NOVICE:

Perhaps you too may at some point suddenly realise that you would like to devote your life to God as a monk.

Consider for yourself: is this idea coming from God, who is attracting you by His proximity, or is it just a momentary feeling?

In order to attract somebody near to Him, God is immense in His ingenuity. Each monk has experienced the calling of God’s voice in a particular way and has answered it in his own way too.

St. Benedict gave some advice on how to hear the divine voice with attentive ears: “Today if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts”.

The potential monk sets about verifying his vocation by going to a monastery and talking with the abbot or with one of the monks. As they listen to each other, the candidate comes to appreciate the rules under which the monks are living, which goals they striving for, and how they live their lives in the monastery. The abbot on the other hand determines what motives are inspiring the candidate’s thoughts and wishes, and discerns whether he has the necessary qualities to live in the community. If this talk proves to be insufficient, the candidate can go to the monastery several times. The candidate thus clarifies his vocation and, obtaining sufficient answers in order to clear up any potential doubts, he then arranges with the abbot about how next to proceed.

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