Thursday, October 23, 2014

Becoming A Monk


IT WAS NOT YOU WHO CHOSE ME, IT WAS I WHO CHOSE YOU.

JOHN 15:15-16

If you are considering a monastic vocation please do not hesitate to contact us.

How to Begin

God’s desire is first. God always makes the first move toward us. God in Christ is always drawing us, beckoning us. But how to know, how to recognize God’s nearness, God’s desire? Perhaps the best way is by noticing my deepest desires. What do I long for? What do I dream about? What attracts me? What has seized my imagination? It takes time, prayer and patience but once I get in touch with this deep down place of my desire, everything will be changed, transformed. I will want to follow and pursue what I love with my whole heart, with all my strength. For, indeed, God speaks to us through our deepest desires- desires for happiness, wholeness, holiness.

Clearly then the first question in any vocational discernment always will be, “What do I really desire?” Some may notice the first stirrings of a desire for the monastic way of life. They may have read about Orthodox monastic life; they may have visited a monastery and been attracted by the beauty of the place, the beauty of the Liturgy, the joy and meaningfulness of the lives of the monks they see. Indeed, the attraction to our life may be experienced by many, but the life of a monk is meant for relatively few. These are the ones who will acknowledge the continuing desire for monastic life in their hearts. These are the ones who will want to respond to the divine invitation to remain in the monastery hidden in Christ, following him in a way of life that is “ordinary, obscure and laborious.”

The monastic life is the life of the angels, and utterly transforms a man, changing him from an earthly to a heavenly being. To become a monk of St. Columba of Iona Orthodox Monastery, a person must be an active member of the Orthodox Church. He should come to stay as for a few days in order to see the monastery. If he continues in his interest in monasticism, he will then spend several months in the monastery as an observer, participating in all the activities of monastery life. Having discerned that God is indeed calling him to become a monk, he declares his intention to the Abbot, who will then cloth him in the black as a novice. After three years in the novitiate, or a shorter time if the Abbot deems fit, he is then tonsured as a monk.

Contact the Abbot if you wish explore your monastic vocation here at St. Columba

You may also affiliate with us if you wish to explore monastic life but remain in the state that God has called you too.