10 July 2009

Monastic Live-in,Part Deux

On Monday I am flying back to Britain with Mount St. Bernard Abbey as my sole destination. After my half-month stay, I can formally apply to enter the abbey. I decided that I would not be doing any further traveling on this trip.

On my humble little blog I try to be honest. Honest about what I see and honest about my feelings. And I try to avoid being overly-positive or pollyannistic. So, emotionally speaking, the anticipation for this trip is very different from the previous two trips. There was a sense of adventure and discovery for the previous trips, but I am not expecting that anything will be different from my last trip in May.

Yesterday I started feeling anxious about this upcoming trip. At first this feeling worried me. On reflection I think the enormity of my decision to apply to the abbey has finally hit me. And it is about time. This decision is HUGE.

When I resigned my self to the thought that my religious vocation had fizzled, I put down roots. I established a career for myself, bought a house, entered in to public life (including a run for alderman), and most importantly I made a lot of friends. I thought that I was going to here in Blue Island for life. There were a few parishes in and near Blue Island that I checked out. None of them fit. Just over a year ago I joined St.Isidore the Farmer Parish, and I thought the final piece of the puzzle was found. I was there about three months when my vocation was reawakened.

I firmly believe that the Cistercian life with its focus on God and simplicity of life is what God wants for me. So the aspect of getting rid of my possessions is not a big deal. There is also the aspect of detachment from family friends. This is more of a challenge, because these relationships are two way streets. I will write more on that topic on a later date.

Sometimes I think God lifts some of his sweetness from our lives so that we are aware that we are entering into a new phase of life. A number of years ago I had two friends that were expecting their first child. As the due-date approached the dad-to-be confided to me that he was very nervous and afraid he was not up to the task of being a father. I told him that it was good that he was feeling that way because it showed that he was taking being a father seriously. I think the same thing can be said of my anxiety.

Again I ask for your prayers as I go to the abbey and as I apply to enter it. If any of you have prayer requests, please feel free to forward them to me.

God Bless you.

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