September 1998
Cross PaintingFriends & Guests:
This month, we learnt of the death of Mrs. Otto (Eloise) Spaeth at age 96.  The Spaeths gave us 2 rare statues of the Madonna and Child.  Abbot Charles from Prince of Peace Abbey, spent a few days with us.  Catherine Kisnan, who is writing a book on contemplative life, interviewed most of the monks for her research.  Prof. Harold Stahmer, from Florida, gave a talk on Reich  theologie.  He had studied at Maria Laach and was familiar with the friends of Fr. Damasus.  Br. John Hangan, a monk from Collegeville, stopped for a brief visit.  Fr. Alexis Foyo, a visiting monk from Prince of Peace Abbey, California, exposed in the portery a series of illuminations he completed during his stay at Mount Saviour.  This cross is a sample that fits with the celebration of the Exaltation of the Cross on Sept. 14.

Br. James C. 50th50th Anniversary:
Br. James Cronen celebrated 50 years of monastic Profession.  The community was served a "heavenly banquet" prepared by Barbara Reiter from Syracuse with the help of her sister, Claire Johnson and Mary Skinner.  The ambiance was similar to the Titanic dining hall.  Some thought that it was a repeat of Babette's FeastThe picture shows Br. Luke, Br. Alexis, Br. Bruno, Fr. Martin, Br. James Cronen and Br. Gabriel.

Br. WilliamSimple Profession: Br. William
Br. William (Bill) Uiting was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1940.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1962 and taught in a high school for a few years.  In 1965, he attended Michigan State University in East Lansing for a Master degree.  He took managerial duties for large department stores.  On business trips, he got acquainted with the Catholic Workers in New York City.  In 1994, he joined the Peter Morin Farm.  After discovering Mount Saviour in a book on monasteries and sanctuaries, he came to visit several times and asked to join.  His simple profession was a private ceremony on Sept. 14th.

Br. Sebastian's Accident:
On September 18th, Br. Sebastian fell in the corridor and broke his second hip in 2 years.  His blood circulation gives him trouble and his heart condition is not improving.  With his love of sports, his period of rehabilitation will have some consolation (World Series on TV).

Br. RaphaelSolemn Profession: Br. Raphael
On the feast of the Archangels, Br. Raphael (Thomas) Maley made his solemn vows in front of the community and 75 friends and relatives.  Fr. Martin, Prior, gave the following homily.

"For several days last week Br Raphael and I gave each other a kind of Directed Retreat...Formally, I was the giver, but as any real giver knows, no matter how much you give, you always receive more in return. That  is one way of God revealing the Divine Agape God's love which reaches out to us that we might learn to share the mystery of Divine life. That is why St. Benedict says if one of the brothers, by the use of his God-given talents, thinks he is conferring a benefit on the Brotherhood...take his job away from him until he learns the origin and flow of the life and talents in him - they come from God and are a gift to him to be enjoyed and used for the benefit of others as well as himself.

Br Raphael and I spoke about Baptism - Monastic profession can be spoken of as a 2nd. Baptism.  It is intended to mean taking seriously the baptismal reality received from the one abiding baptism given by Christ.

Baptism is a 'new newness' an unrepeatable originality or uniqueness whose origin and meaning are hidden in God. Baptism as a Sacramental Mystery is not primarily an expression of a truth beyond our reason, but a divine reality, hidden and yet communicated through the word and through sacramental action.  It is not called a 'mystery' because it is beyond our understanding, but because as an act of divine compassion it transcends our entire existence -and especially in our condition of alienation from God. The mystery of God becomes the mystery of Christ who leaves the Father and comes into the world and then leaves the world to return to the Father to take part in God's new creation -the new newness. Living out our Baptism doesn't mean simply accepting Christ's teaching or even receiving his grace but RE-LIVING his Mystery...ascendinq to God the way he descended to us and returned to the Father.(Humility as Benedict shows us).
The texts of St. Paul: To walk in the newness of life: to serve in newness of spirit. Whoever is in Christ is a new creation-the old things have passed away; behold new things have come: neither circumcision or uncircumcision mean anything, but only a new creation!  Etch's I will out a new spirit within you. Christ's "Behold I make all things new ". Finally "the word of God which is now at work in you who believe. This is the mystery of Christ's baptism into which we are plunged -this is Br. Raphael's Life-Profession which begins to take him and us out of our intellectual and moral self-complacency to yield to the saving power of God's love.

Baptism is only the beginning of finding the word of God in our heart not so much by introspection as by compunction. The inward movement of compunction is not a hiding of one's self, but the liberation of the self which occurs in the depth of our being and lets us out of ourselves FROM THE INSIDE. Liberation from concentration on ourselves is the beginning of a conversion -a real transfiguration.

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