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August 7, 2013

Benedictine Vows (Part 2 of 3)

After a year of discerning one's vocation in the Novitiate, a Benedictine Monk Professes Three Vows: Obedience, Conversion of Life, and Stability.  I hope to offer a separate reflection on each of these vows; today we will take of the vow of "Conversion of Life" by which a monk promises to take up his Cross each day, dying to self in his loving service to God and to neighbor. Below is a passage taken from Thomas A. Kempis' spiritual masterpiece, The Imitation of Christ.      

Interior Conversion

Our Lord says: "The Kingdom of God is in your midst" (Lk 17:21). The only way your soul will find rest is to turn to God with your whole heart and abandon this wretched world.  Learn to despise exterior things and give your attention to the inner things; then you will see the Kingdom of God come within you...

Lose no time, then, faithful soul, in preparing your heart to meet Christ, the Beloved, so that He may come and live in you. Does He not say: "Whoever loves Me will keep My word,... We will come to him and make Our abode with him" (Jn 14:23)?  Therefore, make room for Him in your heart and shut out all others... 

When our Lord lived on earth He was looked down upon by people, and in the hour of His greatest need, He was left by His friends to bear insults and shame. 

Can you dare to complain when Christ was so willing to suffer and be despised?  Do you expect all to be your friends and patrons, when Christ was surrounded by enemies and slanders?

If all goes well with you on earth, how can you expect to be crowned in Heaven for a patience you never practiced?  How can you be Christ's friend if you will not be opposed? Therefore, you must suffer with Christ and for Christ, if you want to reign with Him...

Those who love Jesus and the truth, who lead an interior life free from unruly affections, can turn to God at will, life themselves up in spirit and repose in Christ with joy.

Pax et Gaudium

O.S.B. Vocation Awareness

O.S.B. Vocation Awareness