Here in Mepkin we pray each day for vocations to monastic life. In the course of that prayer, we seek a blessing on “our prayer, work and community life”. The last element is not one which many people associate with monastic life. Yes, monks pray and work. But, community? What does that mean?
St Benedict in his Rule is very clear that the best form of monastic life is lived in community, under a rule and an Abbot. So, learning to be brother to each other is at the heart of the enterprise. When I was a novice Fr Kevin, our novice master, often told me that community is the sandpaper of the life. It is challenging at times of our rougher edges, smoothing other times. But always there.
I have never lived in community before so it is interesting and challenging. When you are living close to each other all the time, you get to know the strengths and faults of others very well, also your own!
It is a real joy to share life in Mepkin with such a beautiful and wonderful group of men. Very diverse and also very loving. We truly help each other to live the Gospel and search for God together. We pray and we work, for sure, but we also live together as brothers in community.