?  Does it make you feel confident that you will feel great always and that now at last things will go well for you?  Sirach, one of the Wisdom authors in the Old Testament writes:  “When you come to serve the Lord, be prepared for trials.”  And he means just exactly what he says.  What we have heard this Paschal Night is about relationship with God and one another – and even all of creation.  It is not about acquiring security.  Eventually, and after we have died, things may go well for us.  Provided, of course, that we wanted the relationship and lived more or less accordingly.  We are to believe in our relationship with the Lord and trust God as Abraham did in the Isaac account.  We are to have confidence in our Faith and our Hope that motivate that relationship.  Our Hope is even of an ever deepening relationship.  That is what love is and love is what we are constantly receiving and into which we are continually invited.  That is, if we truly listen to God’s Word in its various manifestations with the ear of our hearts and allow it to resonate in all our deeds.

Our relationship with God and one another and the universe might even come to resemble that of St. Paul and Dante.  The one experienced a love that surpasses knowledge and the other a vision of that which moves the sun and all the stars.  Today, St. Matthew would have us take our initial cue from the women who came to the tomb early Easter morning and took off excitedly with a wee bit of fear and an over abundance of JOY!
Our friend and neighbor, Helen Siegl, designs beautiful Easter eggs for each monk.  We let you appreciate her talents with this picture.

Easter eggs by Helen Siegl

Coming Events:
The lambing season should begin around April 15th. and last three weeks.

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