16 June 2009

Decisions, Decisions

May 27th -Feast of Augustine of Canterbury

Well today was a bit out of the ordinary; even after what I said yesterday. I think God has a good way of making us laugh at ourselves. We went to a conference of religious (Brothers, Sisters, Nuns, and Priests in religious orders). As the only aspirant in the group I was a bit of an oddball there… yes more of one than usual. While the speaker was not much to write home about (so I won’t); the sisters were quite interesting to talk to. More than a few had Chicago connections too! The Abbot and Novice Master attended with the novice, the two postulants, and myself.File:Mount St Bernards Abbey.JPG

May 28th
I spoke with the abbot today and I told him that I wanted to join the abbey. He wanted to know what formed my decision. The things that shape my decision were:
  • My introduction to the Divine Office was the British translation and that is the translation I prefer.
  • That translation is accessible to the laity, and the laity attend most every one of the offices at Mount St. Bernard (even Vigils, at times).
  • The liturgy in England is much less politicized than in America. To coin a phrase, there is a Spectrum of Orthodoxy in England. The Mass can be celebrated worthily in a variety of ways: maybe more formal at times and maybe more intimate and personal at other times.
  • Mount St. Bernard's has been around for almost 175 years. I do not think it is going anywhere, anytime soon.
  • There is a great range of ages there from age 26 - 95. So there is both youthfulness and wisdom present at the abbey.
  • All of the able body members take their part in manual twice a day. No one is "too good" for it.
  • There is a real since of austerity at the abbey, not that they live in abject poverty.
During my first week of the live in, I did not even want to bring up the questions of a decision in prayer. By the beginning of the second week, I did not even have to ask the question... I knew the answer.

Fairly soon I will have another live-in. After that, I can apply to the abbot for entrance. I ask for your continued prayers as I begin this next leg of my journey. Thank You and Peace.


  1. Thanks for your blog - I've visited Mount St Bernard's several time and, for a while, contemplated trying my vocation there. It's a remarkable community and a very peaceful place.

    Be assured of prayers.

  2. As the old nun told me, "You'll know when you've found your community because it will fit you like a glove." (Not that gloves don't occasionally chafe and pinch.) It sounds like you've found the place you're supposed to be.

    I'll keep you in my prayers--the time from making my decision to the time I actually entered was perhaps more difficult for me than the initial decision to pursue my vocation.

    You'll always have friends, and brothers, here. Don't be a stranger.