It’s seems ages since I posted something and probably is – however here I am again with some more ‘useless info’! Well one year on after my Election as Abbess and what’s happening in the Colwich Novitiate? Well, we have not ONE but TWO Aspirants here at the same time (they have overlaped for a few days so could get to know each other), it’s brilliant. Will let you know the out come so if I post that we have a Postulant then it is maybe one of these two or it could be somebody else! (I’m not going to say anymore on that one). But what I will say is that I did give them a very brief conference /talk on Aspirancy and for those interested here is some of it…………….
‘I just want to say how wonderful it is that you are here, it is always a sign of great joy and encouragement when a newcomer comes to the monastery and asks to do a ‘ASPIRANCY’ or ‘LIVE – IN’ as we say these days. So what does an aspirancy mean on the part of the one who is seeking? First and foremost it is one in which you come to discern whether or not you have a vocation to that particular monastery, and secondly it is an opportunity to get accqainted with the life of that community and its charisms. What are some of our charisms then? Hospitality is one as you both well know and have experienced, living in community is another, there are also the essential aspects of living this life which contain: obedience, humility, silence, unity.
St. Benedict offers to the seeker 4 things only to live up to and they are: 1) are you really seeking God, 2) are you eager for the Work of God, 3) are you ready for Obedience, and 4) are you also ready for humiliations that will bring you closer to God?
These are indeed 4 big issues for St. Benedict and ones that cannot be dismissed easily. It is indeed really hard these days to give up everything for the Lord as life is very challenging living in the world, but it is also very challenging in the monastery. But that call of Jesus to ‘Come follow me and leave everything behind’ is demanding and takes great courage and an act of faith. It is this courage and faith that gets you through working with God’s grace and it is his grace for we cannot do anything on our own, after all Jesus never promised a garden of roses, he said, ‘if you want to be a follower of mine then come take up your cross and follow me’. Going back to a garden of roses, someone once said to me that you cannot pick a rose without a thorn and how true that is. If you want something lovely in life like a rose, then you have to expect thorns’.