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July 23, 2013

A Young Man's Monastic Journey (Part III)

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 3 of 3

He carried on with these jobs for what seemed like years.  One day the abbot asked the novice master, “What about that man who was so intent on making his profession in our monastery.  Is he no longer interested?” 

“He doesn’t mention it much anymore,” said the novice master.

“Is he unhappy?” asked the abbot.

“No, he seems content enough,” responded the novice master.  “He doesn’t say much to anyone.  He goes about his tasks in the garden; he consoles the old monks in the infirmary, and encourages the new ones in the novitiate.”

“Bring him to me,” said the abbot.

The man was brought to the abbot who began to question him: “I was wondering if you were still interested in making your profession.  You don’t seem as keen to do it as you once were when you were making such a thorough study of our tradition.  Have you gone off the idea altogether?”

The man looked at the abbot.  The lines beginning to show round the man’s eyes reflected the fact that he’d been in the monastery a number of years now.  But his face had the freshness and peace of those whose poverty had taught them they had nothing to defend.  The man said to the abbot, “Jesus Christ is my monastery.”

The abbot sat up in his chair and leaned forward.  He gazed into the man as though looking for something, looked into him as though gazing into the heart of mystery.  His gaze fixed on the man, sifting him, assessing every turn taken, every decision made in order to know if this man really knew what he had said.  The abbot stood up slowly, towered over him and said, “You have learned our tradition well.  May I have your blessing?”

Pax et Gaudium

O.S.B. Vocation Awareness

O.S.B. Vocation Awareness