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July 22, 2013

A Young Man's Monastic Journey (Part II)

This passage is taken from the Epilogue of Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation, by Martin Laird.  It is a beautiful example of radical openness to God from the depths of our hearts. http://www.amazon.com/Into-Silent-Land-Christian-Contemplation/dp/0195307607

Part 2 of 3

After more than a year the young man was convinced that now he would be able to answer correctly any question the abbot might put to him and he could see, moreover, the abbot’s wisdom in putting him off for a time.  And so the young man told the novice master that he felt he was now ready to make his profession and could he please see the abbot.  The novice master arranged this, and soon enough the young man was brought to the abbot.

The abbot said, “I’m very happy to hear that you still want to make your profession and to live your monastic life among us.  But tell me, why do you feel you are ready to make your profession?”

The young man responded, “I’m convinced that this is what God is asking of me.  I don’t claim to understand it.  I only know it is something I must do.  Moreover, I have been studying our tradition and our charism.  I identify with it very deeply and think it confirms the sense of interior call that I feel.”

The abbot was obviously listening to him very intently and sincerely.  He said to the young man, “What you say is very edifying indeed, and I feel even myself encouraged in the life just listening to you speak the way you do about your conviction of God’s love for you and of his call.  But I think you should go back to the novitiate, back to the novitiate until you are really ready.”

The man was in quite a state as he left the abbot’s office.  He was in fact completely shattered.  He couldn’t imagine what on earth the abbot could possibly have wanted to hear.  He knew he belonged more in the monastery than half of those other wretched monks.  But he returned to the novitiate.  He had already completed his formal studies, so he took to helping in the garden, pruning vines and thinning carrots and also served in the infirmary.

Pax et Gaudium

O.S.B. Vocation Awareness

O.S.B. Vocation Awareness