On September 8, 2019 our Bro. William made his solemn profession of lifetime vows as a Cistercian monk of New Clairvaux Abbey. In this Blog he shares some of his spiritual preperation for this momentous decision:
Before I made my solemn profession I was on week retreat at the Mercy Sisters’ house in Auburn, CA. The beautiful scenic and quiet environment was most conducive for a silent retreat, true silence that uplift and invades my spirit and soul.
The first scripture passage was from Col. 1:9-
We ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will with all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.
It was much food for thoughts as a start to a retreat as I meditate on the passage over and over. I was blessed with the opportunity to walk the labyrinth in the garden each evening. The labyrinth illuminates my path and was therapeutic. The path taken in the labyrinth was similar to the circuitous monastic journey that I have embarked upon. I had time to recall and questions also arises, “Why am I here, am I ready to take my solemn vows in two weeks’ time?”
I prayed fervently and asked for the grace to change myself, in Cistercian parlance it is the ‘conversatio morum’ (The conversion of ways). I also had more time to pray and carry others into my prayers for families, friends and sharing in their lives of sufferings, problems and joy.
The final scripture passage was from 2 Peter 1:10- Brothers, you have been called and chosen, work all the harder to justify it by good deeds.
That was liberation and joyfulness. I realize that the Spirit of God was leading me and now I am ready to petition the profession formula: “Receive me, O Lord as you have promised that I may live. Do not disappoint me in my hope.”