Thank you for your interest in our life here at The Monastery of the Risen Christ. The following is some descriptive information about us. We are a monastic and contemplative community, in the Benedictine tradition, with an emphasis on both solitude and community. This is a difficult balance, and requires specific human skills and a certain level of spiritual development. We ask that individuals considering our way of life be in a process of spiritual direction with someone to help discern the mysterious call that is the call to religious life. This is best done locally, that is, with someone near your home. We ask too that this process be an extended one, not just one or two visits. As the work progresses and the life of prayer increases, and if it seems that God is calling you to consider a monastic and contemplative vocation, we would be happy to explore the possibility of a call to our way of life with you. The following issues come up often, so we want to address them early on for prospective candidates. Our life is challenging, and different from many other ways of life (see description). We can only accept candidates who are under age 45. In addition, we have found that those candidates in their late teens and early to mid twenties do not persevere. Therefore we encourage people to wait until their mid to late twenties before seriously considering our way of life. Those who have experienced a life on their own, supporting themselves, have done well here. We are a Roman Catholic order, and as such, candidates must be Catholic. Those considering converting to the Catholic faith are strongly encouraged to become involved in a local parish RCIA program. Recent converts are asked to be involved in their local parish for a couple of years before considering us, in order to distinguish the call of conversion from the call to religious life. In addition, those who have been away from the practice of the Catholic faith for a period of time should become re-acquainted with the Catholic faith and involved in the life of the local church. There are programs in parishes to help in this process. Your spiritual director can help you. The process begins by initiating contact with our vocation director. After some correspondence, if it seems appropriate, an invitation to visit the Hermitage is extended. There are normally a number of visits of varying lengths over a number of months. You would be staying within the cloister with the monks, getting to know the community and their way of life. This is then followed by a two to three month Observership. Prior to beginning the Observership (the last stage of discernment before beginning the Postulancy) you will need to be free of all financial obligations, including all school loans. If you have any further questions, or are interested in pursuing the possibility of a vocation with us, please feel free to write me:
Father Daniel Manger c/o Monastery of the Risen christ PO Box 3931, San Luis Obispo, CA 93403
Or send an e-mail to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org You may also leave a telephone message at: (805) 544-1810 Please know of our prayers for you in this important search for a clearer sense of God’s call. Each month, Fr. Daniel Manger, director of formation, will be writing a short article related to the discernment of a monastic vocation. Click here to contact Fr. Daniel directly. Intentio Cordis: Reflections On Monastic Vocation November 2011, #3
A Monk’s Bond With Listening
Fr. Daniel Manger, OSB Cam Here at the Monastery, retreat guests often remark on how the grand silence of our Monastery allows the retreatant to reclaim a sense of themselves. This is not unanticipated since we live with the noise and constant flow of data, information and commercial appeals that no doubt have an affect upon us. In contrast then to this potential toxicity, time here at the Hermitage offers an encounter with the natural world’s beauty and listening to and experiencing God’s eternal grace. As monks in our Benedictine tradition, we give ourselves over to this listening quest, both as individual monks and in community with one another, and in so doing, we recover a deeper understanding, a perception; and we discover an intelligent thought or a new reflection on the ordinary. We acquire the stamina for discerning a range of examples of the divine presence within our personal lives and that of the community and creation around us When each of us practices turning down the volume and tuning out the multiplicity of media chatter, expositions and noise of commercial messages, we are able to better listen to God, self, and others. We then awaken to the wonder of being alive in a beautiful world of relationships. For the monk, this opens a doorway to thrive and relate this discovery in dedication to God who really sustains all beings and things for His greater destiny and purpose. God – the mystery without origin, out of love in Christ and the Holy Spirit – has shared and created for each of us a sustaining relationship that will bring us into an eternal fullness already unfolding which gives the monk and our world a solid hope. This hope is worth living for in the midst of a world where hope is noticeably lacking, replaced by desperation and anxiety. The monk enters into a bond with God to be vigilant in listening within the silence. This listening recovers a capacity for spiritual practice, reminding us that all human beings were designed by our Creator. When we listen in the silence, we are better able to hear the message of peace, of loving, of life-glowing hope that sustains a just mercy, and a just peace that produces humane communion.