Br. Armand Koss is scheduled to make life vows October 23 at 11:00am.
All of these sermons were delivered in the Abbey Church. To make it easier to find a certain topic or lectionary day, click one the blue tags below (Holidays, Sundays Year A, Sundays Year B, Sundays Year C). The sermons are posted in order of their calendar date, so not all in the same lectionary year are together – keep scrolling down, and you will find more from earlier calendar years.
Many of Abbot Andrew’s sermons are posted on his blog.
July 18, 2021 Abbey Church Abraham
We’re one, but we’re not the same. That does not mean that we should cultivate eccentricities, or allow them to grow into problems. As we grow in Christ (if we are truly growing) our differences become ever greater gifts to the whole, rather than becoming messes that others have to clean up. And true growth in Christ means that he is the foundation – not our own whims and desires. Not allowing our own self-centered impulses to control our lives is not equal to squashing our personalities, nor is it self-hate. It is actually deep self-love: learning about the many aspects of ourselves and laying them on the foundation of Jesus, so that they grow into blessings that help ourselves and the world around us, rather than allowing them to grow into monsters that hurt ourselves and the world around us. Building ourselves on the foundation of Jesus rather than on our own egos also allows and helps other people to grow into their best selves, because it frees them from always having to fearfully clean up the tragedies that our unsaved monsters make.
As we all grow individually, we all grow together in Christ: our healthy differences blending together, making up for each other’s deficits as they make up for ours. The Holy Spirit then fills the structure. But the Holy Spirit has been there all along as the one who builds: it all comes about by Grace. The Holy Spirit shows us our strengths and weaknesses and gives us the ability to lay them all on the foundation of Jesus so that they can be healed.
We’re one, but we’re not the same. And we are not completely there, yet. We all have a lot of growing to do, as individuals, as groups, and as the Church in its universality through time and space. God is infinite, so we might never reach the point where we do not need to grow into a fuller temple. That is ok, we can keep giving each other the slack to grow, as they give us, and we give ourselves. With constancy and joy, every day and every moment we lay our peculiar selves down on the foundation of Christ. And every day and every moment the Holy Spirit works on us and fills us. Every day and every moment. AMEN
The requiem and interment for Fr. Benedict will be here at the monastery on Saturday, August 14 at 11:00am.
Fr. Benedict Reid OSB died March 13, 2021 – just a few weeks short of his 100th birthday.
September 6, 2020 Abbey Church Abraham
The first part of this morning’s gospel reading is more helpful than the next-to-last part: try to take care of problems privately before they become too big. That is easier said than done, because what might seem to be an offence that another person is committing is not wrong in that person’s eyes. It might be an offence only in our own eyes. So, at least by confronting people privately, we get a chance to learn that we might in fact be the one who is wrong, rather than the other person. We then have a chance to either correct our perception of the other person’s actions, or at least learn to live with them. Going to a person privately to confront them about a problem is difficult, and so it gives us a chance to ponder if the problem really is big enough to do anything about, or even if it can even be changed at all. We learn to accept the fact that sometimes the best thing to do is in fact to sweep things under the rug. That’s life.
The middle part about using a group to discern wrongdoing and confront the wrongdoer is a little better, because it relies on collective discernment and wisdom in how to confront the person and correct the problem. Even then, actions and intentions can be misinterpreted by the group, but it is not as common as one person misinterpreting another person’s actions.
The next-to-last part about group decisions having eternal consequences is really frightening. Yes, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us. But honestly, we are not really all that good at following or even listening to the Holy Spirit. The fact that our group decisions have eternal consequences should make us veer far to the side of forgiving rather than condemning. We should always remember that we need to correct problems, rather than punish people. Punishing people solves nothing and only makes thing worse.
At least we get some consolation at the end of our reading: Jesus is with us, but only if we gather in His name. Gathering to condemn is not gathering in Jesus’s name. Gathering to heal and forgive is. AMEN