On July 20, 2013, Fr Cyprian was installed as the new prior for New Camaldoli Hermitage, Big Sur.
Fr Thomas Matus offered the following for this occasion:
"Today is an ordinary Mass in ordinary time, even though every Mass is special, becauise of the intention with which we offer it. May the Holy Spirit now make us ready to hear and celebrate the Word and Sacrament of God's presence in our midst.
Today, New Camaldoli Hermitge is to elect a new prior. I assume that I was asked to serve today's homily, because, as an elder monk, I might have a good word to address to the brother whom we shall choose to be our prior. I also assume another thing, that we shall indeed enjoy a pleasant lunch after this morning's session, because we are letting the Holy Spirit be in charge of the election and our lift.
Of course, we believe that God the Holy Spirit is always in charge, just as we believe that she is the author of the readings of today's liturgy, chosen to accompany the election of our new prior. Actually, the choice of readings is that of the church, for this Thursday in ordinary time according to the Roman rite, but we have chosen to hear this Thursday's word of God as the best possible message for our community and our incoming prior.
What better way of telling him what we want to see in him, than by giving him the example of Moses, whom the book of Numbers called "the meekest human being on the face of the earth." And Jesus our divine Savior fulfills the prophet and his prophecy, by revealing himself and his Heavenly Father as "meek and humble of heart." So, brother, we want you to be meek like Moses and give us no other yoke than the light and sweet one of Jesus. Do take it on yourself. Then I think you will be happy and find rest for your soul, and so will we. Ins't this what Jesus and the Spirit want for us?
We also want our prior to be a lover of beauty. We, warts and wrinkles and all, ask you to see the beauty in our faces and our lives. See our imperfections, but also let us see yours, lest we feel alone in our imperfect living. With you we want to open our eyes and see nature's beauty surrounding us and embracing us. We want to listen to your voice, and please listen to ours, as we speak and sing together. Make room for us, future prior, that each one of us may create a special kind of beauty, with the gifts that God and our schooling have given us.
Now we gather at God's table, and we make the Eucharist our own prayer. We know the meaning of the Eucharistic prayer, in whatever words it might be expressed, because the words of Jesus at the Last Supper are inscribed in our hearts by faith. Our prayer today, as monks who are choosing a brother to serve them, will be a prayer of the heart, beyond all words. Please all of you join us in this prayer, as we gather in the rotunda.
Fr Thomas Matus, osb cam
Additional references, links:
Camaldolese TIdings, Vol 19, Issue 1, Fall 2013