Seeking God in the Monastic life
St. Benedict asks only one simple question of the man or woman who may be wondering if the monastic life may be for them. That simple question is: Is this person “truly seeking God?“
Pope Francis when speaking to young people on Vocations Sunday in 2020 said,
“Every vocation is born of that gaze of love with which the Lord came to meet us, perhaps even at a time when our boat was being battered by the storm.”
This gaze of love, of which Pope Francis speaks, is at the heart of our life and as Benedictine women we continue to seek the voice of Jesus calling us through the everyday experiences of monastic life. Our desire is to be united with Him in loving fidelity.
The monastic life requires a certain separation from the way we previously lived our life. In the monastery we are called to change our customs and habits in order to embrace a new way of living, as sisters in search of God in a community. As we grow in our love for Jesus, we gradually discover how to let go of those things that can hold us back in our search for God.
When we enter the monastery we do not turn our back on the world however, but engage with it in a new way. A monastery can become a beacon for our world, a light shining in the darkness and a sign of new hope.
WHAT IS SPECIFIC ABOUT THE BENEDICTINE LIFE?
A Benedictine life takes on the particular shape and form given to it by the Rule of Saint Benedict. Our vow of stability means that we are called to grow in a particular community for our whole lives. In our community life we discover our own weaknesses and learn how to bear one another’s burdens. The very essence of monastic life draws us into communion with God and with each other.
The rhythm of the Divine Office, Lectio Divina, prayer, study and work are all helpful elements in this loving search for God in monastic life. Through these practices we gradually become more aware of God’s presence and our need for God. Our vow of obedience frees us to go beyond ourselves and to embrace more fully the path that leads to God.