Monday, October 5, 2015


Three fine men joined us for the autumn Monastic Experience Weekend. With sincerity and open hearts they come like others before them seeking God's will, seeking to discover the deepest desire and longing in their own hearts. And so we were reminded of Pope Francis' words in a recent address. He says in part:

To offer one’s life is possible only if we are able to leave ourselves behind. Belief means transcending ourselves, leaving behind our comfort and the inflexibility of our ego in order to center our life in Jesus Christ. This “going forward” is not to be viewed as a sign of contempt for one’s life, one’s feelings, one’s own humanity. On the contrary, those who set out to follow Christ find life in abundance by putting themselves completely at the service of God and his kingdom.

Jesus says: “Everyone who has left home or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life” Mt 19:29. All of this is profoundly rooted in love. The Christian vocation is first and foremost a call to love, a love which attracts us and draws us out of ourselves, “decentering” us and triggering “an ongoing exodus out of the closed inward-looking self towards its liberation through self-giving, and thus towards authentic self-discovery and indeed the discovery of God” Deus Caritas Est, 6.

Responding to God’s call, then, means allowing him to help us leave ourselves and our false security behind, and to strike out on the path which leads to Jesus Christ, the origin and destiny of our life and our happiness. Never be afraid to go out from yourselves and begin the journey! How wonderful it is to be surprised by God’s call, to embrace his word, and to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, in adoration of the divine mystery and in generous service.

We always pray for our candidates, that they may grow in ardor, courage and confidence.
Photograph of monastery woodlands by Father Emmanuel.