Monastery Retreat House Newsletter Feburary 2022
Life at the Monastery
110) O Divine Master, what happens in my soul is your work alone! You, O Lord, are not afraid to place the soul on the edge of a terrible precipice where it stands, alarmed and filled with fright, and then You call it back again to Yourself. These are your imponderable mysteries. Faustina’s Diary
Hello everyone, well another month has flown by, and here I am again writing another News-Letter. The church is still in the process of being ‘redone’. It is of course taking longer than we thought, but I doubt that is a rare event when it comes to something like this. The back of the church is of course open for those who wish to come during the day and pray. Those who come on a regular basis will see some progress, and hopefully, we will be opened by Easter. As usual, we are watching the progress of the Pandemic, which is not always comforting, if ever.
I do believe that it is a grace of God that the ‘Omicron’ variant while very troublesome, is not causing many deaths, at least at this point. If it is overtaking the ‘Delta’ variant, and hopefully it will, if some newer, more deadly strain does not come up, this will be over and become a yearly flu-like issue.
The community is well, but like everyone else throughout the world, there is some fatigue over the present crisis. From time to time, I will get a peek of some actual deep penetrating fear that seems ready to spring up and manifest. Not sure how powerful it would actually be if I allowed full disclosure, but it is there nonetheless. I guess part of it is waiting “for the other shoe to drop”. The other shoe being a more deadly variant. Yet this is part of life, and it must be dealt with, even embraced on some level, since there is the very unpleasant experience of powerlessness present that we humans have to struggle admitting to.
Yet, even in this time of uncertainty, if we choose to deepen our faith in God, make time for Him in our lives through prayer, and the feeding of our soul through Scripture, we will find peace in the midst of the uncertainty we all are facing. For, in fact, this pandemic is only making apparent what was always there. While God is with us, we are not promised a life that is either long, or pleasant, but we are given a chance to grow in the love of God and others.
That is why we are here. For when we love, truly love others, we will not cheat them, abuse them, gossip about them, nor will we judge them in the ways that the Lord tells us not to. The grace of God will soften our hearts, and expand our ability to love. The closer we become to the Lord, the more we will feel the evil of ‘sin’. However, trust allows us to look to the Lord and not to ourselves, in that trust we are healed. We are called not to drawback, but to go forward, seeking to become healers, and lovers, of others.
Life in this world is good, though difficult. It is the difficulty that allows us to choose, and to grow, even in failure, because, again, we elect, to forget ourselves and look to the love and mercy of God. As Sister Faustian says in her diary: “O Divine Master, what happens in my soul is your work alone”. Just remain open, and do not believe those inner voices that want to distract you from the work of the Holy Spirit.
Reach out to others, help your neighbors, and seek to heal family problems if possible. We are called, especially in times like these, to become more gentle, loving, and compassionate. That will certainly keep all of us busy, in fact, we will not have time to judge others, since we will be aware of our struggles, and need for God’s grace, to accomplish that task. It is all grace, all mercy, spread it around. Do not fear, pray for everyone, love everyone, Christ Jesus will give us the grace and ability to do that in spite of ourselves.
The infirmary is doing well. Fr’s. Matt, Eduardo, and Tom Francis are fit for their age. Br. Emilio and Sr. Beatrice, are doing a good job in keeping the infirmary going. It is not an easy job, but they both seem to be thriving.
The Abbot continues to lead us by his teaching and example, also not an easy job, lots of issues to deal with. The order may have a General chapter in February, we shall see. If so Dom Augustine will be taking a trip to Rome.
So dear friends, you are loved by all of us here, and we pray for you every day, so please pray for us. None of us walks alone!-Br.MD
Highlight – Fr. Augustine Myslinski
Father Augustine Myslinski was born July 17, 1958 in Chicago, he is one of three children. At the age of 11 the family moved to Stone Mountain, Georgia and attended Corpus Christi Church, just as the parish was establishing itself. Fr. Augustine entered the monastery December 8, 1999, and made his Solemn Profession December 2005. He discerned a further call to the priesthood and was ordained on April 30, 2011.
On Monday August 15, 2016 the feast of the Assumption of Mary, The Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, conferred the abbatial blessing on Abbot Augustine Myslinski in a solemn liturgy in the Abbey church. Father Augustine has served the community in a number of capacities, including assistant Novice Master, Sub-Prior, Cellarer (business manager) Prior (second superior) and presently as our Abbot.
Father Augustine is a kind person with a ready smile and always willing to help. He loves running, and working around the monastery, he is never happier then when he is on the lawn mower cutting the grass! We are so blessed to have him as our Abbot and part of this community.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe
and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” Jn 6, 67-69
William Golding was a British author, best known for his novel “Lord of the Flies,” an examination of the forces of brutality and civility as played out through the experiences of young boys who are marooned on a tropical island. Golding was deeply skeptical of the allegedly higher state of rationality being powerful enough to hold sway over and contain human barbarity. The novel is a grim account of what happens when social and familial networks dissolve.
I had to read the book in my sophomore year of high school. I saw the movie some years later. But during my sophomore year, which was from 1963-1964, this country was being torn inside out. The Vietnam War was escalating, racial hatreds were raging out of control which would eventually lead to the riots, many deaths and the looting of cities. President Kennedy was assassinated. The 1960’s were to go down as being one of the most tumultuous decades in American history.
It was also the time of the Second Vatican Council. The second of what would eventually be four sessions met in 1963. It was and is a council through which the church finally entered the life streams of the modern world. And to its credit, it is still listening, feeling, finding its way in a world that is radically new for all of us – for peoples of all faiths, all walks of life.
In order to better grasp its bearings, some scholars in the church tried to see as clearly as possible back to the ancient past, to rediscover the roots of Christianity and to revivify them, plant them in the soils of the 20th century. It was their hope that the Jesus of the past could enlighten the way for the Christians of the modern era.
But there were other scholars who looked ahead, and as they read the ancient texts, they took heart in the faith based truth that Jesus is alive, active in history, always ahead of us, asking us to follow, to have faith, even when the times are terribly dark and the things we hope for are not enough, if not useless. It is then that we learn what it means to walk by faith, and not sight.
The words of Simon Peter are telling in this regard. He knows he has nowhere else to go – there is no one else to follow. He takes the words and life of Jesus to heart, living mysteries that shine with the gift of eternal life. It is an offer of life here and yet to come. And he follows with the gifts he has been given of faith, hope and love. His road was not an easy one but it was a sure one.
Looking back, history is riddled with tragic examples of people whose lives were maimed or ended by hatred. The barbarity of “Lord of the Flies” is not at all far from us. But in the worst of times, Jesus isn’t either. He went through it and lives in it and beyond it – and asks us not to lose heart and abandon him. There is only one road that leads us to eternal life and when we choose to leave that road, we risk losing the only life we have.
+++James Stephen Behrens, O.C.S.O, August 23, 2015
Honey Creek Woodlands – A Natural Burial Ground
At the Monastery of the Holy Spirit
The Monastery community offers a quiet and beautiful resting place for people of all faiths, as well as those who have struggled to find faith. We are pleased to provide our land and promise to reverently protect it for those who share it with us. If you have any questions or would like to set up a tour, please call 770-483-7535. Our hours are 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday-Sunday.
Edited by markdohle
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