In the Prologue of his Rule, St. Benedict asks:
Is there anyone here who yearns for life
and desires to see good days?
This yearning for life, which is innate in all of us, is a yearning for God. For some, this desire draws them to unite with others in a single-hearted search for God following the ever-ancient yet ever-new monastic way of life.
What is a “vocation”?
The word vocation comes from the Latin word vocare, meaning “to call.” In the Church all vocations are rooted in the universal call of all baptized Christians to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many are called to the vocation of marriage and family life and to the life as a single lay person. Some are called to consecrated (religious) life as a means of seeking God with others who are similarly called.
What makes a Benedictine vocation different from other forms of religious life?
Benedictines are monastic women and men whose way of life is rooted in the call and desire to seek God in a profoundly radical way. Benedictine communities are dedicated to a shared life of prayer and various forms of work. They gather to pray the Liturgy of the Hours and to celebrate Eucharist and spend time in personal prayer with Scripture. Benedictines strive for balance and moderation in every aspect of their daily life. All of the resources of the monastery are shared and communally owned in a manner modeled after the first Christian communities described in the Acts of the Apostles.
What is monastic profession?
Chapter 58 of the Rule of St. Benedict states that Benedictine novices “promise stability, fidelity to the monastic way of life, and obedience.” This formula of self-dedication to God predates the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience taken by other congregations by several centuries. Monastic profession is a commitment to conversion of life on a daily basis throughout the entirety of one’s life. Living out one’s monastic profession is done always in the context of the community to which one belongs.
If you wish to learn more about the monastic vocation as it is expressed in our Benedictine community, we welcome you to contact Sr. Magdalena at (256) 615-6114, at vocations [at] shmon.org,or by this contact form.