Fr. Damasus was actively involved in ecumenism all his life. Mount Saviour followed in his footsteps in various ways. Our archives have a "Proposed text for an ecumenical fraternity of oblates". It reflects the monastic spirituality and its possible influence on the ecumenical movement.
"St. Benedict belongs to an era of the undivided Church (C.480-547), and the remarkable flourishing of his monastic rule ante-dates both Eastern and Western breaks in the visible unity of the Church. The institution of oblates likewise originated before the divisions. ...
"An ecumenical fraternity of oblates therefore reclaims the pre-Reformation heritage of the Western Church. It offers a way of practicing ecumenism by applying certain monastic principles to the ecumenical task.
" First among these principles is repentance - - the constant spirit of turning from self-will to seek the love and the will of God, laying hold on the promise of his mercy. a divided Church is a sinful Church, needing to renounce the sin of division and the sins that that produced division. Therefore, the first work of ecumenism is repentance... The monastic spirit is most deeply the spirit of 'metanoia' - - of turning from self to God in penitence and from self to others in charity. To take seriously the monastic spirit of 'metanoia' is to take up the fundamental ecumenical work.
"A second monastic attribute that feeds the practice of ecumenism is humility. The Rule of St. Benedict sets forth twelve degrees of humility by way of emphasis on the virtue. Humility leads to charity and charity to catholicity - - catholicity as the fullness of a Christian's embrace of his brother (or sister) in the broken body of Christ.
"The additional monastic virtues of hospitality, simplicity and patience are all fundamental to the practice of ecumenism. And lastly, obedience. As the divisions in the Church are the byproducts of a disobedient and deviate spirituality, so the reunion of the Church will be by the byproduct of a new will to obey the Lord in all things, seeking the mind of Christ and using the means of grace."
Paul Moses, a frequent guest, wrote an extensive article on Monastic Web Sites in the periodical St. Anthony Messenger (see Archive: January Issue, 1998). We received e-mail for inquiries and friends renewed contacts in the new medium. Our local paper, The Star Gazette, presented a short article in their Home and Garden section to praise our wool products: "woolen treasures", mattress pads, comforters, mittens, hats, etc. One phrase made our friends smile: "The monastery has brought a security team of donkeys to guard the flock."
The Prior of Valyermo, Fr. Luke Dysinger, preached our retreat. He refreshed some notions of monastic spirituality and stimulate some enthusiasm for our spiritual journey.
The roof of our chapel is taking "Medieval proportions" if we consider the time to complete the work. In August, one worker began dismantling the cedar shingles. The contractor gave priority to school repairs in September. We were lucky to have excellent weather in the fall. In January, the snow and the cold weather stopped the operation and now they are running out of pine shingles to complete the work. The upper windows were replaced and the frames need the finishing touch.
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