St. Benedict Abbey
Our beloved 1st Abbot, Abbot Gabriel, died on March 27, 2010.
Fr. Anthony Kloss, O.S.B.
In the five years that I've been here I've had to have a couple of skin grafts for my knee ulcers and am at the present time looking forward to surgery to straighten my hands, which show the ravages of both the Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Scleroderma. With regards to internal involvement, I've recently experienced sporadic breathing difficulties and an Echo Cardiogram indicated some decreased blood flow from the heart to the lungs. This has, of course, brought home to me the fact of my own mortality, which is not normally an issue that confronts young adults. But I have two ways of handling it - either I can close in upon myself and become pre-occupied with my own little world of ill health, or I can rise above it all and make each moment a source of blessing for myself and others. Those here in the monastery know that I haven't always lived up to this ideal, but I keep on trying, and that is what's important. So no matter how or when my illness may develop in the future I can face it with courage as part of the overall plan of Divine Providence, knowing that I have given all for my community, the Church, and indeed the world!
I would like to take this opportunity to make public my gratitude to the monks of my monastery who have accepted me "lock stock and barrel," so to speak, into their lives. In doing this, they have literally followed St. Benedict's admonition - "to endure with patience one another's infirmities, whether of mind or of body." I owe them so much and yet my repayment has not always been equally generous, but that doesn't reflect what's really been in my heart. While such charity on their part can never be fully rewarded in this life, it is my hope that someday I may be able to offer them an adequate return for all that they so abundantly deserve.
Let me now bring this to a conclusion with one of my favorite quotations from St. Paul (2 Cor. 1:3,4 and 7). "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercy and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our trials so that we may be able to console others who are in trial with the same consolation we have received from him." This, then, has been my purpose in sharing with you the story of my life - that by knowing of its joys and struggles, won and lost, your lives too may become examples of God's love to others. "For we know that as you share in our same sufferings, you will also share in our same consolation."
May he rest in peace.
I love living in New England and am still awestruck by its magnificent seasonal changes. The first time I actually saw falling snow was after I moved here from California, and I made a real spectacle of myself calling together everyone I could find to see it! Fortunately all my activities keep me indoors - porter (answering the phone and door), sacristan (care and preparation of the chapel for all the services) and librarian. Our day begins at 6:00 a.m. and ends at 9:00 p.m. and we come together several times throughout its course for prayer, which takes the form of chanting the psalms. In the time-honored monastic tradition we welcome guests, and operate a large retreat house for individuals and groups who wish to spend a day or a weekend experiencing something of the peace and solitude of our life.
Sheila Olohan Beirne, another good friend.
Betsy Walsh, another good friend
Abbot Xavier, Br. Benedict, Fr. Aidan, another good friend
Debbie and David Muir, more good friends. See a pattern?!