On the Feast of the Annunciation Thursday, March 25, Brother Matthew completed his year as a postulant and entered the novitiate. He was welcomed by Father Joe and the community after Vespers. Brother Matthew now joins Brother Ambrose as our two novices.
Read Brother Matthew’s Article
I am quite pleased that the superior thought that it would be advantageous for me to receive the habit on the day of the Feast of the Annunciation; the day that the Church celebrates Mary’s game-changing ‘yes’ to bring Christ into the world. Surely there’s no day more fitting to make religious vows; especially if you happen to be joining an Order that is said to be under the patronage of Mary!
The superior asked me if I was going to adopt a religious name upon entering, but I told him that I’ll be keeping ‘Matthew’. I just share too much in common with that saint to not share the same name with him; considering how his call to leave behind everything to follow Jesus is literally my own — save that he was quicker and more zealous to follow than I was.
I do wonder though what more is in store for me if I stay on this path of grace. Just how deep is God drawing me into his heart? All the way? But what is all the way if the depth of God’s love is immeasurable? Reason fails to grasp infinite things, I know that’s the answer already, and 1 Corinthians 2:11 also reminds us; “No one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God.”
But my curious mind still wants to know. My soul, on the other hand, paradoxically wants to un-know; it wants to un-know everything. For it greatly dislikes having to constantly manage and control the mind’s information feed. It just wants to let go of all that and be absorbed in God’s love. It wants to be loving as He is. It wants to be one with Him.
I am reminded now of the superb mystical theology of Jesus found in John 17: 21-24;
“As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
To be with God where He is. To see His glory and receive it. To be desired by His Majesty.
The theological implications of these scripture verses are truly mind-blowing. See, God Himself desires that we be one in divine union with Him. If only we knew what God was inviting us into! We would probably at once drop all our unruly desires so as to make our desire one with His. Why don’t we anyway? Why always the hold up? I ask myself this question an awful lot. But this time, this time, I want to put to bed this old nagging question (and I hope I don’t sound like I’m being too hard on myself here.) It’s just that I know that I must say ‘yes’ to this call as best as I possibly can before my body gets laid six feet deep in this abbey’s cemetery.
O Mary, Queen of the Universe, pray for me.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
– Br. Matthew