Monday, October 28, 2019

April 2019 Minutes

Attendance Br. Francis Wagner,OSB, Pat Dorn, Jane Moyer, Linda Faulhaber, Nick McCarroll, Kathy Gloeckner, Margaret Sherlock, Ron DeMarco, Peyton & Mary Louise Reed Br. Francis, our Oblate Dean, opened our meeting with prayer, then we introduced ourselves.

We welcomed Jane Moyer, visiting from another area in the state. We read the Mission Statement, then prayed Vespers. Lectio this month was not on today’s Gospel, which is permissible, at Peyton’s suggestion, so as not to have the same information we’d heard at church.

The minutes had no corrections.

The treasurer reported a balance of $595, while owing today’s honorarium for Br. Francis’ visit, and $3 for office expenses.

Old Business
We took up the question about the third step in Lectio with Br. Francis. Yes, our response to the reading in that step should be a prayer, or in the form of prayer. Chanting the Psalms: Br. Francis shared his own experience with this when first coming to the monastery. He said the focus on how to do it, and doing it right were very distracting. But, that psalms are meant to be sung, especially at Vespers. They are spoken only at Lauds, though he said an individual monk away from the monastery may well do spoken psalms. Like anything else, practice and time makes the chanting easier. One problem is that when chanting together, there’s no opportunity to stop when something strikes you. But there is no personal prayer in a public office; we pray together for others and for the world. The text is most important; notes help it along, making it sung speech.

Janis, our Oblate Director, said that if there’s someone who can lead, the experience can be enriching. Br. Francis suggested reading the General Instruction for the Liturgy of the Hours, which can be found in the four volume set of the Liturgy, or on the EWTN website.

In response to our questions about the new requirement for investitures and oblations to happen at the monastery, we were reminded that we are chapters of the Archabbey; therefore it makes sense for the Archabbot to want to receive people. It is also more special for oblates to actually sit in the choir and to interact with the monks, making it very special and memorable.

The monastery has an Angel Fund to be able to help those who may need financial help to get there. Other chapters have expressed problems also. The question came up whether Skype, Facetime, or similar technology is a possibility. Currently, it seems that the logistics of that may be prohibitive.

New Business
Peyton Reed reported on his participation in the Honor Flight program for veterans of WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. It is a one day trip to Washington, DC to visit all the war memorials, and includes much celebration at the airport both at the beginning and at the end of the day, thanking them for their service. Those who participate find it very memorable. He has written a memoir of the day, and offered copies to those who want them.

Steve Bay’s wife (Karen Romme) died, and we decided to have a mass said for her at St. Meinrad. Brother Francis lead a discussion based on his assignment from last September to read The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. The book was difficult for many, and he had much teaching for us about the themes expressed in the book.

Highlights of Br. Francis’ discussion:
• Living our lives authentically as Christians is our best witness to others. Christian practices don’t convince people of Christ’s beauty and truth if we don’t act like Jesus in our conversation, our driving • The Devil is constantly trying to tempt us in small things, to make us more consistently doing wrong and eventually not noticing
• We like to avoid seeing our own faults and the habits that annoy others, focusing on others’ faults instead
• Fear of seeing our inner soul: God never refuses mercy to those who acknowledge their faults
• War itself is not our enemy, but the reactions of individuals during war is the spiritual war we are always part of. How we live and die – remembering we will all live forever – is what’s important
• Satan can’t create anything; he twists (or encourages us to twist) virtues into vice
• Unselfishness, with true charity , is meeting another’s needs, not helping others in order to please myself in my inner heart Summary Transparency as the theme for oblates this year has been to help us present ourselves to God in truth and humility, not hiding like Adam and Eve.

The Screwtape study was to help us understand how evil tries to deceive us, and to help us serve the Lord with constancy, more aware of the specifics of the warfare.

Br. Francis closed our meeting with prayer. A social time followed.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Louise Reed

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