Once again on this past weekend we hosted a Monastic Experience Weekend. We were privileged to have four men with us. In addition to praying the Office in choir, these candidates had opportunities to work and speak personally with the monks. There were conferences on monastic life. And on Saturday evening Brother Francis shared the story of his vocation. The four candidates were invited to join the us for Sunday Chapter, the Hour of Sext and Sunday dinner in the refectory.
Here we share excerpts from Father Prior's Sunday Chapter talk:
Divine Providence means that the love of God for us is alive and ever new, and that the whole world is drawn into the orbit of his constant care for us. His love embraces the whole world, past and present, in every passing moment of its existence and activity. Everything that happens comes to me from God, from his love. And it calls me. It challenges me. It is his will that I should live and act and grow in it and become the person he intends me to be. And the world is to be perfected into that which it can become only through us. Providence is created from the newness of the freedom of God and also from our small human freedom. Not just anywhere, but here. Not just at any time, but now. It is a mystery of the Living God, and we will experience it to the extent that we surrender ourselves to it, not letting it merely pass over us but cooperating with it. Divine Providence is a matter of our being called, God drawing us into his providential creation, calling us to use our freedom and participate in the coming of the Kingdom. Our engagement and response is a vital element of Divine Providence. Vocation means that we are included in God’s loving care of the universe and of our own lives. We cannot separate our vocation from God’s Providence! Just as Jesus did, we must stand within the living activity of God.