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Brother Robert’s Entrance Into Novitiate. 10/31/15 given by Abbot Stan

The troparion we sang at Vespers, Brother Robert, is the first song I heard of the music of our monastery of Tamié in the French Alps. Our Brother Conrad gave it to me on a cassette he had in 1980 to help me prepare for the visit I was to make to Tamié later in the year. The song gave me goose bumps that first time I heard it; it still gives me goose bumps every time we sing it now. It contains an image that has haunted me for over thirty-five years and continues to inspire me and move me. The image of this grand mosaic with thousands of small pieces which, in the end, make up a single picture, the glorious Christ.

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Twenty-third Sunday of the Year (B)

Is 35:4-7; Psalm 145; Jas 2:1-5; Mk 7:31-37

The promises of the first reading are arresting, consoling, comforting, encouraging and — fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  We don’t have to take time over a Christology lesson here.  The first reading and gospel make us feel we are at Christmas Eve mass at Mepkin with the cornucopia of promise and fulfillment readings that usher us into our celebration of Jesus’ nativity!!  And so our souls give praise to God for loving us and acting in our behalf as demonstrated in Jesus’ birth, ministry, passion, death, resurrection, ascension and sending forth the Spirit.

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Are we helping them to hear the call?

At times it seems there is a collective sigh going up from God’s people and a little moaning attached to the question: “Why aren’t there more vocations in the church today?”  Everyone has a call.  God is certainly inviting some to marriage, some to single life, some to vowed life as a religious sister or brother in apostolic service, some to priesthood, and yes, some to the monastic way.

God has not stopped calling.  We acknowledge there are generous men and women seeking to know God’s will in their lives.  We sense there is something amiss – perhaps lacking.  And we wonder what to do.

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