Becoming a Monk

back: Br Vincent, Br Juan, Br Paul, Fr Columba, Fr Joe, Br Mary Francis, Fr Guerric, Br Martin

front: Fr Kevin, Fr Richard, Fr Gerard Jonas, Br Mary Joseph, Br Stephen, Br John

(not in the photo: Fr Stan)

“Who is God inviting me to become? What is God asking me to do with my life?”

The human person is on a pilgrimage of the heart. The human heart is a desire seeking fulfillment; an emptiness that longs to be filled full; a journey that moves toward rest.

O Lord, you have made us for yourself, and our poor heart is without rest, restless till it rest in you! (St Augustine, Confessions I:1).

The human person is created in the image of God. The biblical locus for this image, and the source of this unlimited thirst for its Creator-Source, is the human heart.

Deep is calling on deep, in the roar of waters (Ps.42:8).

The depths of God call out to our depths. The Mystery calls out to the mystery of each person. The Presence first seeks us. Love firstloves us. This love is an absolutely free gift. We cannot earn it; we cannot buy it. Love only asks for love in response.Monks are not unlike other people whose hungering hearts are in search of that Mystery who alone draws them beyond a life that is merely useful, to one that is full of meaning. Neither are monks unlike other Christians who have known the Gospel glance of love which Jesus gave to the man seeking the way to eternal life. Monks are those for whom this desire expresses itself in the language of constant prayer.The monk is the one who has heard the inner call of Christ:

“Seeking his workman in the multitude, the Lord cries out…Is there anyone here who longs for life and desires to see good days?” (Rule Prologue,14).

The voice of Christ rouses the person to a deeper awareness of human destiny. By answering “Yes!” one chooses to follow Christ under a rule and an abbot (the elected spiritual father of the community) in a stable community. The monastic life, as envisioned in the Rule of St. Benedict, is nourished by a threefold stream: lectio divina (the prayerful reading of Scripture); opus Dei (the communal chanting of prayers), and work.

At every weekday Mass after Communion, the monks and their guests at Mepkin pray this prayer for vocations to the monastic life. The prayer is available at the Abbey story on a card with a photo of the Mepkin community, and it is being distributed by the Abbot and the brothers in many of their letters to family, friends and benefactors. The prayer is also sent to anyone who inquires about a vocation at Mepkin and to those who come to the monastery for a time of vocation discernment. Please join the monks in praying for monastic vocations, especially at Mepkin Abbey.

Prayer for Monastic Vocations

Gracious and loving God
In every generation you call men and women
to leave everything
following Christ into the desert
being of one mind in peace, humulity and simplicity

We come before you now asking for the grace
to be faithful to our vocation
striving to live in the communion of Love which surpasses all other gifts

May men and women of our time
hear the call to live the Gospel in the monastic way
in servce of the Church’s mission
by constantly seeking your face in prayer, work and community life

Remember our Cistercian communities
those aging and those newly born
throughout the world, north and south, east and west

As you have done from the days of our founders
bless us once again
May our brotherhood at Mepkin grow in numbers, in grace and in wisdom
so that we might continue to live for your glory with greater vigor
and with joy never ending.