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.
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.
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.