A concert pianist said, “If I don’t practice for one day, I notice. If I don’t practice for two days, my friends notice. If I don’t practice for three days, the audience notices.” I feel very similarly about prayer. It can happen that I fall out of my usual rhythm of prayer, e.g., when I travel. If I don’t pray for a day, God notices. If I don’t pray for two days, I sense it. I feel different. If I don’t pray for three days, those around me sense it. Something about me is different. Whether I pray or not doesn’t only affect me, it has an effect on the people around me, too.
Jesus tells us that we may pray with great trust. In addressing God as ‘Father,’ he uses in his Aramaic mother tongue the word ‘Abba,’ which literally means, ‘Daddy.’ Present your needs to God, he says, just as a child turns to his/her father or mother expecting everything they need from them. And Jesus calls us to perseverance in prayer. If a friend helps another even at an inconvenient hour, if parents who love their children nurture them and care for them, how much more will God send the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
A retreat is an opportunity to sort out our priorities in life. It helps us recognize more clearly what to pray for. Besides petition, there are other forms of prayer: praise, thanksgiving, adoration … to name just a few. Through personal reflection, a retreat program, and/or spiritual direction, we can gain clarity about how we can live spiritually in the midst of our busy day-to-day lives, which times of the day or the week we want to reserve for God, and how we want to use these times, e.g. for praying with Holy Scripture or for prayerfully reflecting on our past day. Important are regularity and persistence. -
We have completely revised our website. There is only one common home page now for the monastery and all its ministries, including St. Benedict Center. The website is easier to navigate, has a younger look and feel and offers, among other things, more information about the monks. It is well viewable on wide screens, tablets and smart phones. Donations to the projects supported by the Benedictine Mission House are possible online now, too. They can be an expression of your support and care for the poor and excluded people in our world.
One new tool of promoting our retreats is email campaigns. From the new website, PDF versions of our program flyers can now be downloaded as well. – We also redesigned our St. Benedict Center picture brochures. The one titled, Oasis of Peace describes the Center in general, and the other one called, Conference and Retreat Center is specifically for those who might be interested in bringing their own group to the Center. - In our St. Benedict Center housekeeping department, we have a new co-worker, Chriss, who replaced Mary Kay after her retirement.
Especially worth noting among the upcoming events of our program schedule are, as always, our Christmas Craft Show starting on November 27, the nativity scenes, and our lively Christmas Pageant on December 3. On April 22, 2017, our brother monk from Germany, Fr. Anselm Gruen, OSB, Ph.D., will be with us for a one-day retreat titled, Jesus: The Image of God’s Mercy. He will speak to us about his personal and transformative journey with Jesus. - I am looking forward to seeing you again soon!
Fr. Thomas Leitner, OSB, Administrator