Why become a Monk?
Vocation is, in the first place, a thing of the heart. We may hardly understand what is going on, but we are aware of an attraction to monastic life.
It is basically not so different from falling in love, but God, revealed in Christ, is the object of our love. By responding to our vocation we follow Christ, just as the first disciples did.
We will be able to understand what God wants of us only by respecting this sense of calling, listening to it and letting it take shape and grow. We also need to be wise, and think how we can best respond to God’s call. We must use our heads as well as our hearts, and the Holy Spirit will enlighten our minds if we seek his help. It is certainly a good idea to visit one or two monasteries, and to explore other vocational possibilities, to try to see what God may be calling you to do.
No vocation can survive in a heart congested with known and unrepented sin. Only by letting God purify our hearts will there be room for the Holy Spirit to act in us. Regular prayer, however weak, brief or elementary, must accompany any process of discovering God’s will. In our prayer we must not only share our own thoughts and desires with God; we must also listen to him and open our hearts for him to make his will known.
There is also the question of whether are ready to let go and to be changed. Love can never be conditional. We must be aware that a vocation is always a call to commit one’s life to God, to follow him and to trust in him. The best sign of a vocation is the readiness a person shows in persevering with the challenges to remain open to God and ready to let God work through the community to help him grow to the fullness of life in Christ.
If you wish to find out more about monastic vocations or discuss the possibility of a monastic vocation, contact Dom Anselm. You can keep up with Dom Anselm via the Facebook Vocations Page and on Twitter.