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On Tuesday evenings during Lent, the monks have a community conference after Vespers. Abbot Gregory decided to have some of the members give presentations on the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. These works are particularly good areas of reflection during this Jubilee Year of Mercy.

This evening Br. Anselm gave a conference on the Spiritual Works of Mercy, namely, “To instruct the ignorant and to counsel the doubtful.”

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Above: Br. Anselm gives his presentation before the community in the chapter room.
Below: Br. Jacob looks on.IMG_2092

The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) has helpful information on both the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. This is what they have to say about the two topics Br. Anselm explored.

COUNSELING THE DOUBTFUL

Everyone has moments of doubt in their faith journey.  Nevertheless, we should always remember that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and turn to him along our way.

  • Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may eventually become wise” (Prov 19:20)
  • The Cross of Christ “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength” (1 Cor 1:25)
  • Has someone asked you for advice? Orient your response to Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life
  • Follow Christ with the witness of your life so that others may see God’s love revealed in your actions
  • Accompany a friend who is struggling with believing to join a parish group for service or faith formation, share a book you found useful in dealing with your friend’s faith concern, and worship at Sunday Mass

INSTRUCTING THE IGNORANT

Learn about our faith and be open to talking with others about our beliefs.  There is always something more to discover about our faith.

  • Go on a service trip or short term mission trip.  No time? Donate to support someone on their service trip
  • Volunteer to help with religious education programs at your parish
  • Invite someone to go to mass with you this weekend
  • Know your faith! Read through the USCCA to find out more about the Catholic faith and how to live it

After the conference, the monks gather for their weekly social hour, also known as Haustus. It is a time when all of the monks who are home gather together, including those of us who work in the seminary. It is one of four meals throughout the week where we have conversation and we have different appetizers available. Haustus during Lent, however, is simpler and there is not as much variety of food.

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Above: Fr. Samuel and others serve as waiter for the week.
Below: Br. Michael catches me taking a photo and says hi.IMG_2099IMG_2102IMG_2108
Above: Abbot Gregory leads the monks in the prayer before the meal.
Below: Fr. Xavier gets in an animated conversation with Fr. Quentin while waiting in the food line.IMG_2115IMG_2117IMG_2118IMG_2119

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