The retreat was wonderful, and drew to a close this morning with a special Mass that included the renewal of vows. It was a good week.
After Mass, Br. Luke said his farewells. He is off to Switzerland, and Einsiedeln! It's likely he has no idea how fortunate he is, but he will soon enough! May God go with him.
Our closing reflection for the retreat was Chapter 72 of The Rule, on "The Good Zeal of Monks," which is a good summary and theme for St. Benedict's entire work:
Just as there is a wicked zeal of bitterness
which separates from God and leads to hell,
so there is a good zeal which separates from evil
and leads to God and everlasting life.
This, then, is the good zeal which monks must foster
with fervent love: They should each be the first
to show respect to the other (Romans 12:10),
supporting with the greatest patience
one another's weaknesses of body or behavior,
and earnestly competing in obedience to one another.
No one is to pursue what he judges better for himself,
but instead, what he judges better for someone else.
To their fellow monks they show the pure love of brothers;
to God, loving fear;
to their abbot, unfeigned and humble love.
Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ,
and may he bring us all together
to everlasting life.
(+Timothy Fry, O.S.B., trans., Liturgical Press, 1981)